PB3 won’t even get to loading screen

Hello All,

I was loving my PB3 standard but then some strange things started happening. First it was the slowdown of the web interface everything was very laggy. Next came the stuttering of the animations themselves on the PB. Then finally one day everything froze and never recovered. I tried resetting the network and while I can connect the the PB3’s network that is it. The pop-up window is totally blank and remains that way. The little orange light is now always on.

Please help get my PB3 Working again.



Hi Noah - first thing, we’re you able to update the firmware to the latest from the Settings tab (before it got to the point where you couldn’t connect anymore)?

hi @dllnoah,
It sounds like a power issue. I had a power supply go bad over time, and its similar to how you describe things getting worse over time. In my case, it was a cheap USB power supply, and once I opened it I could see that its main output capacitor bulged up and wasn’t able to output a properly regulated voltage.

Try disconnecting the LEDs and powering Pixelblaze via USB from a solid source, like a computer’s USB. Does it come back to life?

I have 6 PixelBlaze all work fine from the iMac usb port except the one I have described.

Jeff, I tried to update and the update started, then the speed of the download slowed to a crawl and eventually stopped. I tried that several times and the same thing happened. The PB still worked though but it was getting slower and slower like I described and now nothing.

I tried to force an update via the /update method but the browser just timed out. Tried the latest Safari and Chrome. I will try with my network at home next. We will be using these next year for our intro to computer science class as an extra activity.

Thanks for your quick response and the for the great little PB


Sounds defective. I’m sure @wizard will want to chime in.

Hey Noah - I just experienced something very similar when trying to upgrade a nearly stock PB v3. For me, it resolved when I deleted some of the largest programs from the main list. I suggest deleting: Scrolling Text Marquee, An Intro to Pixelblaze Code, Midpoint Displacement 2D, and some of the sound ones that are long (and any other really large patterns you imported), and try using /update again.

Could very well be the power stuff too, but this worked for me and v3.16 has been much more stable.

I had the same experience as Jeff – the PB3 update failed repeatedly 'till I deleted the largest patterns, after which everything worked smoothly. Just remember to download them first so you can put them back afterwards!

UPDATE: V3.18 addresses many of these issues

Read on for the old way of recovering from a corrupt web app

It’s possible it ran out or low on space.

Currently the updates write a new web app copy first (leaving the original intact in case the update fails), so does need more space than usual. Also, the update’s themselves are signed and verified at the end of the process so won’t apply if the wrong file (pico vs standard) is uploaded but will take a long time.

There’s a few things we can try to recover it. Assuming it’s still on the network and not in setup mode, you can try nuking the web app and re-running the update via /update. If you are stuck in WiFi setup mode (Shows up as Pixelblaze_XXXXXX and you get the sign in popup) but the page doesn’t load, then you can try manually posting to it. See this post for info on how to do that (a similar issue).

To nuke the web app, you can use curl (or a browser) to this magic URL:

curl ''

Swap out the IP address for your local address if in client mode.

After that, try applying the update again via the /update URL.

When the filesystem is low on space, writes can take a long time, and writes can also impact patterns as it uses the same flash storage that code is stored on. I wonder if some of the slowness and choppy animation can also be solved by freeing up some space (once you get the app loading again of course).

If you can’t get it working, or do get it working but it’s still stalling out / laggy, let me know!

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Hi Again,

Ok purged the web app and used the terminal force MYWIFINETWORK and MYPASSPHRASE. That got PB3 onto my network where I was able to /update to 3.16 and the little PB3 came back to life. Everything is working fast and smooth again. I will put PB on a diet and make sure it doesn’t eat too many patterns!

Maybe something in the interface where it shows usable storage space.

Thanks to all for the fantastic support.



Next update will show free space, and I’m considering adding a step in the updates that nukes the web app and replaces it with a small emergency recovery page as a failsafe so you can get through wifi setup or start an update, which is then overwritten with the updated app. That would get around needing to reserve so much free space for an update.


A post was split to a new topic: Pixelblaze stuck on loading screen

13 posts were split to a new topic: Updating Pixelblaze firmware problems - timeouts and/or errors

Warning: This might be horrible advice! You can potentially brick your Pixelblaze! Only try this if you’ve tried everything else, you’re reasonably sure it’s not a hardware problem (e.g. nothing is on fire), and you understand the basics of esptool and can complete the procedure.

I just got a new PB3 Standard that had this problem. It made an AP that I could connect to, then wouldn’t wouldn’t show the loading screen. Powered via known good USB, no LEDs attached. I tried all the tricks I’ve seen in various forum posts – curl commands, the /update page… no joy.

So as a last resort before calling upon @wizard for help, I used esptool to take a backup of a known good PB3 of the same model, then reflashed the bad one with that image. It takes a while at 115kbaud, but afterwards it worked perfectly. And as a bonus, the new Pixelblaze was loaded with all the same patterns as my other Pixelblazes!