Xsy77
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 11:08 am

Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:25 pm

Hi guys,

I have a USB NVME drive that for whatever reason, doesn't like image files being written to it.

I have tried various image files, including some from the imager app and the result is ALWAYS the same.

I end up with an unreadable drive (cant even see the FAT partition in windows) and the partition structure looks all kinds of strange.

Image

Things I have tried:

Flashed with Rasperry Pi Imager Windows version
Flashed with Rasperry Pi Imager Mac version
Flashed with Balena Etcher Windows version
Flashed with Balena Etcher Mac version
Flashed with Win32 disk imager Windows version
Used Dispart to CLEAN the drive
Pre-formatted as NTFS using Windows
Pre-formatted as NTFS using Mini Partition tool
Pre-formatted as FAT32 using Windows

As I say, after each flash, i would expect to be able to plug the drive into my PC and see the FAT partition containing the config files etc. but no.

When I connect the device to my PI, I can see it however when trying to boot from it, i receive the error: "Unsupported block size 4096"

Any suggestions?

LTolledo
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Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:39 pm

w$ system does not (will not, refuse to) recognize EXT4 partitions of Linux systems...

what is the interface chip used by your NVMe SATA to USB adapter?
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DougieLawson
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Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:55 pm

Xsy77 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:25 pm
When I connect the device to my PI, I can see it however when trying to boot from it, i receive the error: "Unsupported block size 4096"
Use the Raspberry Pi Imager tool to write your Linux OS to your SDCard. Do NOT use ANY Windows native utilities (unless you've got the WIN10/WIN11 WSL installed).

Don't let Windows try to fix your partition for you. Click [CANCEL] to any Windows disk manager pop-up. Windows does not know how to handle type 82 and type 83 partitions.

Boot a working SDCard in your Raspberry and install gparted. Insert the broken SDCard in a USB reader. See if gparted can fix it.
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Xsy77
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 11:08 am

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:17 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:55 pm
Xsy77 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:25 pm
When I connect the device to my PI, I can see it however when trying to boot from it, i receive the error: "Unsupported block size 4096"
Use the Raspberry Pi Imager tool to write your Linux OS to your SDCard. Do NOT use ANY Windows native utilities (unless you've got the WIN10/WIN11 WSL installed).

Don't let Windows try to fix your partition for you. Click [CANCEL] to any Windows disk manager pop-up. Windows does not know how to handle type 82 and type 83 partitions.

Boot a working SDCard in your Raspberry and install gparted. Insert the broken SDCard in a USB reader. See if gparted can fix it.
Hi,
Thanks for your quick reply.

I was actually trying that before you replied and the result is: one step forward but not quite there yet!

I formatted the drive in Gparted and used the SD card Copier tool to clone the SD card over to the NVME USB SSD.

Unfortunately it still doesn’t boot from the NVME drive with the same “Unsupported block size error”. But it has mounted the drive properly and I can see the partition tables look better in Gparted.

Any further advice?

cleverca22
Posts: 4405
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:21 pm

Xsy77 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:17 pm
Unfortunately it still doesn’t boot from the NVME drive with the same “Unsupported block size error”. But it has mounted the drive properly and I can see the partition tables look better in Gparted.
the rpi bootloader/firmware only support 512 byte sectors

you either need to re-configure the nvme drive to has 512 byte sectors, or put the fat32 /boot on another media (sd/usb)

Xsy77
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 11:08 am

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:57 pm

cleverca22 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:21 pm
Xsy77 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:17 pm
Unfortunately it still doesn’t boot from the NVME drive with the same “Unsupported block size error”. But it has mounted the drive properly and I can see the partition tables look better in Gparted.
the rpi bootloader/firmware only support 512 byte sectors

you either need to re-configure the nvme drive to has 512 byte sectors, or put the fat32 /boot on another media (sd/usb)
Hi,
Thanks for the reply.

Yes I read that somewhere on this forum. My drive is a netac and they don’t appear to have the same software available to perform that reconfiguration. Is there a generic one available? I’ve read SG3_utils might work?

Sorry I’m slightly out of my depth here…

cleverca22
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Mon Aug 02, 2021 12:04 am

Code: Select all

[root@amd-nixos:~]# smartctl -a /dev/nvme0n1
Supported LBA Sizes (NSID 0x1)
Id Fmt  Data  Metadt  Rel_Perf
 0 +     512       0         0
this command can query an nvme drive, and list what block sizes it supports, and the relative performance differences

in my case, its 512 only

your usb adapter may also block those commands, you would need to put the drive into a linux machine, properly on the pci-e bus, to access it

Xsy77
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 11:08 am

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:04 pm

Hi,

I couldn’t run that command but fdisk -l shows:

https://ibb.co/SwDB7ZW

So does this mean I need to reconfigure? If so, can you point me in the right direction please?

cleverca22
Posts: 4405
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:52 pm

you need to run smartctl to see if it even can be reconfigured

plug the nvme drive into the pcie bus of any linux machine, and then you can run smartctl

Xsy77
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 11:08 am

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:54 pm

cleverca22 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:52 pm
you need to run smartctl to see if it even can be reconfigured

plug the nvme drive into the pcie bus of any linux machine, and then you can run smartctl
Sadly I’m going to struggle to do that.

I have a Pi4 and an old MacBook Air with bootcamp to my disposal.

Anything I can do?

cleverca22
Posts: 4405
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:59 pm

either find an x86 machine, or find an nvme drive with 512 byte sectors by default

thats all i can think of

Xsy77
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 11:08 am

Re: Strange partition setup after flash to NVME USB drive

Sat Aug 21, 2021 4:15 pm

So I ran this in windows and this is what it shows:

C:\Program Files\smartmontools\bin>smartctl -a pd3 -d scsi
smartctl 7.2 2020-12-30 r5155 [x86_64-w64-mingw32-w10-1909] (sf-7.2-1)
Copyright (C) 2002-20, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Vendor: Netac
Product: Mobiledatastar
Revision: 0209
Compliance: SPC-4
User Capacity: 500,107,862,016 bytes [500 GB]
Logical block size: 4096 bytes
LU is fully provisioned
Rotation Rate: Solid State Device
Logical Unit id: 0x3044564198839500
Serial number: DD56419883950
Device type: disk
Local Time is: Sat Aug 21 17:14:21 2021 GMTDT
SMART support is: Unavailable - device lacks SMART capability.

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===

Current Drive Temperature: 0 C
Drive Trip Temperature: 0 C

Error Counter logging not supported

Device does not support Self Test logging

Does this help?

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