sanfx
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Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:53 pm

Hi,

I am thinking to buy USB drive: http://amzn.to/2sKQCXT

to host a cloud storage based web app from this drive , its cost good amount I wanted to be sure if a USB drive that says USB 3.0 will work with Raspberry Pi 3 that doesnt have support for USB 3.0 ?

if it will work how much impact interms of slowness.

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PeterO
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:01 pm

That web page actually says it is backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

Any change in performance will depend on what is the actual limiting factor. That could be the storage medium, the USB interface, the application , the network ..........

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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:03 pm

Define "support". The USB ports on all existing Pi are USB 2.0. USB is designed to be backwards compatible. You can attach a USB 3 flash drive to a USB 2 port on a Pi and it will work. You can attach a WD PiDrive, which has a native USB 3 interface, to a Pi USB 2 port and it will work. You can even attach a PiDrive with a USB-A to microUSB 3 cable to a Pi USB 2 port and it will work. Does that constitute "support"? Or are you looking to get the full performance you'd expect from a USB 3 device? If you are, you won't get it.

(Some of us really, really hope that some fine day there will be a Pi with USB 3. It *might* happen in a year or two with the Pi4, but there have been no hints, let alone announcements, in that direction.)

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orignal_traveler
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:18 pm

I have 2 Pi3's that boot off of SATA III hard drives. One is using a WD portable USB 3.0 drive and the other is using an internal SATA III HDD with a USB to SATA conversion cable. Both seem to work just fine. Grant you, the USB 2.0 speed limitation tends to slow down the performance of the SATA III hard drives, but the boot time is still very good. I do notice some delays in starting some of the applications however. I have not tried it, but you should be able to use a powered USB 2.0 hub with multiple USB 3.0/SATA III hard drives (I already have a 4 TB NAS that I mount the share as a native folder on "/") .

I do know from experience that USB 3.0 hubs will not work with the Pi3. I have tried USB 3.0 hubs from several different vendors, and all fail. I understand that this is likely a limitation due to the lack of backward compatibility of the USB 3.0 hubs.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:40 am

I boot a Pi3B directly from a WD PiDrive. The PiDrive has a native USB 3 connection, I have also tested the drive with an SBC that has USB 3 built in. No problems either way.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:54 am

Short version: no. USB 3.0 is not supported on a Pi.

Long version:
All USB devices are backwards and forwards compatible. Supported or not, it will work on your Pi.
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:02 am

Yes, USB 3.0 flash drives work on USB 2.0, and often perform better than USB 2.0 drives (but still at USB 2.0 speeds).

I'm currently running my Pi3 off an SSD with a USB 3.0 adapter. It works fine.
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hdtodd
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:38 am

Just a sanity check: I'm able to boot Pi-3B's off USB 2 flash drives and SATA adapters.

I am able to access -- reliably -- USB 3 flash and SATA-adapted drives from my Pi-3B.

But I find that I cannot reliably BOOT from some of my USB 3-interfaced drives. My most recent case is a newly-acquired Western Digital "easystore" drive. I can read/write it, but it fails to boot.

Is it the case that ALL USB 3.0 drives SHOULD boot on the RPI-3B, and whether or not they should, has anyone else found drives or interfaces that either won't boot (ever) or require 4-6 attempts before they boot?

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:35 am

hdtodd wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:38 am
Is it the case that ALL USB 3.0 drives SHOULD boot on the RPI-3B, and whether or not they should, has anyone else found drives or interfaces that either won't boot (ever) or require 4-6 attempts before they boot?
It's the case that not all USB devices will boot on the RPI-3B, regardless of interface speed. The bootloader in the SoC is small and simple, due to limited space, so it's not compatible with some USB devices. Some will not boot at all. Some will boot when the system is powered on, but will not complete a restart or shutdown reliably, etc... It's all a bit of a crapshoot.

My first impression of Pi3B USB boot was pretty disappointing. I tried several different devices and none of them would work reliably. I had a bunch of other USB storage devices I wanted to try, but we were moving and most of my stuff was in boxes. Well, I recently stumbled across those boxes and tested the rest, and the only ones that didn't work, out of more than a dozen devices, were the first ones I tried.
Image
So... things aren't as bad as I had originally thought with the Pi3B USB boot, but there definitely are incompatible devices.

Note that there is a 5 second delay before the SoC will attempt to boot a USB device, and that is enough time for some USB hard drives to spin up and get ready, but not all. For USB boot from a hard drive, it's best to power the drive independently from the Pi3B, and spin it up before you boot the computer. Also note that the Pi1B+ and Pi2B v1.1 default to only 600mA from the USB ports until the OS loads, and that may not be enough to spin up some USB hard drives (especially USB 3.0 drives). So it's even more important to power the HDD independently on those earlier models.

Solid State Drives (SSD) don't have the start up delays or power issues of mechanical spinners. I've been running one Pi3B and a new 3B+ off of SSD, and that rocks. In spite of the speed limitation of the USB 2.0 ports, it's much faster than using a micro-SD card (even a really fast one).
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rpdom
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:52 am

My Pi3Bs wouldn't boot from my Seagate Expansion 2TB USB3.0 drive, but my 3B+ does.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Does Raspberry Pi 3 support USB 3.0 drives ?

Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:26 am

rpdom wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:52 am
My Pi3Bs wouldn't boot from my Seagate Expansion 2TB USB3.0 drive, but my 3B+ does.
Something has changed on the 3B+ boot ROM. It doesn't seem to support booting from an SD card with just bootcode.bin, so maybe that was removed to make room for improvements (like better compatibility)? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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