nm_rpi
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:46 am

rpi-externalhdd.jpg
rpi-externalhdd.jpg (90.58 KiB) Viewed 1257 times
Trying to boot up Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard using an external USB HDD. Attaching a picture of what it looks like right now.
  • HDMI cable connected to a monitor
  • USB connected keyboard and mouse
  • USB HDD
  • Power supply (coming from a laptop)
I see a red light and the fan running (so it has started up) but i don't see any output on the monitor. Is microSD mandatory to boot? I was hoping to boot (and install OS) on the external USB HDD.

LTolledo
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:29 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:17 am

Have you set the OTP bit?
Did you flash the latest Raspbian Stretch with Desktop to the HDD?

If not better search for the tutorials in this forum.

Just let you know, I had several successes in booting an RPi3B from a 2.5" HDD, though a bit tricky...
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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nm_rpi
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:29 am

Thank you @LTolledo. I will look into suggestions you mentioned.

Just curious, is it more straightforward to boot from microSD? Meaning if i had a microSD, would i see some display even if i did not do above mentioned stuff?

LTolledo
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:29 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:40 am

nm_rpi wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:29 am
Thank you @LTolledo. I will look into suggestions you mentioned.

Just curious, is it more straightforward to boot from microSD? Meaning if i had a microSD, would i see some display even if i did not do above mentioned stuff?
Yes it will be straightforward to boot from a microSD, and it boots faster. The recommended microSD class is 10 or A1 for faster booting.

Boot times from HDD is slower by minimum 5 secs compared to microSD boot. But if you're not in a hurry then its probably OK.

the HDD configurations I've tried are:

1. 1TB 2.5" HDD in Orico Clear Case USB3.0
2. 2TB 2.5" HDD with Eluteng SATA to USB 3.0 adaptor cable.
3. switching the HDD between #1 and #2 above

To set the OTP bit for a n RPi3B, you will definitely need to boot up initially from a microSD. If instead you have RPi3B+ then you can skip setting the OTP bit as it is factory set already.

Let us know if you get any problems (sorry I dont respond well to "issues") along the way
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

nm_rpi
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:59 am

In that case i'm probably going to order a microSD and try to boot using the same. 4GB should be ok? Again, i plan to use it just for booting, as all my data will be in the USB HDD.

LTolledo
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:29 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:09 am

4GB microSD would be OK if you plan to use Raspbian Stretch Lite image so you can set the OTP bit. Even a Class4 4GB microSD will suffice.

But if you plan to have a fall-back to boot to microSD later, then a Class10 8GB will be minimum for Raspbian Stretch with Desktop.
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

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davidcoton
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Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:12 am

nm_rpi wrote: Power supply (coming from a laptop)

I see a red light and the fan running (so it has started up) but i don't see any output on the monitor. Is microSD mandatory to boot? I was hoping to boot (and install OS) on the external USB HDD.
Does the red LED stay on? It should not flicker at all. If not, the laptop is not supplying enough power.
Does the HDD have a separate power supply? You may need a separate PSU for a HDD (SSDs use less power).
If power is a problem, get the "official" RPi 5V1 2A5 PSU, which will be good for any current Pi model.
"Thanks for saving my life." See https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1327656#p1327656
“Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation”

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HawaiianPi
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Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:36 am

nm_rpi wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:46 am
... Power supply (coming from a laptop)
A laptop USB port is not going to supply enough power, especially if you're using one of those crappy USB cables with a built-in power switch (I tested a few of those and they all caused significant voltage loss under load). That setup would be okay for a Pi Zero or other single core model, but the Pi3B will need more power than you are supplying.

The newer Pi3B+ model has USB boot enabled out of the box, but the original Pi3B needs to have a One Time Programmable (OTP) bit set in the SoC to enable the USB boot feature. Look for the sticky thread on USB booting, or check out the docs on the raspberrypi.org site.

The bootloader in the Pi SoC is very simplistic due to limited space for the code, so it is not compatible with all USB drives. Most will work (boot and reboot), some will partially work (boot but not reboot), and some will just not work at all. For the latter two you can start the boot process from the SD card, but load and run the OS from the USB drive (that was actually the old-school way to do it before the Pi3 and USB boot was an option).

The SanDisk Ultra A1 micro SD cards are reasonably priced and great performers. If you want to boot from SD, that's the card I would highly recommend. Amazon (USA) has the 32GB cards for less than $12 ($10.98 at the time of this post), and that card probably offers the best balance of performance, price and capacity. I have a few Pi computers running off of those now and I've been very happy with them.

I also have a Pi3B and 3B+ booting off of SSD with SATA3-USB3 adapters.
SSD_Pi3B_01.jpg
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SSD_Pi3BPlus_02.jpg
SSD_Pi3BPlus_02.jpg (86.64 KiB) Viewed 1137 times
When you get into larger storage requirements, SSD is a viable option due to the high price of large micro SD cards, and it's often easier to get a Pi3 booting from an SSD than a HDD (due to slow spin-up times and higher power requirements for HDD).
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fbe
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:08 pm

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:55 pm

This is the current documetation "How to boot from a USB Mass Storage Device on a Raspberry Pi 3": https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... des/msd.md

Don't run rpi-update! A lot of outdated tutorials advise you, to do that.

nm_rpi
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:50 pm

davidcoton wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:12 am
nm_rpi wrote: Power supply (coming from a laptop)

I see a red light and the fan running (so it has started up) but i don't see any output on the monitor. Is microSD mandatory to boot? I was hoping to boot (and install OS) on the external USB HDD.
Does the red LED stay on? It should not flicker at all. If not, the laptop is not supplying enough power.
Does the HDD have a separate power supply? You may need a separate PSU for a HDD (SSDs use less power).
If power is a problem, get the "official" RPi 5V1 2A5 PSU, which will be good for any current Pi model.
The LED light does stay on.
The USB HDD does not have a power supply. Its like any other USB HDD which you simply plugin directly to the machine.

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davidcoton
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Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:58 pm

nm_rpi wrote: The LED light does stay on.
I'm surprised. The USB spec only requires 0A5 maximum current, which is not always enough for a Pi alone. Your laptop obviously does better.
nm_rpi wrote: The USB HDD does not have a power supply. Its like any other USB HDD which you simply plugin directly to the machine.
Many USB HDDs (or rather, the adapter/enclosure for them) need an additional PSU, since not every HDD can work within the USB limit, especially at startup.
"Thanks for saving my life." See https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1327656#p1327656
“Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation”

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HawaiianPi
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Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:26 pm

nm_rpi wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:50 pm
The USB HDD does not have a power supply. Its like any other USB HDD which you simply plugin directly to the machine.
You obviously haven't seen many USB hard drives. Lots of them have power supplies. Only slow portable drives do not. Desktop and high performance drives (7200+ RPM) will require, and include their own power supplies.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

nm_rpi
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:16 am

Hello @HawaiianPi , i bought the SD card recommended and it works great. Finally got the pi to come up.

I made an entry in fstab for my USB HDD

Code: Select all

PARTUUID=xxxyyyzzz-01 /mnt/usbstorage vfat   defaults,nofail   0   0
I made the owner of the /mnt/usbstorage to be pi (so that when i run apps as pi, there are no issues loading data to it)

Code: Select all

[email protected]:/mnt $ ls -l
total 4
drwxrwxr-x 2 pi pi 4096 Jul 15 15:37 usbstorage
however, as soon as i mount the USB, root becomes the owner. How do i avoid this?

Code: Select all

[email protected]:/mnt $ sudo mount -a
[email protected]:/mnt $ ls -l
total 32
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 32768 Dec 31  1969 usbstorage

bertlea
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:33 am
Location: Hong Kong

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:38 am

I followed some steps from the Internet to mount disks to my Pi:

http://www.htpcguides.com/properly-moun ... pberry-pi/

It works for me.

nm_rpi
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:48 pm

@bertlea , i too followed the same steps. issue is that every-time i mount, the owner changes to root.

bertlea
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:33 am
Location: Hong Kong

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:57 am

@nm_rpi Really? Assume your HDD is FAT formatted, but the fstab entry you showed do not have the uid=pi,gid=pi in it. Did you tried to use the entry below?

Code: Select all

PARTUUID=xxxyyyzzz-01 /mnt/usbstorage vfat   defaults,nofail,uid=pi,gid=pi   0   0

nm_rpi
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

Re: booting up Raspberry Pi 3 from and external USB HDD

Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:05 am

hi @bertlea , it worked after using those options. I was just about to post that and saw your reply. Thanks

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