The new ELUTENG adapter cable with the blue SATA connector is not reliable on the Pi.
After lots more testing, it just isn't consistent. It will often behave properly for many tests, and then flake out again for some unknown reason. I suspect some kind of marginal timing issue, but I was never able to determine the specific cause. Upgrading Raspbian helps some, but doesn't fix the issues completely. It worked better with the Crucial MX500, but it's still not 100% with that drive.
Replacing the new adapter with the older one completely solves all problems, so it's not an issue with Raspbian.
Too bad, so sad. One of our best USB boot options is no more.
Those of you who have participated in threads about USB booting a Pi3 have probably seen me recommend an inexpensive USB 3.0 to SATA III adapter cable by ELUTENG. It had proven to be highly compatible, booting every SSD and HDD that I tried. Sadly that great little ELUTENG adapter cable has recently been replaced by a newer model that does not work so well with the Pi.
The new model can easily be identified by its blue SATA connector (old left, new right).
I have posted many links to the adapter on Amazon USA, but those links now point to the newer model.
- I have found the older model under a different ASIN, but it's currently unavailable: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MS5XU1V
- Likely never to come back, as it looks like Amazon just moved the old model here.
- Which invalidates all the reviews under the previous listing, since they are for this model (not the new one).
As it stands now, I cannot recommend the newer model. If you can still find the older version, grab a spare while you can.