Boot a Raspberry Pi4 with an SSD to make it reliable and fast


  • hmm I don't like the drive on a cable bit, the smaller USB3 connectors have a knack to either go bust or disconnect quickly. I bought an mSATA HAT on AliExpress that I can fasten to the pi and have it more secure.

  • Couldn't you just setup the pi to /boot off the SD card, then use fstab to mount /home /var /etc on the SSD?

  • I still have a hard time with the "Pi team" being an incredibly intelligent bunch in my home City of Cambridge, with intellectual and highly technical staff and yet being perfectly okay with shipping a platform to paying customers WHICH STILL HAS UNACCEPTABLE SCREEN TEARING!!!

    I was sent one of these late summer 2019, and still refuse to review it UNTIL "The team" (cringe!) have pulled their fingers out and sorted it. This is a commercial product FOR SALE, it's not like they're operating out of the goodness of their hearts.

    Sort it out.

  • Love the strong hand demonstrating the sd card

  • I'd love to have a 1TB storage on Pi for NAS

  • I don’t know who you are but I’m subscribing after reading the comments

  • piping an unknown script to bash is silly. LOL

  • Would multiboot bootloader work? ie BerryBoot on SD card instead of Raspbian, as it simplifies the process?

  • Instructions unclear… I ended up baking my raspberry pi

  • Wow, this some advanced stuff. Thanks for sharing, very interesting.

  • Very nice video! I do have a question,,, I want to ttry this with a 240gb ssd, if the test is good, what will I need to do to swap the ssd with a new 512gb ssd without going thru the whole process? Thanks!

  • Dat thumbnail

  • Sadly, its too bulky for some projects ;-;

  • maybe the pi5 will have an M.2 slot on it

  • does USB adapter support TRIM ?

  • love it, followed the original way, but obviously not to the end as the ssd is still my boot device so ty. Will follow your easy to use video tutorial as I hate reading stuff not in my home language. Very comprehensive and excellent tut. Regards

  • hahahaha der ditsch schwizer akzent isch eifach der bescht ich mag nimme xDDDDDD

  • yeah i had entire pi setup on my tv but it hang so i pulled the power and my boot drive was corrupted in 1 moment.
    Why does sd-cards act like that.

  • Yes yes . Very nice indeed . Maybe one direction for the team in the future will be a small eSATA interface on the board . Problem solved .

  • Seriously, nothing will ever make a Raspberry Pi fast..

  • I watched with interest and thank you for this tut. I am new to pi and have no idea what you are talking about 😏. I will follow your tutorial. How else would I be able to learn. Without you and taking the time to do this the job would take m weeks. Thumbs up and a subscription from me 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  • Do you still keep the SD in the Pi? or you remove it and the pi just function on SSD alone with no SD in it? And at what time in the video did you move the swap to SSD?

  • I have been trying to boot from an SSD using a 1TB LaCie Portable SSD. I seem to be able to boot most of the time however get errors like "Input/Output error" and "this is a read-only device" when doing things that require more CPU power. What do you think could be the issue. Currently tried disabling the UAS driver, enabling restart, disabling standby mode and using a more trustworthy power supply to ensure power quality. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks. Also, suggestions for another SSD that works with the Pi 4 that I could purchase are appreciated.

  • I agree that the sd holds back most raspberry pi's. however the greatest thing would be when the raspberry pi would support a direct pci, sata or m.2 connection.

  • Between the high heat, buggerd USB C adapter, no USB boot, and sluggish Video, the Pi 4 was released way too early

  • Nice video, just a little context for the term 'digital twin' @3:30 ; a digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object, this is used in IoT for example.
    The term 'clone' would probably be a better fit.

  • I wonder if Das U-Boot could be configured to load an OS from a USB-attached SSD?

    Some branches of the project have USB2.0 high speed support, so it could bootstrap the loading of the main Kernel where a USB3.0 super-speed driver could be loaded instead.

    Anyhow, I suspect it’ll only be a matter of time before Das U-Boot has native USB3.0 support for the Pi 4.

  • You still have to leave the sd card in right? If the sd card gets bad somehow, you still have to build a new sd card? Yes, the data & cache is on the SSD. So, that's absolutely wonderful. But, you're still booting from the SSD?

  • Your methodical approach and clear instructions that don't assume previous knowledge is very refreshing! Excellent video!

  • Excellent video as always!
    However, I think you might be able to accomplish something similar with berryboot! Have you looked at that solutions yet?

  • i don't think using a SSD via USB interface is a robust and reliable solution..

  • dead beef 😀

  • An explanation of where the UUID came from would help. Anyone ?

  • I don not understand why so many people are championing the RPI because of the "community"??? The Raspberry forum generally is pretty slow, if not useless and most of the time hostile and toxic.

    RPi's are great and Raspbian is quite nice although still not 64 bit, but that is mostly because they are readily available. If you are a user heavily dependent on some sort of community, RPi is just a pointless as a cheap Chinese semi-clone.

  • Would rather there be an affordable nvme hat

  • Amazing I never knew SD Cards were considered slow and unreliable

  • Once again, thank you for your video. What about the raspbian of the SD card? Do you leave it on the SD as it's just because yes?

  • Danke für das informative Video 🙂

  • сколько мороки, нужна сразу простая инструкция как установить на ssd.

  • Loved the video, my friend. I've had my Raspberry Pi 4 (4gb) on a shelf for the longest waiting for software to mature for it.

  • Unless there is a problem with this that I am not aware of, surely you could just use something like Ghost or a free HD imaging tool to take an image of the very first one of these you ever did and then change the device ID etc only each time you want to use it?

    Then that image could be shared as a VERY quick way of doing it instead of everyone having to invent the exact same wheel over and over.

    In fact I am sure with a bit of imagination a script could run at first boot to prompt for any settings that need to change and then automatically applies them so its all done by the time the controller boots up properly for the first time?

    FTV, +1 sub good video 🙂

  • Does the usb SSD support UASP over USB 3.0 on the raspberry pi?
    And if not by default, can it be enabled some how? I it isn't already enabled, and you can enable it, i could imagine that would net you some pretty nice performance gains.

  • Pxe boot your Pi from a NAS and you'll never have a disk failure.

  • Can this be done with Pi 3 ?

  • HAHAHA! the part UUID is "DEADBEEF" !!!! nice touch, James!

  • sir, a actual boot video would have been good too ie after carrying out all steps.

  • Thx Andreas, great video! Of course I´m waiting for native SSD support of RPI4 but risk of crashing sd card is increasing so i will test. Regarding your instruction: You say it hast to be a new raspian image. I using already raspian on my RPI4 sd card and have put many hours of effort in installation/configuration in it. Can you add instruction how to use such an existing installation and copy this to an SSD card without starting at point zero? Thx!

  • Koenigsegg Regera

  • RPI 5 will be faster mayby more memory same price. 2020 august now with 2.4.8gb options. predict is easy it worth upgrade rpi3 was cheap 35 buck machine now it looks it not.price up so people buy rpi4 while developers allready have rpi5 on beta lol

  • 7:04 why its so slow read 100mb write 80mb is faster today i found

  • I love the micro pointing hand! Very nice touch

  • 11:28 yup 2x faster than faster card i found,but its funny same size but faster is next year same price next year. you allways pay same for upgrade unless you smart and buy last year fastest card and mayby 2x less it will be 4x cheaper lol. card that was brand new 4x time expensive lol

  • you cant still boot ssd without sd card? well that would ruin idea cheap and low power 35buck single board computer idea. RPI 4 ruined that continuum. after this you pay more for RPIs they get way off it.people are willing spend more prices go up

  • 11:42 only 2x faster than i found and sd express can transfer 985MB/s on pcie it kills ssd. yes its again we need pay more to get faster and less capasity.even manufacture that cost… but if peoples are willing to pay prices are kept high

  • SSD is solid shit dust…

  • Lets just get this right, this is NOT booting the pi4 from SSD? Its simply root on SSD but BOOTING FROM SD something many of us have done for months already?

  • Just saying "I liked this," to help with algorithms…

  • Hmm
    Just use overlayfs

  • Useful video by the way


  • OMG that little hand so cute :))))

  • Does anyone knows if this would also work with an old Pi1?
    And many thanks to Andreas for yet another cool and useful video 👍

  • For the long-Term use of SD-Cards there is the Edge Type or Industrial-Grade cards with high Writeble Bytes. Edit: There are now EMMC to micro-SD card adapters.

  • Great Instructions, thanx
    My Samsung Portable SSD T5 (1 TB) works perfect, with a performance score of 8859.
    mfg Martin

  • Great video, and it is working. Thanks a lot Mr. Spiess !

    Of course after all this I went to video #295, trying to install Docker.
    I suppose there are some Docker install issues with Raspbian. Does someone worked this out ?

  • well a raspberry is not meant to replace a computer people!! its a mini less powerfull and potent computer. so its not meant to replace your computer which your trying to do here!
    its can be used for fun or educative purposes awell as some practical ones. if you want a mini pc buy a new smartphone, you can use these as a mini pc and possibly replace your desktop depending on what you want to do on it. This is all fun and all, but doesnt add anything and is just ridiculous if you ask me

  • you do know a ssd doesnt last forever and can go defect!!!! so what you talking about no data loss

  • Sir can we do the same with pi3 b + ??

  • Yesterday I went from RPi4 with SD card and hassio, to RPi4 with SSD drive and raspbian, and supervised ha, works perfectly so far! Thankyou very much for the run-down of this.

  • Super Tutorial!
    Frog: du hesch Metallghüs für SD-Charte – I ha din Channel erscht gfunde, ev. hesch es iwo scho erwähnt, aber chasch mer ev. säge woher du die häsch? (sueche öppis wo schlagunempflindlich isch – nöd froge warum, bitte! 😉

  • Did anyone else notice DeadBeef? Lol. d34db33f that was good!

  • A long time ago I switched from Raspberry PI to Orange PI as more cheaper and faster microcomputer (that was a time of RPI 2).
    In most of the applications I using Orange PI PC, and during a long period (almost 5 years) it works quite stable without any problems except that common problem with SD card.

    In addition, I installed on all my computer this amazing project: which gives you a lot of good features.

    This week I'm also bought SSD to move away from SD card pain. I was really surprised how it's easy to setup on Armbian Linux. Overall you just need to run "nand-sata-install" command and follow a logical wizard process. After reboot, you will have a system on your SSD drive.

    Just want to share it and maybe my succesfull story will be interesting for you 🙂
    Thank you Andreas for all your amazing videos! All of them quite helpfull and interesting!

  • You should check out
    It's currently experimental (finished on Pi3) but it's a UEFI firmware for the Pi. It supports booting off USB intrinsically. It should eventually let you boot any ARM based OS, like Debian or even Win10 ARM.

  • Hello. I hadn't heard about this procedure before. With the Rasperry Pi 1B you also had to leave the boot partition on the SD and could then boot via USB HDD. Also a network boot was possible. But I think it is a sign of poverty. If this works without SD on the Pi 3, and on the Pi 4 you have to use the old method again. But good that there is a solution at all.

  • d34db33f => Dead beef, du bist zu Swiss für verstehen hax0r vorschatz 😉
    Danke für das video !

  • Followed this and all worked. Thank You – With a Kingston 120GB and Orico Enclosure got a score of 8196 . 🙂

  • i am booting my RPi4 from iSCSI ( Synology Nas )no sdcard needed at all. (d34db33f- deadbeef) :-)))

  • computer-literate Werner Herzog

  • Amazing! So thanks. It works for me with b16b00b5! Like a charm. Love the video so much!

  • Hello Andreas, in the very last seconds you mention that you enlarge the swap-file make sure that it is located on the SSD. I found instructions to change the size but how do you make sure that it is on the SSD? Doesn't that happen automatically when you change the ROOT?

  • Let's also overclock it and watercool it.

  • I need that Micro SD case please

  • Why the gloves?

  • I know of another method that from within raspbian you SD card copy into an SSD with the box ticked for different id. After you edit cmdline.txt with the SSD's ID like in the video and reboot. What is the difference between this method and the one described in the video?

  • Well, now I don't think I need to hesitate about getting a Pi 4 anymore. Well, maybe. I'm still not sure what I'd actually use an ARM powered SBC for. 😛

  • Would a standard hd work as well?

  • When will they release the firmware update for native boot from USB support 🙁

  • Am I right with the assumption that the same procedure would work for USB 3 thumb drives instead of an SSD? Would there be a positive speed difference too?

    Very great and informative Video!
    Liebe Grüße aus Österreich 🙂

  • good to know, unofficial is made the official better and faster. maybe with the pi5, they will have a pcie based nvme m.2 slot(~5000MB/s) way much faster than the limits of usb3 (5gbps) and sata (~500MB/s). the only ugly thing is the dangling drive and maybe possible power issues. maybe if i upgrade my laptop 256 ssd to 1tb, i will use it with the pi (wait i haven't bought the pi4 yet!!)

  • Super merci Ändu! Wirklich ein super Video ging alles auf anhieb. Jetzt 7 mal Schneller, Thank you.

  • just as info to others: I just ordered a new Orico SSD case and only by using the quirks I got it to run

    @quirks make sure you follow the link to: jamesachambers …

    nice job James and Andreas!

  • Forgive me if you addressed this, but is the SD card still required to boot the PI? I followed these steps thinking I could re-purpose the SD card afterwards, but the PI would not boot without the SD card. Thanks

  • The method shown in the video probably is fine, however you need to be aware that everything boot related including the kernel is used from the sd card and not on the SSD. A better way of doing it would probably be to use a bootloader which has usb drivers for the rpi. Even better would be as he said in the video if the RPi developers would enable USB booting support in their own bootloader which is located in an on board EEPROM.

  • Andreas, we should make you an honarary Australian with your comment "…first, we have to make this bloody Pi4 boot from an SSD" – that's the sort of thing we would say 🙂 Absolutely hilarious!

  • EYYY @Andreas Your SSL-certificate to expired yesterday, fyi!

  • Hello Andreas, thank you very much for this description. I did it according your video and it works fine for me. The only difference was, i did not a clean new raspian, i took an existing raspian os i used for severel weeks already. In this case i did a copy of my image with Win32DiskImager. And this image i copied than, also with Win32DiskImager to a 500 GB SSD. After that i did all the commands you described in the video. I did not want to setup a clean new system because i have a lot of things running on my Pi 4 and it would have been a lot of effort to get to there where my pi just is. The performance is very nice, even internet surfing it a lot smoother as it was with the SD Card.

    Greetings from the Bavarian Forest

  • Small recommendation from me – use BUDGET SSD for it, not the fast ones. Reason for that is that better ones use DRAM to speed up I/O which is a volatile memory and thus in case of power failure (which kills SD cards in RPi's) all data should be written and not wiped from buffer. Such a disk would be for example Crucial BX series one (not MX!)

  • Help! My Raspberry doesn't boot. Red LED is ok but Green (ACT) flash only one time. What's problem? Three days ago I didn't have this problem

  • I did a rsync from sd to ssd and then changed root=PARTUUID=d9b3f436-02 to root=/dev/sda1 in cmdline.txt, just wondering if there is a difference in booting the device this way?

  • Rock pi 4

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