Pi-top USB boot Install (RPi4)

Continuing the discussion from [Guide] pi-top USB boot Install (RPi4):

I would like to say thank you to CAProjects and duwudi for the instructions and insights in this project of Booting the Pi-Top[4] from a USB SSD/HDD. I’ve wanted to do this since I received the Pi-Top[4], I don’t like using SD cards (personal preference - fat fingers). Since all of my Pi 4B systems boot off of SSD or HDD’s I was happy to find your instructions. I found a 1.5 TB Seagate HDD with nothing really important on it, I thought I’d give it a try. I experienced 2 real problems; the first was updating the EEPROM firmware. Performing the alternate way by doing the full-upgrade did not update EEPROM, so I did it using a SD card. The other problem was waiting for the File System expansion - it gave me an error. Informing me to power off and try again. I did and experienced no other problems. Now all I need to do is purchase another USB 500 GB SSD to change my Pi-Top[4] 8 GB system. Now I need to design something to attach the SSD to the pi-Top[4} when I am using it with the robot, might give me a reason to get a 3D printer.

Again thank you

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the expanding file system issue seems to be with drives over 500GB , i think it times out. i got this issue with a 1TB drive but not with a 500GB

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Thank you for that information. The Seagate 1.5 TB is the largest drive I’ve installed on any of my Raspberry Pi’s. I have installed 1TB USB HDD Drives and not experienced any problems. I plan on ordering 2 - 500 GB drives later today, 1 is designated for my Pi-Top[4] 8GB.

The SD cards are annoying, I know, but the Pi 4B has an amazingly fast SD card reader. Huge 128 and 256GB cards are available and really fast. I know because I’ve developed a music keyboard that can play sampled pianos from the SD card. That won’t be the production version, but it is interesting to see it actually work. I’m using the Silicon Power 3D NAND cards. I don’t remember the site that benchmarked them, but they were as fast as the best Samsung or SanDisk cards in the 4B. In my Pis that don’t have access to the SD card because of the case, I still put a card in to avoid the constant LED flashing when the Pi keeps looking for a card. If there is no bootable partition on it and you boot from USB, you can use the card as a storage medium. I’m using it for backups.

Sounds like you have a nice system setup.

I look at my desk that contain all my raspberry pi’s and I count 8 SD cards that no longer work for various reasons. I’ve tried formatting them to no avail. The size range from 16GB to 128GB. The 128GB was used once. Since I do all my computing work in my basement, my RPi’s never see the light of day. I have not had to re-copy OS’s since using SSD’s & HDD’s as boot devices on the RPi’s. As for backups, I use a Pi that is configured with the Samba Server, it has been powered on for about 1.5 years now. I update it every month.

I’m waiting for a new add-on to be able to back-up my Samba server automatically next month. It was on Kickstarter, the Argon EON: 4-Bay Network Storage powered by RPi 4. I currently have a Linux powered NAS (48TB) that I use as a Multimedia sever (PLEX) and a backup for my desktop PC & 3 laptop’s. Which I will transfer to the EON, once I get it working.

The only time I use SD cards now is on my collection of RPi 3’s which I’ve been toying around with building a cluster. Also use an SD card when playing with new OS’s. Granted I probably are getting the less expensive SD cards.

I might try what you suggested ‘Silicon Power 3D NAND cards’ looking at them now on Amazon, to see if they eliminate the my bad card syndrome. These cards might be easier to use on the P-Top[4] robotics than creating a shelf for the HDD.

Hey @Korbendallaz - Now that you are fully SSD based, can you please share how you maintain an up to date bootloader and EEPROM - I have not updated for some time and I can’t seem to “do it” without an SD Card … Thx

The raspberry pi now fully supports booting from USB so there should not be any issue for updating the OS etc. you can update the bootloader though sudo raspi-config or you can do it via sd card, the Raspberry Pi imager can make the image on the SD card for you choosing Misc utility Images > bootloader > select the boot type you want.

updating the EEProm manually, you can follow this
Raspberry Pi Documentation - Raspberry Pi Hardware

@CAProjects - Thanks, I missed your reply. … I will check this out (which is what I thought I had followed!)

Dear @CAProjects and friends. I can not update the BOOTLOADER following automatic or maual processes. …

I thought I understood where I was “at” with my pi-top … but now may have generic rpi type issues wrt to my configuration - which is a pi-top with a pi-top screen and keyboard, booting from a USB SSD (Samsung 1 Tb T5) with another Samsumg T5 hung off the other USB port as a backup file system. … see the lsblk -l screenshot attached

Note that I have /recovery and /boot partitions (unlike others??). Is this an issue?

I can use sudo raspi-config to change the release to stable or critical … see the next two screen shots …

BUT, However, comma … despite reboots etc etc … no matter which option, I am “stuck” on the 29 APR 2021 BOOTLOADER, not the 25 JAN 2022 version.

The beast runs fine, but this is a little frustrating and should be covered by an emoji of a child throwing toys out of the cot - but this gif describes my state of mind. 3f7703986cff4a74a0fbb8f62246fbf5

What am I doing wrong?. … indeed where am I booting the rpi from /boot or /recovery? How can I determine that really?

I can solve it by reinstalling the system from SD card - moving to SSD etc, but that fails to fix my learning. … Can someone help put the toys back in the cot please. … easy steps to avoid the tantrums.


Self sorted … changed BOOTFS from BOOTFS=/recovery to BOOTFS=/boot using

sudo nano /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update

… sorted - sort of … not sure how the system changes the BOOTFS itself??