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How to Boot Raspberry Pi 4 From a USB SSD or Flash Drive

 By default, Raspberry Pi boots up and shops all of its systems on a microSD reminiscence card, which has a most theoretical bandwidth of 50 MBps at the Raspberry Pi 4 and simply 25 MBps on prior fashions. In real-life, even the best possible microSD playing cards for Raspberry Pi get no quicker than about 38 MBps in sequential writes.  Using an exterior SSD as your primary garage force may just velocity issues up considerably and, with a couple of instructions and an easy firmware replace, you’ll do exactly that.  

In our real-life assessments of a Raspberry Pi 4 with SSD remaining 12 months we were given spectacular efficiency with sequential switch charges as top as 140 MB / 208 MBps for studying and writing. You too can use an ordinary USB flash force, even though we discovered the efficiency worse than a microSD card on many duties.

Update (9/2): We have up to date this how-to to turn the brand new, more straightforward strategy to boot your Raspberry Pi from USB.

 How to Boot Raspberry Pi 4 from USB

If you need first of all a contemporary set up of Raspberry Pi OS, merely practice the directions in our educational on find out how to arrange Raspberry Pi or find out how to do a Raspberry Pi headless set up after which skip forward to step 6. The newest variations of Raspberry Pi OS (as of Aug 20 or later) have most of the vital adjustments integrated.

1. Boot from an ordinary microSD card with the newest Raspberry Pi OS on it. 

2. Update your OS  and firmware through typing:

sudo apt replace
sudo apt full-upgrade
sudo rpi-update

3.  Reboot the Raspberry Pi

4. Install the newest bootloader through typing

sudo rpi-eeprom-update -d -a

5. Reboot the Raspberry Pi once more.

6. Launch raspi-config

sudo raspi-config

7. Select Boot Options (merchandise 3) and press Enter.

Select Boot Optoins

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8. Select Boot ROM Version and press Enter.

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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9. Select Latest and then Ok.

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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10.   Select No to make use of the newest boot ROM. This will cause the Raspberry Pi to finish a sequence of in the back of the scenes configuration steps. Press Ok to near the following conversation. 

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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11.   Select Boot Order and press Enter.  

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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12. Select USB Boot and click on Ok. Note that if there’s a bootable micro SD card inserted, the Raspberry Pi will boot the usage of that. Press Ok to near the following conversation. 

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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13.   Select Finish and when requested to reboot make a selection No.  

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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14.  Launch SD Card Copier from the Accessories phase of the beginning menu. Ensure that your SSD or Flash force is hooked up to the Raspberry Pi the usage of a USB 3 port. 

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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 15. Select the Copy From Device (micro SD card), and the Copy To Device (the SSD). Double take a look at that the proper drives are decided on and click on Start to replicate the information throughout. The procedure must take round ten mins to finish. 

Raspberry Pi 4 USB Booting: Copying Your Card

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16. Shut down the Raspberry Pi.

17. Remove the microSD card.

18. Power up the Raspberry Pi and it is going to boot from the USB SSD or Flash force.

Boot Raspberry Pi from USB

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Keep in thoughts that, in case you are the usage of an exterior force that saps numerous energy from the bus, you might have problems (which it is advisable to almost definitely clear up through the usage of a force that has its personal energy supply or through the usage of a powered USB hub).  

For instance, we had issues the usage of a bus-powered, exterior Kingston HyperX SSD, which booted however — possibly on account of how a lot energy it was once the usage of — none of our peripherals would paintings. A SATA SSD in a externally powered dock labored advantageous as did a USB Flash force.