A very exciting start to my week… my new (first ever in my case) portable Solid State Drive just arrived for my Raspberry Pi 4 – BlitzWolf® BW-PSSD1 SSD 256GB USB 3.1 Gen 1 High Speed Hard Drive with Type-C
According to Royal Mail the unit came from Online Retailer SWTL – but to the rest of us, from BANGGOOD.
I was expecting some unassuming package – instead a spiffy trademark-style Blitzwolf box and inside… a beautiful drive complete with USBC to USB3 adaptor – and a normal USBC lead as well.
And here it is…
If you are wondering since when did the Raspberry Pi 4 get USB boot capability – check out this blog entry – this SSD works with all variations of RPi4 from 2GB to 8GB. And no, it is probably not worth the cost or bother on the Raspberry Pi 3 (USB 2 only hence a lot slower) unless you are really looking for any performance boost you can get.
I have NO idea why the adaptor is USB3 FEMALE so that’s out – I guess I’m using the lead on my 2GB Raspberry Pi 4.. and here is a screen-copy of my first clean CLONE using RPI-CLONE, already tested on USB sticks and SD-in-a-USB-adaptor arrangements in preparation for my SSD arriving. Read elsewhere and you’ll see the challenges I had getting USB boot on the Pi4, resolved JUST in time for this Blitzwolf 256GB SSD drive to arrive.
Starting the clone:
sudo rpi-clone -f -U sda
Personally I have that down to a bash function – one word “cclone” with a normal clone having only one “c”.
That CLEAN clone (including partitioning) took a STUNNINGLY short 8 minutes. Until now it has ALWAYS taken a long time for a clean clone – like half an hour normally with an SD in a USB3 adaptor – but not with this new SSD.
Did it work? Wheeeeeee. That’s the fastest start of a Raspberry Pi EVER. Just a few seconds and it’s UP. I’m excited. Remember when I say clean clone I mean including partitioning the destination. This is NOT a fresh RPI source installation, it’s the one we’ve been experimenting with using HASS, Node-Red and the Zigbee2MQTT dongle – and it all just WORKS on the new SSD.
The next challenge… given an SSD in SDA running the show and an SD-in-USB sitting there as a potential clone in the OTHER USB3 socket, how do I ensure the Pi boots off the right one.
Meanwhile – a test – a normal clone from my spiffy new SSD to an SD (can’t leave the latter in the socket). No surprises there as the SD is the limiting factor – but it works. Beware this is not one of your £25 cheapo SSD drives – £55 so depending on your budget and requirements, it might do well or be overkill.
For my main home control I need a good brand name but I have several RPIs of less importance so I’ll keep checking now I know SSD will work on the Pi4.
As for the speed of the actial USB3 connection – it seems I have the faster UAS connection – see this for UAS versus BOT – if anyone has any new information on this – comments below please. In the photo below you are looking at firstly the USB2 adaptor powering the SSD in my RPI4 here in Spain – the second entry is the 4-port hub in the Pi itself.
Comments more than welcome!