Raspberry Pi Run from USB

What  a day…   I decided this morning that I would run my Raspberry Pi (well one of them anyway) from USB for the following reasons: I have lots of tiny microSD cards and lots of USB sticks or USB adaptors for full size SD cards.

And that’s all fine and good – but the instructions out there can be confusing.


Followed this no problem – putting a copy of everything onto a USB stick (aside from references to SDA2 which in my case turned out to be SD1).

All that remained was to make the boot disk (microSD). I had some 512Meg and smaller cards so I formatted one as FAT32 using SD formatter on the PC.  Some kind fellow provided a copy of his boot files which I promptly put onto the SD card – plugged it in and…

Nothing – it took me a little while to twig that this would be for the ORIGINAL RASPBERRRY PI, not the Pi2. SO I mounted my backup microSD, rebooted the Pi, copied the files from BOOT to the new SD, put THAT in the Pi and tried again.

Success… but for a complaint from the PI that required a CONTROL_D to continue. Did that – and I was in action – it turns out that you have to tell etc/fstab about the new USB drive as well.


So now I have a fully working system on SD but for a minor niggle. When the Pi boots up it complains that:

Mount point /boot does not exist… and sure enough when you look at the file system in WINSCP – there is no boot directory – I’m guessing because I’m looking at the USB stick…..

Don’t get me wrong – everything works – but it would be really nice to clear up that bootup error message – anyone know what to do? 


5 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Run from USB

  1. Hi Pete

    You finally gave up with the USB flash drive ?
    I was wondering to go to flash drive too but apparently you were unhappy with it.

    1. Ok, so using Berryboot you can start up with the Flash drive (you only need 256 MEG if that) and then continue onto hard drive. No, I don’t fancy my kit packing in after a few months so I tend only to use the flash drives and uSD for setup and for experimenting. I found on EBAY someone doing a 40 GIg 2.5″ traditional drive for £15…

      1. So spinning HDD ? I see some Hitchi Travelstar 40GB around $11 + USB-to-IDE adapter
        You found it to be really more reliable over time ?


    1. That did solve the issue Andy – thanks – in the end I went back to one microSD as I had so MANY problems with the USB sticks and failing sectors…

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