How to boot Raspberry Pi 3 from USB Storage


This tutorial quickly explains how to boot raspberry pi 3 from a USB storage such as flash drive or USB Hard disk. I ended up recording this a few times cause I felt the previous recordings was too long to explain such a quick process. Thanks for the view!

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  1. i feel like i should start some sort of two minute Tuesdays or something.
    Follow me on Twitter: https ://

  2. I use my Pi 4 as a Ubuntu desktop as well as for geeking with Raspbian is it possible to duel boot with the disk? At present I switch between sd cards and occasional lose them between slot and case. Yes I know I should be more careful.

  3. Is there perhaps any possibility to have a multiboot with Windows 10Arm, Lineageos, and Raspbian? I just have managed to have them working – more the less – separately on three different SD-cards and/or USB devices, but i'd love to have them as multiboot on one USB device (External HDD). Don't ask me why I like to have so much work to have that done, and the purpose on the moment for having it is unknown.. I think the main reason is lazyness 😀 and handyness to have it on one device instead of a bunch SD-Cards which I always loose everywhere even if I have some nice tiny storage boxes.

  4. Rumor has it that the BRAND NEW Pi 4B has USB booting built in, without anything needed to do other than to create the drive, plug it in, and fire it up! Haven't found any "absolute confirmation" of this as yet, though…but if so…I'm getting one. Or two. Or….well…uhmmm…you know how this is gonna go…let's be honest. d=^)

  5. It's even easier than you think! The latest version of Raspbian has a facility to copy your SD drive. If you plug a USB hard drive in and boot to Raspbian, you can use that tool to copy your SD drive image to a hard drive or SSD. I know because I did it and it works just fine. In fact, the tool automatically adjusts to extend the file system to the full size of the target drive. When you're done with the procedure shut down your raspberry pi leaving the hard drive plugged in, remove the SD card and restart the raspberry pi.

  6. Okay I was able to follow the instructions and got everything to boot up properly and shortly after rebooting the pi with just the external 1tb hard drive it crashed. I decided just to go back to using an sd card that I previously used and I kept getting error messages repeating during boot. I reformatted the sd and burned the image again and the same thing happened. I tried three different cards that are brand new and are still getting the same errors. Can you please tell me how to fix this glitch because as of now my raspberry pi 3+ is pretty much useless. I just want to resolve the issue so a step by step tutorial would be awesome.

  7. i have new raspberry pi 3 b and old laptop hdd 2 pcs 60gb hdd, what hardware i need orden can use hdd to raspi ?

    all 10 pcs sandisk 32gb sd card what i orden and try use,installing noob,raspbian,etc other image say boot error not can use card, better i think use HDD. only one old 16gb sd card working noobs/rasbian image.

  8. Hi,
    i have Raspi 3B+ and i did what you told to do on this video. Got the Success can boot from Hard Drive but it is not allowing me to create any file or folder and it comes with error of (Read only file system). can you please guide me on this.
    thank you.

  9. Totally useless video, all you are doing is telling us it can be done but not exactly how
    you leave the important details out.

  10. you need a little sd card. insert sd card with berryboot and boot berryboot from sd card and enable usb boot by changing program_usb_boot_mode=1 enabadvanced/config.txt save reboot and your raspberry pi boot from usb will be activated. remove sd card. insert etcher made raspbian bootable usb drive and enjoy.

  11. I am somewhat lost on this. I originally went to a usb flash and only put boot code on my 4gb SD so the flash would boot. That worked but I am trying to test with an SSD instead to test a weak performance issue. I have to put the full OS on the SD also to get the pi to perform the modification? And I see that even though the OS download is 1.7gb etcher only puts a boot partition of 43mb and then only uses half of that. The rest seems to be free. How is that? The first time I looked at it with explorer I wondered where is the OS? It did work with that on the flash so apparently it is properly done. I guess that means my 4gb SD will fit the whole OS just fine. Thanks for any help.

  12. Good video, just what I needed lol for the people that say this tutorial is way too short, try another tutorial? Don't criticize someone's work because the tutorial didn't fit your needs.

  13. To all those asking if you can boot from sd after this, or saying it is a one way thing that cannot be undone (which is true), you can ALWAYS boot from sd card and in fact sd card always has boot priority so even if you still have an hdd plugged in and insert an sd card, your pi will boot from it instead of the hard disk

  14. Great video, easy to follow. One small point, you said "There's not much I can beat the bush". I had visions of you hitting a tree! The phrase should be "beat around the bush". If you say to someone "You'll like him, he doesn't beat around the bush" it means he doesn't waste time with unnecessary words or actions.

  15. I keep getting a blank white screen in spite of formatting and loading OS several times. What possible reasons could be the reason and how do i rectify it?

  16. Don – I'm a little late to this video 🙂 Question: What about speed difference between running raspbian from USB versus micro SD? Further, would those speed differences be the same if booting and running raspbian via PXE since networking goes through the same bus as USB on the Pi. Thanks a ton!


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