Recently got a Raspberry Pi 4, and want to configure it to boot from a SSD I have.

I am new to linux, so I may not be doing this right, but I have followed instructions on several guides I found online (such as this one) and tried to read a bit about it.

In the last attempt, when I removed the SD card and rebooted using SSD, it said Missing/empty 'fixup4rc.dat' and recovered4.elf: is not compatible USB-MSD boot requires newer software.

These are the steps I did in my final attempt after re-installing noobs on the Raspberry Pi.

I updated the OS using:

sudo apt update   
sudo apt full-upgrade   
  • Then I edited /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update** and changed the release status to "stable".
  • I downloaded the latest version of the bootloader.
  • Deleted partitions on the SSD and created a new one (ext4)
  • Used the SD card copier to copy the SD card to the drive
  • Copied all the .dat and .elf files** from pi to SSD boot folder
  • Shut down Pi, removed SD, and rebooted with only SSD

I would like to ask for steps to correctly format SSD, and to know if there are any details I should be paying attention to.

If it's not too much trouble, I would also like to know how to format the SSD, since I can no longer see it on windows when I plug it in, and the Pi deleted some of the partitions, and wont delete the others.

Thanks again for helping out.

  • 1
    If you are new one of the first things you should learn is not to follow random instructions you find on the internet. Follow official Foundation tutorials. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this, but it is suitable for advanced users and is using code that is still experimental. If you do follow some instructions DON'T just say you "followed" - list IN DETAIL what YOU actually did. PS DON"T post pictures of text post TEXT
    – Milliways
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 7:53
  • 2
    Please don't just post a link to the tutorial, describe what you did. If you did something wrong, we will never know. Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 7:54
  • It's clear you didn't read the instructions in the one link you provided ... Note that NOOBS, which has a recovery partition, doesn't work for this (you need plain Raspberry Pi OS) - you clearly have NOOBS (the recovery4.elf is what gave it away) - follow ALL instructions, to the letter ... don't skip reading a single sentence, and you too can boot from SSB Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 9:44
  • That's true.. i am using NOOBS.. so if i download the latest image of raspian from raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-os and put that image on the SSD (after cleaning it up) would it work? I am new to this, and am in need of advice from people with more experience with pi.
    – bookish303
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 15:22
  • If you want to completely reset a drive to defaults, open command prompt, type diskpart, press yes to UAC. Once you have diskpart open, type list disk. It will list a couple of disks connected to Windows. Select a disk by running select disk #, where # is the disk number that list disk gave you. If your SSD is disk 3, type select disk 3. Then type list disk. Make sure that the disk you want to reset has the * next to it's listing. Do it 3 times to check. Then run the command clean. Sometimes, it might fail. Keep running clean until the command reports success... Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


September 2020 UPDATE: You can now use raspi-config program to setup USB boot. No need to do it manually. See this guide

I think you either misread or are a bit confused about the process.

You cannot use a NOOBS to setup a Rpi to boot from an SSD via a USB adapter.

Step -1 Just start from scratch. Format your SD card and your SSD. Download the pure Rpi OS IMG files from here. And then flash the same Rpi OS IMG file twice, once to your SD card, and once to your SSD - using one of the recommended flashing tools for your OS, ie windows.

Step 0 is making sure your adapter is good for what you're trying to do: boot from SSD via USB. There's a few USB Adapter that don't work. See here under Known Working Adapters

Step 1 - Again, DO NOT use NOOBS for this. Flash the RaspiOS lite or full image directly on to the SD card, and only from there follow the instructions to logon to the Rpi, do the OD updates, and then update the Rpi EEPROM (internal/board memory) to prepare it for USB/SSD boot.

Step 2 - Follow up-to-date instructions, ideally from Rpi Fundation. I, however, followed this guy's video guide which was the most up-to-date one I could find. And you can also try to follow along on the posted blog here which is pretty easy to follow.

Step 3 Profit? Good luck!

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