my pi is a model B of the first generation (256Mb ram), it has been used as media server (mostly samba and transmission-daemon) with the default raspbian image (constantly updated) for more than one year without problems.

Recently the sd with the OS has been damaged, the plastic case it's broken and it's impossible to read it in any card reader so when i reinstalled the system from scratch instead of replicate the same situation with another card another new road has been explored, i've installed the system on a usb stick using Berryboot.

The problem is that now when i start using transmission-daemon the pi freeze itself without showing any error or something

I tried to connect the usb with the OS directly to the pi or to the powered hub but nothing changed.

A strange thing is that now the memory usage is very low, i always have around 100Mb of free ram (without transmission-daemon of course) while in the old set-up the ram usage was always very high.

I don't think that is a power supply problem because in the old set-up everything word sharp (now that there is one more usb stick , can it make a big difference ?).

Maybe i miss some configuration or something but i don't know where to look, playing in /etc/sysctl.conf with vm.min_free_kbytes or in commandline.txt with smsc95xx.turbo_mode=N doesn't change anything.

can berryboot been related in some way ?

Addendum: a strange thing that i notice is that when installed with berryboot omxplayer seems to work with a 32Mb ram for the GPU only, while with the normal sd card installation if i try to do so he tells that he needs at least 64Mb for the GPU. Maybe there are some settings that are not considered/overwritten in some situations that make the whole system to not work as expected ?

  • I had a cheap 32gb USB stick that would consume too much power when the Pi was powered by a specific source and work fine otherwise.
    – rob
    Sep 9, 2014 at 15:09
  • Well if you replicated the same setup on a different boot system, you could expect maybe some differences in support provided from the system, i.e. if i was to implement a monitoring system on a raspbian image then attempt to setup the same on an arch linux installation i would probably have to include more dependicies to support the desired setup. Or the kernel could be having panics (freeze up errors)
    – Pariah
    Sep 9, 2014 at 16:02
  • @rob i made a test disconnecting the ubs hard drive that i use to store the data connecting the OS usb stick in the external-powered usb hub alone and the same issue happened
    – bn89
    Sep 9, 2014 at 18:41
  • @Pariah in term of setup i was only speaking on the fact that the os previously was installed in the sd card and now is on the usb stick, all the software is the same (expect for the se of bootberry) and just installed from the regulars raspbian repositories
    – bn89
    Sep 9, 2014 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


I just realised it was due to the os being on your USB (facepalm), the key to your problem is how the RPI accesses and uses the data stored on a USB and SD card, the main reason why the SD card is used over a USB is due to the higher speeds information is passed at and how it has more data pins than a USB:

SD: https://www.sdcard.org/developers/overview/speed_class/ http://pinouts.ru/Memory/sdcard_pinout.shtml


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml

RPI board uses: http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoardVerifiedPeripherals

The point I'm trying to get to is that while sd cards corrupt easier than a usb, their number of data pins and polling speed is far greater and faster than a usb, and in the getting started with the raspberry pi a simple but important note is that an sd class higher than 3-4 is required for smooth operation on the raspberry pi (I usually use class 10) but as noted in the book if any class lower than 3 is used expect the RPI to lag, or not function as desired.

Hope this helps mate

  • @ Pariah if i had understood correctly you answer the sd card is more responsive then the usb and that anyway a good sd is needed to run smoothly right ? The same issue is also present in a minor way installing the OS on another usb stick (maybe a better one) the system still become slow and unresponsive but it doesn't freeze completely, this may indeed spoil that the problem is the speed of the OS usb. Still this appear strange because in principle i didn't expect a lot of data traffic to/from the OS usb since all the data are stored in a different usb drive. Anyway the new sd setup work fine
    – bn89
    Sep 12, 2014 at 9:23
  • Yep thats exactly right sorry if i seemed a bit off in my answer, its just because of how the hardware is actually set up on the board which makes using an os on the usb unviable compared to using an sd card
    – Pariah
    Sep 12, 2014 at 9:43

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