After running into space issues I decided to completely reinstall RetroPie to a SD card, and then go through the steps to run ROMs directly from the USB.

This meant I followed the following steps in the installation guide:

  1. Burn RetroPie 4.1 IMG using ApplePi-Baker.
  2. Setup a controller (iBuffalo SNES gamepad).
  3. Configure WiFi.

At this point I followed the automatic mount steps in the Running ROMs from a USB drive wiki entry:

  1. Update the Raspberry Pi setup scripts.
  2. Enable the USB ROM transfer service.
  3. Create a retropie-mount directory in the root of the USB (it was already formatted).
  4. Plug in the USB.

After a few minutes I shut down the Pi, pulled the USB drive, and plugged it into a computer. The following directories were created:

  1. BIOS
  2. retropiemenu
  3. roms
  4. splashscreens

I transferred over two directories containing roms and when I started the Pi back up, after inserting the USB drive, I found that only the two emulators were displaying as an option; I no longer had the standard RetroPie item.

If I pull the USB drive out and start the Pi I see the RetroPie menu only, while if I move the roms out and plug in the USB I get kicked back to the command line after I'm told EmulationStation can't find any systems.

At this point I'm not sure how to proceed to get the missing items back, or if this is the expected behavior.


1 Answer 1


Thanks to a Reddit post, I ended up figuring this out.

First, start the Raspberry Pi without the USB drive plugged in.

Next connect into the Raspberry Pi (assuming SSH or Samba are setup). I had both setup, but for whatever reason I couldn't connect to the Samba share (possibly because the USB drive wasn't plugged in?).

So on a Mac I used scp to download the directory I needed to put onto my USB drive. Running from ~/Downloads/retropie (locally).

scp -r [email protected]:RetroPie/retropiemenu .

This could then be copied over to the USB drive in the retropie-mount/retropiemenu directory.

Eject the drive, shut down the Pi, plug the USB drive into it, and then start it back up. The RetroPie menu is now restored.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.