I run Bitcoin on my raspberry pi 3. I have been storing the blockchain on a 128 GB USB SSD drive:


The performance has been great and I've never had any problems. However, the blockchain recently grew too large so I bought the exact same type of drive, just bigger: 512 GB. And now the computer is embarrassingly slow. Operations that take seconds when the drive was small are taking all day now.

The system itself is still running/booting from a 16GB SD card and that hasn't changed.

I've even run hdparm tests on both USB drives-- and the bigger drive is faster!!

Both USB drives were formatted FAT/Master Boot Record on my OSX machine. I've tried copying the 128 GB of data over to the new drive, and I've also tried starting with the 512 GB drive totally empty. I've even tried using a better power supply. I'm totally stumped. What on earth could possibly be slowing down the processor?!

I also am having trouble making partitions and even formatting this drive. However, when I attach the drive my OSX machine I can format it and use it and it works FINE.

1 Answer 1


Your Amazon link has a significant number of reviews that basically says "my drive died".

What I'd try to do first would be to run fsck on the drive again. Make sure to unmount the drive beforehand.

sudo fsck /dev/xxxN, where xxx is the device and N is the affected partition number. Do NOT run it for the whole device (i.e. do not run sudo fsck /dev/xxx).

If it's still the same, I suggest having the drive RMA'd.

As for the slow performance, I presume the OS is trying to write to the drive, but it can't, therefore blocking some operations.

  • This was the most helpful comment, so bounty. However I still can not get a large SSD to run smoothly on the pi. I'm on my second brand: amazon.com/PNY-Elite-480GB-Portable-Solid/dp/B01GQPXB3U/r and I'm going to try a variety of volume formats but so far nothing works as well as the original 128GB drive
    – pinhead
    Jan 27, 2017 at 17:10
  • @pinhead In my opinion, it's a game of chance. The very first SSD I bought a few years ago broke down in days. I didn't know what to do (since it was my first). I had it replaced under warranty. It was a manufacturing defect. What are the odds?
    – Aloha
    Jan 28, 2017 at 1:47

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