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I have spent well over 2 hours on trying to boot my Pi 3B with USB. From what I have understood, as long as the program_usb_boot_mode is set to 1 you can simply plug in the USB and boot. However, in my case, nothing happens. I have a seagate 4TB expansion HDD with its own power supply. When I plug it in and start the Pi, the HDD "boots up" and I see the blue power light. After about 5-10 seconds, the HDD shuts down and nothing happens. Anyone know what the problem is?

PS: vcgencmd top_dump | grep 17 gives 302000 etc (correct output)

  • program_usb_boot_mode only needs to be present on the SD card you are using to "flip the bit" and reprogram the R-Pi to look for USB devices at boot. I've found the uppermost USB ports to be more willing to boot and the OS has to be very recent and (I believe) Raspbian. – Andy Anderson Nov 27 '18 at 21:18
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It is known that the Raspberry Pi 3B have problems with booting from an USB drive. That was one of the main reasons the foundation have released the Raspberry Pi 3B+ with fixed and improved booting from USB. The problems are documented at Raspberry Pi boot modes:

For the original Raspberry Pi and the Raspberry Pi 2 (based on the BCM2835 and BCM2836 devices), and in situations where the Pi 3 fails to boot, there is a new method of booting from one of the new boot modes (MSD or ethernet).

You should try Special bootcode.bin-only boot mode and if necessary create the file timeout.

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