I have a number of RPI3 Model B's that I have set up to boot from USB sticks. Initially, they all booted successfully. Some of them have stopped booting after a (variable) period of time. If I replace the USB stick, they boot again; and sometimes stop booting again.

I initially thought it might be problem with the USB sticks.

Now I wonder if some RPI3Bs are doing something to the USB stick's boot sector (or whatever they have in lieu of a boot sector).

At first I was only using Raspbian, but the same has now happened with OCCU. Both OSes boot into a FAT partition before transferring control to a second Linux partition.

If I take the non-booting USB stick out of the RPI3B and plug it into my Mac, I can see the FAT partition. At a superficial level, the FAT partition looks OK, but I don't know what I should be looking for.

Does anyone have any insights into what the problem might be?


  • you need to look at the other partition(s) for problems – Jaromanda X Jun 1 at 0:05
  • How do you boot from an USB stick? It is known that Raspberry Pis 3B are unstable with booting from USB devices. – Ingo Jun 1 at 19:08

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