External Storage For Raspberry Pi 4

I've been playing around with the pi 4 a lot recently, and am now running Manjaro ARM. I am very surprised at the stability of this distro on this little machine. It is great for web browsing, SSHing into my other Pis and machines. With the pi 4 currently overclocked as high as possible, it's running phenomenally. I was able to download torrents at over 9.5 MiB/S (on my 5GHz Wifi), directly to a 32GB Sandisk 3.0 flash drive. Much faster than the Wifi card on my HP laptop from 2016. I moved that flash drive to my pi 3 to transfer the folder, and plugged in a 500GB HDD in a Sabrent enclosure only to find it causes the system to hang. I thought it may be that the flash drive was formatted as exFAT, and the hard drive ext4. No change after formatting the drive to exFAT. I am aware that these cheap enclosures sold on Amazon are not too friendly with the pi4, especially while on 5GHz wifi. A few questions-

I wasn't able to find a guide to setting up Manjaro to boot from the SD card and run the OS from a USB drive after booting. Would it be the same set up as Raspbian? I know it's possible because I've seen people mentioning it here on the Manjaro forums.

Would I see similar results running the US on an external SSD, with a high quality, high speed USB 3.0 flash drive? Does anyone have any suggestions for drives (budget friendly, please) that play nice with the pi 4? I don't need a ton of storage. 128GB seems like it would be enough, just until I can transfer data to my OMV NAS.

I'd like to run out today to Best Buy or place an order on Amazon for an SSD or high quality flash drive to run the OS from.


I have set up Manjaro ARM xfce on a Raspberry Pi 4, using a 500GB WD Blue SSD.

I set it up using the same method as described for Raspbian on their forum, basically copying the filesystem to the SSD and pointing to the SSD in the cmdline.txt file in the /boot folder on the SD.

The main issue is related to compatibility of some of the SATA-USB 3 adapters used. Some work extremely slowly or not at all. The solution is to use the "quirks" parameter in the cmdline.txt file. This issue is fully described at:

The article includes a list of various adapters. Note that the problem is related to the adapter, not the SSD itself.

By the way, was the 500GB HDD that caused your system to hang externally powered? If not, it's possible that it took too much power from the USB port.

I think it's drawing too much power. The system hangs completely during some functions, and runs smooth during others. If I am torrenting directly to the disk more than 1 file, it hangs completely. If I am not writing anything to the disk, the system can read from it just fine. I need to figure out which adapter will work best with the pi for an ssd. thanks.

Have a Crucial MX 500 coming from Amazon in the morning. With a known working adapter from that post above. Will post an update.

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