Best Working SSD / Storage Adapters for Raspberry Pi 4 / 400

Storage Adapter Guide
Storage Adapter Guide

To this day it can still be treacherous to buy a storage adapter for your Raspberry Pi 4. There are many that will not work properly and perform very poorly.

I’ve covered which adapters work and don’t work in my Native USB Booting Guide as well as my old “workaround” SD + SSD method guide and over the years people have submitted hundreds of comments about which adapters do and don’t work.

From everything we’ve learned together in the comments and adapters I personally own/use I wanted to compile this information into a new “Best Storage Adapters for Raspberry Pi 4” list. Let’s get started!

How to choose a Pi SSD storage solution

There are a few different considerations and tradeoffs you need to weigh when you’re choosing a storage adapter/enclosure as well as the drive itself. The main considerations are:

  • Specific project requirements
  • Power
  • Performance
  • Budget

The easiest place to start is with your specific project requirements. Is this Pi going to be somewhere where you are okay with having an extra adapter/enclosure and SSD laying around? If you’re going to be using the Pi in something like a drone/vehicle then you may want to go with a USB thumbdrive style ultracompact SSD that plugs directly into a USB port and has no wires or adapters/enclosures. There are also lots of cases available specifically for the Pi that add an additional storage slot (such as M.2 SATA, the older m-SATA style, etc.) to the Pi that may work better with a tightly integrated build.

How much power is going to be available? Is your Pi going to be running off a battery where you want to use as little energy as possible? Do you have AC outlets around? Are you willing to add a powered USB hub to your setup? If your Pi is going to be sitting in a corner in the basement / a closet / some place like that then you can plan to have a powered USB hub and plentiful reliable power around. The lowest power options are going to be 2.5″ SATA drives WITHOUT an enclosure (using just an adapter instead with the drive laying in the open). I have never over years of usage used a powered USB hub with a 2.5″ SATA adapter but many enclosures won’t even boot without one.

What level of performance do you require? If your Pi is going to be running a server or hosting a database then you need a drive that has high random I/O performance as well as large throughput. Performance has a cost though both in power and budget. The highest performance NVMe drives are the most expensive and the NVMe enclosures are the most power hungry class of storage adapters and almost universally require a powered USB hub to be integrated into your setup but we’ll cover this more later in the “Power Requirements” section.

And finally what type of budget do you have? If you are looking to save money you may be wanting to reuse an old SSD or get one used for very cheap. NVMe is the most expensive and 2.5″ SATA / mSATA SSDs are the cheaper options. Places like eBay can be a great source of very cheap drives as well.

The bottom line is choose the type of solution that meets your project’s needs and your budget!

Top Performing Drives


This is the top performing (and most expensive) drive class! They require more power than other types of drives and the NVMe enclosures often bump the requirements up to potentially requiring a powered USB hub to boot (especially with an enclosure). See the “Power Requirements” section below for more information.

Samsung 980 Pro 2TB NVMe SSD
Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSD

The Samsung 980 Pro (NVMe) is a professional grade SSD and one of the fastest in the world. The Samsung NVMe drives have been at the top of this category for a long time and are well trusted for both their performance and reliability / long life.

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD
Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is a fantastic drive and has fallen in price substantially. It’s widely available around the world. The smaller capacities (such as the 250GB version) of this drive are perfect for the Pi! This is the top performance option without going into the “Pro” series of the lineup which are much more expensive.

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

KingSpec NVMe SSD
KingSpec 3D NAND M.2 NVMe SSD

The KingSpec 3D NAND M.2 NVMe drive is another very affordable choice that is widely available. It performs well and works great with the Pi!

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*


M.2 SATA does not have the transfer rates that M.2 NVMe does but they are quite a bit cheaper and still a fantastic choice for the Pi.

Kingston A400M M.2 SATA SSD
Kingston A400M M.2 SATA SSD

The Kingston A400M is a cheap and reliable M.2 SATA SSD that has over 170 benchmarks on It’s extremely cheap and may even be cheaper than the recommended 2.5″ SATA drives in some countries!

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Western Digital Green M.2 SATA SSD
Western Digital Green M.2 SATA SSD

The Western Digital Green M.2 SATA drive is the #26th most popular storage device overall on so it definitely works well and is very affordable. This is another great budget option that can often come in at a lower cost (depending on availability, country and other market factors) than 2.5″ SATA SSDs often do while having a much lower profile!

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*a*u*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

2.5″ SATA

2.5″ SATA drives are limited by the transfer speed of the SATA interface like the M.2 SATA drives. On the Raspberry Pi this is not as important as on desktop. This is usually the cheapest option and performance is still fantastic!

Kingston A400 SSD
Kingston A400 2.5″ SATA SSD

The Kingston A400 has been a great drive to use with the Pi for years. It’s reliable, widely available around the world, has low power requirements and performs very well. It’s also very affordable. This drive has been benchmarked over 1000 times at and is the #1 most popular SSD among the Pi community!

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Crucial BX500 SSD
Crucial BX500 2.5″ SATA SSD

The Crucial BX500 is another great choice for a drive to use with the Pi. It’s the 2nd most popular SSD benchmarked with over 840 benchmarks submitted. Low power requirements and widely available!


Western Digital Green SSD
Western Digital Green 2.5″ SATA SSD

The Western Digital Green 2.5″ SATA SSD is another option to investigate. Depending on your country and other market factors this may come in as the best deal. It’s a solid performer and commonly shows up on the storage benchmark.

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

XRayDisk SSD
XRayDisk SSD

The XrayDisk SSD is popular worldwide and available relatively inexpensively from AliExpress

Links: AliExpress*


Portable SSDs are ones that are designed to be used through USB and aren’t meant to be installed internally. The nice thing about these is they do not require a storage adapter. They are also extremely fast. The ones recommended here will beat 2.5″ SATA drives on the performance benchmarks since internally they are usually M.2 SSDs inside a fancy outer shell. They’re usually more expensive than internal drives but not quite as expensive as the top performing internal NVMe drives. Tends to be cleaner than a adapter/enclosure setup but not as clean as the ultracompact setup.

Samsung T5 Portable
Samsung T5 Portable SSD

The Samsung T5 Portable is one of the most popular USB SSDs for the Raspberry Pi with over 350 unique benchmarks. It’s also one of the fastest with an average score of over 8300 points! No storage adapter required for this one, it is a USB based drive and will plug right in.

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

SanDisk Extreme Portable
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable is a very small portable SSD that can easily be put on a keychain or a loop with the built in notch. It’s also very fast with an average score of over 8,000. The drive has been tested over 147 times making it one of the more popular ones to use with the Raspberry Pi.

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Ultra Compact

The cleanest possible setup option. The drive will only plug into your USB port and stay there taking up no extra footprint and adding no extra cables. These recommendations are both actually faster than 2.5″ SATA drives (internally they are M.2 NVMe drives and they perform at that level). You pay a premium for this option vs. something like a 2.5″ SATA setup but lower capacities are much more affordable.

Orico GV100
Orico GV100 NVMe SSD

The Orico GV100 is a portable NVMe usb-stick style drive. It’s extremely fast due to actually being a true NVMe drive in a very compact form. This is an excellent choice if you are building a setup that has very limited space or having a dangling adapter/enclosure would be problematic.

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

SanDisk Extreme Pro USB SSD
SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Pro USB SSD is a true solid state drive. This is different than a typical “flash drive” which uses extremely cheap memory and has very low random I/O performance/throughput compared to a real solid state drive. I’ve used both the USB 3.1 and USB 3.2 variants with the Pi successfully and they benchmark very well!

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Recommended Adapters / Enclosures

M.2 NVMe

ICY BOX NVMe Enclosure
ICY BOX M.2 NVMe Enclosure

The ICY BOX is basically a giant heatsink that you mount a high performance M.2 NVMe drive inside of. This enclosure is really fast but requires a powered USB hub. Not even the 3.5A adapter can reliably power it! The enclosure works well and will physically feel warm to the touch as it is pulling the heat off your NVMe drive!


ASUS ROG Strix NVMe Enclosure
ASUS ROG Strix M.2 NVMe Enclosure

If you really want to take things over the top the ASUS Rog Strix M.2 NVMe enclosure uses the latest USB 3.2 Gen2 specification, is RGB capable and works with the Pi! Unsurprisingly, adding the extra lighting does take extra power! A powered USB hub is also required for this enclosure. More widely available than the ICY BOX but tends to be on the expensive side.

Links:*, AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*


UGREEN M+B M.2 SATA Enclosure
UGREEN M+B Key M.2 Enclosure

The UGREEN M+B enclosure is a great enclosure for the Pi for M.2 SATA 2280 NGFF drives. It supports both B-key and M-key drives. Does not support newer NVMe drives. As with other types of enclosures it requires more power than other options!

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Argon ONE Pi 4 Case
Argon ONE Pi 4 M.2 Case

The Argon ONE M.2 is a M.2 SATA Pi 4 case / storage solution. With the case and M.2 SATA expansion board you can completely enclosure your Pi 4 and have a built in M.2 slot! The M.2 SATA board is sometimes sold separately from the case itself and can be used as well. Does not support NVMe, this is for SATA M.2 drives only!

Links:*, AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

2.5″ SATA

StarTech 2.5" SATA to USB 3.0/3.1 Adapter
StarTech 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.1 Adapter

The USB 3.1 variant of the StarTech 2.5″ SATA adapter works well with the Pi 4. The USB 3.0 variant doesn’t have firmware updates available and is not recommended.



mSATA adapters are getting less common but they are still incredibly useful. Lots of old laptops that came with SSDs have this older style from before the M.2 style slot existed and took over. Often these drives are still very fast and are available for very cheap since they use an obsolete connector that no longer comes on new motherboards. The VL716 isn’t a brand but is instead the name of the chipset that lots of these adapters use. This chipset works great with the Pi!

m-SATA Enclosure
VL716 mSATA Enclosure

The VL716 mSATA enclosure lets you connect micro SATA drives to the Pi. These drives are an older type of SSD (usually seen in laptops) predating the M.2 slot but are still widely available and perform extremely well!

Links: AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Power Requirements

Most types of adapters can be powered by the Pi itself. One notable exception is NVMe enclosures. Throughout the years we have had hundreds of comments from people who had no trouble powering 2.5″ SATA enclosures but couldn’t get a NVMe one to work at all without a powered USB hub.

Very large older 3.5″ SATA drives are known to require more power than the Pi can provide as well as some types of very high performance models that were designed to burn more power to get extra performance gains.

For solid state storage older models of solid state drives (SSDs) are also known to draw more power than their newer counterparts. If you have a drive that you think may fall into this category then definitely be on the lookout for power related issues and extra cautious about your power setup. High end “extreme” performance models also tend to draw more power (Samsung 970 NVMe drives* are some of the fastest in the world but also pretty power hungry for the Pi).

Insufficient Power Symptoms

Symptoms of a lack of power to the drive can include the system only booting sometimes (or not at all) or working for a while and then locking up. Just because the drive boots does not mean it is getting enough power. Some commenters on previous articles have described this as working fine until there was a sudden spike in CPU usage while they tried to do several things at once (high CPU, accessing storage, activating various hardware all at once) and then they would get a lockup/crash.

This is because the Pi is teetering on the edge of not having enough power and that spike caused it to drop enough where the drive actually lost power (likely only for tiny fractions of a second). This is enough instability to easily cause a crash and worse if it happened to be in the middle of writing something important! Usually nothing will happen other than you’ll have to restart the Pi but because of the risk of data loss and eventually corrupting files. That being said, if you’re particularly unlucky you will have to fsck the drive or potentially even reimage it if fsck is unable to repair the damage!

The best answer is to test for stability. Do this by stressing out the Pi and make sure you are doing activities that stress the CPU and storage at the same time like browsing the web, etc. and if you can do that for a few hours/days without a lockup/crash then you have a stable power setup!

Powered USB Hub Solution

For NVMe enclosures and power hungry drives I personally use this Sabrent powered USB hub and have been recommending it here on the blog for a long time:

Sabrent Powered USB Hub
Sabrent Powered USB 3.0 Hub

The Sabrent powered USB hub delivers a whopping 2.5A of dedicated power for your USB attached devices. This is almost as much as the Pi adapter itself is rated for (3.0A). It will easily power the most thirsty of setups such as NVMe enclosures.


Note: Make sure Amazon doesn’t try to take you to the non-powered version and that it’s the one with the AC adapter that plugs in to provide extra power

If this hub isn’t an option for you and you don’t have one already you can try with it then look in the reviews for people saying that it is working with Raspberry Pi. Some powered USB hubs will not play nice with the Pi so before buying one definitely check reviews and do some careful research about what to expect with the Raspberry Pi!

Oversized Power Adapter Solution

This solution will work for setups that are right on the border of having enough and not having enough power. An example would be if you can get a stable boot but are getting occasional lockups/freezes when the power dips just below the threshold it needs.

If you are using a powerful NVMe drive/enclosure combo like the ICY BOX with a high performance Samsung NVMe drive even with the extra 500 mA it will still not even boot. I have had these oversized adapters and they are great but for a very powerful drive/adapter combination you are going to need more than 500 mA.

It’s a lot less extra wires and one less AC plug though if you are right on the border and just need a little bit more. It will depend on your individual drive/adapter combo whether it’s enough or you will have to go full powered USB hub!

CanaKit 3.5A Power Adapter
CanaKit 3.5A Power Adapter

The CanaKit 3.5A adapter has an extra half an amp (500 mA) of capacity to give some breathing room to your accessories. This is bigger than the official Pi power supply which provides 3.0A.


Look for a USB-C power supply rated to supply around 3.5A. 3.0A or lower won’t do much good as that is almost certainly what you already are using. You can use a higher one (at your own risk). The largest one I’ve ever used is my Dell laptop’s 30W USB-C power adapter. It’s probably not a good idea to go too much bigger than this or to even use one this big over the long term (I didn’t, just for occasional testing and as a emergency backup) but USB-C does have some specification improvements related to power management that seem to provide some flexibility here.

Power Limits

The Pi can only pass through a limited amount of extra power. On the Pi 4 this is up to 1.2A of extra power for peripherals (combined) on top of the board’s 3.0A power rating. This is much more than the Pi 2 and some other previous models could do which was only around 0.5A. This also means that getting a power adapter bigger than about 4.2A of rated current is pointless because the Pi won’t allow any more power to flow through to the board to the peripherals through USB anyway even if it’s available.

I’m oversimplifying a little bit to illustrate the point but if you want the full technical details they are available here in the Raspberry Pi USB documentation. The important takeaway is that going much above 3.5-4.0A or so will not actually provide any more power to the Pi because of these limits. If you’ve hit this ceiling and it still isn’t enough you need to go powered USB hub.

I’ve also used ones that charge cell phones to power Pis before and these ones are the most likely to fall into a range close to what the Pi uses. Most of the ones I had around the house for phones were 2.5A (just barely not enough) or 3.0A so it was enough for a backup spare but not enough to provide extra power. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth it to check what you already have around and see if there are USB-C chargers around to test with!

Note that a powered USB hub essentially bypasses these limits because the power for your peripherals such as your USB storage will come from the AC adapter connection to the powered USB hub instead of the Pi having to provide that power.

Powered USB Hub Troubleshooting

Most hubs including the Sabrent one above can feed back power into the Pi which can cause it to not boot when the power is connected. The reason for this is that the Pi is detecting power and is trying to power on using that source but the current provided isn’t enough for the Pi to actually boot.

The solution to this is to remove the USB hub’s connection from your Pi momentarily and then connect the power. Plug your USB hub back in quickly after reconnecting the Pi’s power (if you have native USB booting set up) and unless you really fumble with reconnecting it you will have it plugged in well before it tries to boot from the SSD!

If this trick doesn’t work then unfortunately you may have a powered USB hub that is not going to work with the Pi. It’s worth checking to see if there are any firmware updates available for your USB hub before you give up on it as some readers have let me know in the comments of previous articles that they were able to get some hubs working after a firmware upgrade!

Full Storage Adapters Compatibility List

These lists are compiled from my two USB booting posts here and here.

Known Working Adapters

This is a compiled list of known working adapters built by myself from adapters I’ve purchased and commenters from ones they have purchased in this article and my newer guide that utilizes the new Raspberry Pi 4’s native bootloader for USB booting.

StarTech 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.1 Adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.1Verified working in comments (thanks Fredrick)
StarTech 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Verified working great by myself and others on Pi 4
Inateck FE2004 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Mirco reports that this enclosure is working but trim is not supported
Samsung 2.5″ SATA to USB 850 EVO Kit /w Adapter* (Alternate link*)2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 KitThis is a kit that comes with a drive and adapter. Rene confirms the adapter works including with non-Samsung drives.
CSL 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0The CSL SL adapter is confirmed to be working by Krikitt in the comments. Available in Europe. Not available in US.
UGREEN 2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1 Enclosure Drive Caddy*2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1Confirmed to be working by CAProjects in the comments. Available in both Europe and US
UGREEN 2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1 “Protect What You Love” Case* (AliExpress Listing* – Make sure to select USB-C 3.1)2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1Reported working by Michal in the comments, thanks!
UGREEN 2.5″ to USB 3.0 “SATA USB Converter” Adapter* (AliExpress Listing*)2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Also reported by Michal as working in the comments, thanks again!
UGREEN 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Adapter Cable with UASP Converter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0This adapter is reported to be working by Mirco in the comments
SABRENT 2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1 Type A Adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1 Type AThe new USB-C 3.1 Type A version of the Sabrent adapter is reported as working in the comments by UEF. DO NOT get the USB 3.0 version as that one is below on the naughty list and won’t work!
SABRENT 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Dual Bay Docking Station*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0One of very few Sabrent adapters/enclosures to work. Reported working well by William Grey in the comments. Has two bays!
AliExpress Generic 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 3 colors Hard Disk Case*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Reported as working with UASP support by pierro78 in the comments
Orico 2.5″ 2139C3-G2 2.5 inch USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps Transparent Enclosure*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.1 Gen 2 10GbpsMake absolutely sure it’s the 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 version. There is another one that looks identical that is a USB 3.1 Gen 2 6Gbps that will not work. Confirmed working by RRT in the comments.
ASUS ROG STRIX Arion Aluminum Alloy M.2 NVMe SSD External Portable Enclosure Case Adapter* – (AliExpress Listing*)M.2 NVMe (B+M Key) to USB/USB-C 3.2 Gen 2It’s bold. It’s beautiful. It’s also confirmed working by TADRACKET and Steve B.
However, be warned, it takes a *lot* of power!
Steve B. reports that even with the oversized 3.5A CanaKit adapter* it does not work. If you have the standard 3.0 adapter you can be practically certain it won’t power this enclosure.
Does work with a powered USB hub*.
ICY BOX M.2 NVMe (M Key) to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 Enclosure* (Alternate listing*)M.2 NVMe (B+M Key) to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2Returning legendary commentary Frank Meyer reports:
Does not work with a 3.0A power adapter (also reported by TTE). It’s not enough power for this enclosure.
Does work with a powered USB hub*.
TDBT M.2 NVMe (B+M Key) to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 Enclosure*M.2 NVMe (B+M Key) to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2Confirmed to be working well by WorkHard in the comments
AliExpress Generic M.2 NVMe (B+M Key) to USB 3.1 “M2 SSD Case NVME Enclosure”*M.2 NVMe (B+M Key) to USB 3.1 Type AConfirmed working by Jens Haase, thanks Jen!
SSK Aluminum M.2 NVMe (M Key) to USB 3.1 Gen 2 SSD Enclosure*M.2 NVMe (M Key) to USB 3.1 Gen 2Brian L reports this is working well with beta firmware upgrades, but that it did not work at all without them!
ORICO M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)* (AliExpress Listing*)M.2 NVME to USB 3.1 Gen 2M.Yusuf has given the first ever report of a working Orico adapter! Make sure it’s the USB 3.1 Gen 2 version that says “Support UASP for NVMe SSD”. This is the way.
DELOCK 42570 M.2 SATA (B Key) to USB Micro-B 3.1 Gen 2 SSD Enclosure*M.2 SATA (B Key) to USB Micro-B 3.1 Gen 2Andreas Franek reports that the enclosure works with a 3.0A power adapter (gets a little warm)
Shinestar M.2 NVMe (M Key) to USB 3.0 Adapter*M.2 NVMe (M Key) to USB 3.0This is the adapter I’m using in the picture at the top of the article. It is for NVMe M.2 drives only and is getting hard to find
UGREEN M.2 NVMe (B+M Key to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 SSD Enclosure*M.2 NVMe (B+M Key) to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2Confirmed working in comments by Chad D
UGREEN M.2 SATA (B+M Key) to USB 3.1 Enclosure*M.2 SATA (B+M Key) to USB 3.1 EnclosureReported as working well in the comments by John H. Reinhardt with a ASM1051E chipset
QNINE M.2 SATA (B Key) to USB 3.0 Enclosure*M.2 SATA (B Key) to USB 3.0I used this enclosure to benchmark M.2 SATA Lite-On and SanDisk drives — working great in 3.0 ports
Argon One M.2 SATA (B+M Key) Pi 4 Case*M.2 SATA (B+M Key) Pi 4 CaseThis case gives you a M.2 SATA port for your Raspberry Pi and is also a case! Confirmed working by Frank.
Tanbin mSATA to USB Adapter*mSATA to USB 3.0I used this mSATA to USB adapter for my Crucial M550 benchmark — working in 3.0 ports
Generic mSATA to USB 3.0 Adapter (fe2008)*mSATA to USB 3.1Confirmed working in comments by Nico
Canakit Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply (USB-C)*3.5A USB-C Power SupplyCanakit has been making very reliable power supplies for several Pi generations now. Using a 3.5A power supply will give enough extra power for your Pi to power the drive without causing instability
Simplecom SE502 M.2 SSD Adapter*M.2 SATA (B Key) to USB 3.0Quirks required, reported working by alan but only with quirks
Delock #61883 SATA to USB 3.0 Converter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Reported working well by Joerg_H
Vantec SATA/IDE TO USB 3.0 Adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Reported as working by JeffG but with an ugly messy appearance
Known Working Adapters

Known Problematic Adapters (Naughty List)

Here is a list of common USB adapters that are known to have problems with the Raspberry Pi 4. You can get some of these adapters working by using quirks mode (see the “Fix (some) USB Adapter Problems Using Quirks” section below).

FIDECO M207CPS USB3.2 to M2 NVME/SATA SSD Enclosure*M.2 NVME to USB 3.2 Gen 2Lee Myring reports that the FIDECO M207CPS has issues working with the Pi
UGREEN 30848 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Reporting as not working properly and disconnecting often by Mirco, thanks!
Sabrent USB 3.0 to 2.5″ SATA adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Only works in the USB 2.0 ports. Will not boot in a USB 3.0 port. I have two of these and can confirm they don’t work. RIP to Sabrent, our previous king of the Pi 3 era of adapters.
Sabrent USB 3.0 to 2.5″ SATA Tool-Free External Hard Drive Enclosure*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Another nonworking Sabrent adapter reported by Alex, thanks Alex!
ELUTENG 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Despite earlier reports as working Ryan and one other have reported this adapter does not work unless you enable quirks mode! Don’t make Ryan’s sacrifice in vain and avoid this one.
USB 3.0 to 2.5″ SATA III Hard Drive Adapter UASP Support-20cm, Black*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0reported by dzm in the comments as having very poor I/O performance
ORICO 2.5″ SATA to USB C 3.0 Enclosure (Transparent)*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Several commenters have stated the transparent ORICO is not working. Avoid!
ORICO 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Enclosure (Black) 2588US3-BKT*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Commenters report that the USB-C variant of the transparent ORICO enclosure also does not work
ORICO 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Enclosure (Black/White) 2520U3*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Reported as not working by by Richon in the comments
ORICO 2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 Enclosure (Transparent)*2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1 Gen 1Confirmed as not working by Andrea De Lunardi in the comments (thanks!)
ORICO 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.1 Gen 1 Enclosure (Silver) M2PF-C3-BK-EP*2.5″ SATA to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2Looks really similar to the ICY BOX. Confirmed not working by auanasgheps in the comments.
Vantec 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 USB Adapter with Case*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Does not work after hours of testing and frustration by Moshe Katz in the comments!
AliExpress Generic 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 “New USB 3.0 To 2.5in SATA 7+15Pin Hard Drive Adapter”*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Extremely cheap adapter from AliExpress — MADATALIEXPRESS bought 5 of them and none worked, PPCM had one working, very unreliable and slow when it does work, not recommended even if you get lucky!
EWENT USB 3.0 to SATA EW70172.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Does not work – reported by Wouter in the comments, thanks!
CableCreation USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter Compatible 2.5″ SATA III HDD Hard Disk Driver, 0.5FT, Black*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Morgon reports not working in the comments — I also recognize this adapter as the “fake” StarTech adapter that is sold on AliExpress, thanks Morgon!
JSAUX USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter, USB 3.0 to 2.5 Inch SATA III Hard Drives/SSD/HDD Adapter*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 Reported as not working by Bennie in the comments, thanks!
EZCast M.2 NVME SSD Enclosure Adapter*M.2 NVMe to USB 3.1 Gen2Reported as problematic due to duplicate USB ids — best to avoid — thanks MikeC
Sabrent 2.5″ Aluminum Enclosure*2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0Reported as not working by JeffG
Known Problematic Adapters

Verify Drive Performance

You can make sure everything is running correctly (and as fast as it should be) by running my quick storage benchmark. You can run the benchmark with the following one-liner:

sudo curl | sudo bash

This will give you a score you can compare to the other Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmark results and make sure that you are getting an equivalent speed to your peers with the same device.

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6 months ago

My SSD KINGSTON SA400M8/240G A400 240GB M.2 failed after a power loss that occurred after only 1.5 years of use. I can see that is no longer available.
I checked the WD Blue SA510 SATA SSD M.2 as an replacement option, but i saw a lot of negative reviews and also there are not many benchmarks available (The WD Blue™ SATA SSD M.2 2280 has been replaced and is not longer available).
I do not like the WD Green as it slower and with inferior characteristics.
I was thinking of wd red sa500 but is only available on 500gb and has a relative high power draw at write of 3,350mW.
I decided to go with Intenso Sata III Top SSD 256GB M.2 which seems to be popular and cheap but i couldn;t find any information available on power draw.
I also found available Samsung PM881 256GB M.2 but i couln;t find any power consumption either. Do you think Samsung would be more reliable?

I can see that M.2 SATA will no be available soon or later. So is there any NVME drive with low power consumption that would be compatible with raspberry?

I think also you should also remove Kingston A400M from recommendation list as it no longer available.

Can someone post (if knows) the power consumption for these ssd:
Samsung 860 Evo M.2 SSD 250GB M.2
Samsung T5 Portable

6 months ago

Hello there

While you all guys playing with ssds nvme and m2 storages im still on mechanical hdds with the WD500lplx the fastest 2.5″ black there is getting maximum speeds of 142mb/sec thats nothing compared to your “drives” but its way faster than the useless card reader its not only the speed but the access time that matters.but still to get a descent performance from a mechanical hdd you need a sata controller without uasp support otherwise it goes slow as hell,there are a few controllers with uasp that work good if you disable uasp with quirks like the Jms566/567 but in all others even if you disable uasp the performance is compared to an sdr12. Long live the HDD!!!

7 months ago

Hi James, hope you’re well!
This post is amazing and very informative.
I switched from my external samsung 1tb ssd (ugreen enclosure) to an old external 2tb 5200rpm mypassport HDD as I need more space*
I’m now planning to upgrade to an external 2tb ssd solution.

I’d like to purchase a solution that is small, doesn’t require powered usb-hubs and I can use on a future Pi.

I’m confused by the m.2 sata vs m.2 nvme combinations.
Am I getting it correctly that there are two m.2 kinds, sata and nvme?
And that m.2 nvme is power hungry on the pi4, but m.2 sata isn’t?
And when on the future pi5, it’ll likely support m.2 nvme BUT NOT sata m.2?
Lastly would a samsung t7 2tb ssd be faster than a m.2 sata on the Pi400?

To add to the confusion, I have the feeling that some descriptions on Amazon are not correct where they call all products nvme.

Thanks, have a great weekend mate

*this was painful to setup as I was uncertain whether the mypassport would exceed 1.2A. I bought a usb power tester and it runs between 0.3-0.7A, but as somebody else rightly put, the tester 0.5hz is not enough to catch peaks.

7 months ago

I get your point.
It’s just that I found this very active community which maintains an amazing retropie build (Rick’s dangerous retro power edition). It’s amazing. I got hooked to it and dropped my build in favour of this.
They have an update script linked to a mega folder. Users contribute to it by giving feedback to the main curator (Rick) who uploads updates and improvements nearly daily, which get automatically installed when running the local update tool. They currently went past the 1tb threshold and they all switched to a 2tb ssd disk (or nvme or sata). So if you don’t want to miss out, you need to upgrade too.
And it’s on the Pi4, or Pi400 in my case. So I’m pretty happy to stay on this system for now. They’ve actually just started building a batocera agnostic port, so who knows, they may slowly move away from the Pi4 in the future. But the main curator is sticking to the Pi4 for now.

I’m running a 9 years old 2tb usb3.0 my passport hard disk. It says on CrystalDiskInfo it runs at 5200rpm. The good news is that it has less than 1000 hours of uptime because it was used as a tertiary backup disk until now. So brand new except it has 9 years of age.
The Usb tester I got has a 0.5hz refresh rate, so if it spiked above 0.7A for a fraction of the time, it would go undetected. In general, it seems to be confined between 0.3 and 0.5A.
I’m ok with the slower startup time. I’m just concerned about power consumption. What do you think?

Also, pricewise, m.2, nvme, sata, non m.2 are around the same price.
I also have a ugreen ssd enclosure I can reuse. So the option is to test the current HDD further for power consumption. Or bite the bullet and get a samsung t7 2tb ssd. Or a m.2 sata + enclosure solution which ends up being cheaper currently (!).

7 months ago
Reply to  Luca

Also one more question, perhaps you came across this one:
When I switched from a usb3.0 SSD to a usb3.0 HDD, the first 1280×720 boot screen stays on for a very long time with the following text:
trying boot mode usb-msd
It usually takes 20 seconds before the boot goes ahead.
I thought it could be due to the HDD spinning up. But the same happens on every reboot, even when the HDD is up and running.

7 months ago

RandRead: 541 - RandWrite: 1760 - Read: 20788 - Write: 17361
Enter a description of your storage and setup (Example: Kingston A400 SSD on Pi 4 using StarTech SATA to USB adapter)
Description: 2TB 5200rpm usb3.0 MyPassport (WD) on Pi400
(Optional) Enter alias to use on benchmark results. Leave blank for completely anonymous.
Alias (leave blank for Anonymous): luca
Result submitted successfully and will appear live on within a couple of minutes.

Category Test Result
HDParm Disk Read 97.60 MB/s
HDParm Cached Disk Read 145.02 MB/s
DD Disk Write 80.9 MB/s
FIO 4k random read 141 IOPS (564 KB/s)
FIO 4k random write 450 IOPS (1802 KB/s)
IOZone 4k read 20788 KB/s
IOZone 4k write 17361 KB/s
IOZone 4k random read 541 KB/s
IOZone 4k random write 1760 KB/s

Score: 1458
I’ll measure the usb power draw on the PC when I have a bit of calm. So far I have not encountered fs-errors or the like. Speed is what it is, but it does not affect everyday running of the Pi, aside from boot time.
Regarding ssd, I take your suggestion is to just buy an internal ssd and use the existing adapter I have. Thing is that ssd drives are currently as expensive or more expensive than nvme, and roughly 30% less expensive than the samsung t7. Anyway, I don’t mind the current setup, assuming power draw is not an issue. The disk is 9 years old but it has hardly been used, so it should hopefully last long. Enjoy your Orange Pi5 and similar mate!


Adam Liszkai
Adam Liszkai
8 months ago

I can confirm that the ACT AC1510 adatpter cable DOESN’T WORK. Link to product page.

I have purchused the USB 3.2 Gen1 – 2,5″ SATA HDD/SDD (AC1510) variant, and after a couple days of I/O errors and random drive disconnects I have come to the conclusion that it’s the adapter cable. Trying out the USB 2.0 ports on my RPi 4 and using the USB 3.0 ports with UASP disabled confirmed my suspicion.

9 months ago

Hello, I had a few questions regarding a potential m.2 nvme set up I would like to implement. I’m looking for the pi to be fairly mobile/compact for regular traveling. Basically, I’d like a form factor to that end, and also no powered usb hub to have to drag around (if viable). The nvme in question is the SkHynix Gold P31 500 GB, which I chose because it seems to have a reputation for being one of the most power efficient/least demanding nvmes (and was also super cheap on sale). Also, when the pi is not moving around, it will be running a project 24/7. Thank you for any assistance with these:

1. I see a couple of the nvme enclosures listed above mention definitely requiring a powered usb hub…but just to clarify, the ones that don’t explicitly state so in the description do not require it? I am using the Canakit 3.5 A power supply, which I gather might make some small difference.

2. If it doesn’t require a usb hub, I would consider something like the TDBT enclosure listed above. However if I wanted to get greedy and have no cables at all, I see there are a few options on amazon that have a direct usb connection (though they are not listed in the approved ones above). For instance: this, and this

My question is would these be likely to work without the cable form factor, and without a powered usb hub? Or is there no way of knowing without just trying them out?

Thanks again for any advise, and apologies for the wordiness. I am still a learning nub.

9 months ago

Hi James,

Thank you for the detailed reply. Yes, that is some useful info. I was not aware of the 1.2A limit on the Pi’s USB slots-good to know. Theoretically the only other things I would plug into the pi is an ancient wired compaq keyboard I have lying around (no lighting) and an oldish Logitech wireless mouse. I like the idea of using the pi as a secondary desktop since that functionality would be available with the intended project’s OS. However, it is not make or break thing and I could theoretically access it remotely if those two items make the difference (though I would be surprised if that’s the case).

Ah I had not considered these “passthrough” adapters would actually be even more power efficient since there is no loss along the cable length, makes sense. Plus circuitry. You said you used to recommend one before it got discontinued. Do you have any others in mind off hand?

Can I ask does the quality or chipset of the adapter/enclosure make a significant difference when it comes to the performance of the pi? I realize that nvme speeds are obviously bottlenecked by the 3.0 interface. But within those bottleneck speeds, does the type of adapter/chipset still have noticeable sway? Or is it just a matter of it either works or doesn’t work.

Sure, I will likely try these two I listed above and let you know. I was hesitating because I haven’t heard of either of those brands (but not a shocker given how little I dabble in tech) and there aren’t many reviews mentioning functionality with the pi. And often the reviews don’t state whether they are using it as external storage or as a boot device. Will see how it goes anyhow, cheers.

9 months ago


Thanks for the info again. Yes, that Godshark one looks awfully similar to another one I was considering…guess they are all roughly the same provided the chipset plays nicely.

Ok, so in general best to avoid 3.1 Gen 1 where possible-easy enough.

Yes, I was aware of the bottlenecking issue and that much of the drive’s capability is lost on the pi…but went for this nvme anyhow given its cheapness, power efficiency, compact m.2 form factor, and the potential for it to be repurposed later on to something that can actually utilize its speed. I’m curious, do others SBCs like the RockPi with their built in nvme slots fully utilize their speed (I assume not)? Or are there more technicalities involved?


9 months ago


Yeah, that Rock 5B looks pretty slick. No need to fret over finding the right adapter there…will have to keep that one in mind for a future upgrade, cheers. Appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions, and I’ll let you know how it goes re compatibility with some of the passthroughs.

8 months ago

Hey James,

Just an update. Unfortunately I realized because of where the pi’s USB 3 slots are located, that particular pass through adapter (one with the enclosure making it look like a large usb flash drive) wasn’t going to work. It’s size makes it obstruct a usb 2.0 slot, as well as the ethernet port (both of which I intended to use). Also the aluminum housing makes it heavy and it sags under its own weight.

Also I wasn’t a huge fan of the “normal” passthroughs. They seem mostly good for temporary use, given how exposed they are on the bottom and sides. And I am intending to run the pi project 24/7, possibly in varying and dusty conditions. Aesthetically they don’t really look great either really.

Seems for pursuing this kind of form factor, it would be best to go with something like the “Sandisk Extreme Pro” you have listed above, instead of my DIY attempt.

Anyway I decided to go with a normal cable-form enclosure. Which I can report is working fine so far with my setup, without any powered usb hub or firmware updates required. Here’s the one:

Cheers for the assist.

8 months ago


Very informative. Yes, I was aware of the severe bottlenecking issue of the usb 3.0 port, but as the nvme costed almost exactly the same (including cost of the adapter, which was $24 on sale but I take your point) as a good external SSD like the Samsung T7, I said what the heck. Plus I can use it in something else later like an Orange or RockPi, like you say.

Incidentally I came across this yesterday. Probably a better solution, but really how many hoops should one go through for the perfect form factor at the end of the day. When paired with a 2230 or 2242 sata or nvme, instead of my 2280:

Just quickly looking through that OrangePi write up, you seemed to conclude that the speeds are basically the same as a SATA due to the PCIe 2.0 limit. It would seem best to go with something like the RockPi 5B then if doing an upgrade, which apparently has PCIe 3.0. But yes, you are right I chose the Raspberry Pi partially for the community/support (tech nub here and its my first SBC), but primarily because the software I’m running on it was only developed for the Pi 3/4 (but they are working on releasing an img for the RockPi soon).

Really nub question here, but what is this single benchmark metric on your link actually measuring? This is a different metric from Read/write speeds, or influenced by it?

8 months ago

Cool stuff James. The Rockpi is definitely on the list for a future upgrade, once my project develops the software for it heh.

Just for fun I ran a few benchmarks comparing my SATA drive on my pi400 to this nvme running on a Pi4…you’re right, the nvme just barely edges out the SATA (it was something like 8,700 SATA to 9,300 on the NVMe). Of course they are different pis, running slightly different variations of software, different adapters, etc.. Not sure how big of an impact those variables have on the test though. Still, sad to see such a small difference…you’re right it is something of a travesty to use an NVMe on a pi.


9 months ago

Hello James,

I am in the market for an upgrade from microSD to an SSD to use with a Raspberry Pi 4, and am most interested in reliability and thermal performance.

In this article you note that you pay a premium for the ultra compact USB SSD “stick” options compared to 2.5″ options. I can’t see using more than 64 GB for my use case, so drive capacities are less of a concern (Pi-Hole and a few other network services).

The popular Kingston A400 240GB drive and StarTech SATA/USB adapters total about $36 on Amazon, and the Orico/Sandisk 128 GB “stick” options are about the same price at the moment. I don’t mind being initially inconvenienced by updating firmware on devices.

However, I am a bit concerned about temperatures of the “stick” options after reading reviews, especially given their small footprint.

I appreciate the SSD Power Consumption chart that you posted from which made me consider using mSATA more seriously, but in you have noted these can get rather warm.

So my questions are:

1) In the $40 price point range, what options do you believe run the coolest and are the most reliable?

2) In the StarTech adapter + SSD scenario, what will produce more heat — the controller or the SSD itself?

Thanks for reading.

9 months ago


I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question so promptly.

Given that you identified the storage controller on the drive as the hottest component, have your seen the Kingston A400 heat up more than other drives or get particularly hot?

Or for a few dollars more, would your suggest a drive that is marketed to consume less power, like the WD Green 240 GB? It has 1/6 of the tests performed on Pi Benchmarks but still looks like a popular option.

Also, I am curious about the strength of the friction fit of the connection between the drive and adapter. If I go fumbling around in the dark looking for a cable on the shelf where this thing is located, will there be much of risk that I detach drive by mistake? I have seen 3D printable options for protecting that matng surface, but I worry again about heat by introducing one. Have you ever used/made anything like this?

Thanks again!

9 months ago

Hello James,

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I looked at the datasheets for the Green and A400 drives, and interestingly, the A400 drive claims to consumes less power for some measurements. Here are the numbers, worded as they are on the datasheets:

Avg. Active 0.080 W
Max Read 2.800 W
Max Write 2.800 W
Slumber 0.030 W
DEVSLP 0.025 W

0.195W Idle
0.279W Avg
0.642W (MAX) Read
1.535W (MAX) Write

The 120 GB Green drive has more efficient max read/write at 2.200 W, but that drive is frustratingly priced higher than the popular 240 GB.

So my follow-up question is: in real world, typical Pi use, do we believe the Green drive actually runs cooler? Or if you are more familiar with the A400, have you ever observed them to be relatively hot? Or am I splitting hairs here?


9 months ago

Hi James,

On a Raspberry Pi 4 with the official 3A USB-C power supply, given the 1.2A USB port current source limit, would I need a powered USB hub to safely use the StarTech adapter, Kingston A400 drive, and a USB micro SD reader?

Without another computer in the mix, I’m thinking of booting the Pi with a different SD card temporally, and inserting my normal micro SD into the USB reader after boot to do the cat/clone to the A400 SSD.


8 months ago

Hi James,

I think I’m convinced that the StarTech + A400 drive will not require a hub. Thanks for that explanation.

But what if I throw an *additional* microSD USB reader in the mix (on top of the Pi’s built in one).

I imagine they only draw a few hundred mA but I’m wondering if this is too much, considering the 1.2A limit.


8 months ago

Hi James,

In my use case I’d have just power, Ethernet, SSD, built-in microSD, and USB-attached microSD. So no keyboard or other displays or other peripherals.

Per the Raspberry Pi README on GitHub maybe I’ll disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth using dtoverlay=disable-bt
and dtoverlay=disable-wifi in config.txt.

If it’s on the hairy edge of the power supply limit, are you of the opinion that if the data transfer completes without the freezes or instabilities that you mentioned, it’s safe to assume that my data is intact? In other words, are silent data corruption failures common here?

I’m just being cheap and am trying to justify not spending $20 on a powered USB hub 😀.

Thanks again.

8 months ago

Thanks again James!

10 months ago

I’ve recently bought “ USB 1.1 to 2,5″ SATA – USB 3.1 Gen 2 10 Gb/s with external converter HDD/SSD UASP (USB312SAT3CB)” with Kingston A400 as it seemed to be a bulletproof combination to boot my Pi 4 from SSD. I struggle to get it working though and not sure if I’m doing something wrong or maybe StarTech has a new, Pi-boot-from-SSD incompatible device.
The USB ID is different then the one mentioned here

Bus 002 Device 002: ID 14b0:0207 Ltd. SA400S37240G

The SSD works fine from Ubuntu 22.04 if I boot the Pi from SD card but I had failed to boot the Pi from SSD alone, without the SD card.

If I remove the SD card the Pi will refuse to boot and falls back to network boot:

Net: eth0: ethernet@7d580000
starting USB...
No working controllers found
Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0
Card did not respond to voltage select! : -110
sdhci_set_clock: Timeout to wait cmd & data inhibit
sdhci_set_clock: Timeout to wait cmd & data inhibit
sdhci_set_clock: Timeout to wait cmd & data inhibit
sdhci_send_command: MMC: 1 busy timeout increasing to: 200 ms.
sdhci_send_command: MMC: 1 busy timeout increasing to: 400 ms.
sdhci_send_command: MMC: 1 busy timeout increasing to: 800 ms.
sdhci_send_command: MMC: 1 busy timeout increasing to: 1600 ms.
sdhci_send_command: MMC: 1 busy timeout increasing to: 3200 ms.
sdhci_send_command: MMC: 1 busy timeout.
MMC Device 2 not found
no mmc device at slot 2
starting USB...
No working controllers found
USB is stopped. Please issue 'usb start' first.
starting USB...
No working controllers found
BOOTP broadcast 1

My EEPROM version:

BOOTLOADER: up to date
CURRENT: Thu Mar 10 11:57:12 AM UTC 2022 (1646913432)
LATEST: Thu Mar 10 11:57:12 AM UTC 2022 (1646913432)
RELEASE: stable (/lib/firmware/raspberrypi/bootloader/stable)
Use raspi-config to change the release.

VL805_FW: Dedicated VL805 EEPROM
VL805: up to date
CURRENT: 000138a1
LATEST: 000138a1

Has anybody found a solution on how to boot from this SSD adapter?

10 months ago

That’s a very detailed information, thanks for taking the time to write it up!

I started suspecting that I either got a fake one or maybe got the USB 3.0 one. When plugged to a Windows computer I can’t update the USB SSD adapter firmware, not Kingston SSD firmware.

Firmware updater from StarTech site does not recognize it, says “Configuration mismatch” and later “vUpdateFirmware failed”. The Kingston Firmware Updater does not recognize the disk at all, it says: “Not supported – Identify failed”.

10 months ago

It had a tag but I hate those on my cables and always cut them off. I also threw away the packaging it came in, although it looked exactly as on the photos on StarTech website.

I don’t think the SSD is a fake, but maybe the cable is and doesn’t allow passthrough of the commands used to upgrade the firmware (speculating wildly here).
I tried to read out to StarTech support but the LiveChat is not working. Sent an e-mail and waiting for a response.

I wonder about the USB ID, DeviceHunt shows only a serial adapter.
I could also find some other benchmarks results with 14b0:0206 and if you search for “StarTech” in the benchmark results you can find different USB IDs.