I had a running server before and didn’t want to start from scratch so the existing SD card image had to be transfered to the piDrive. I first tried the procedure described on the Gungho Labs website. It didn’t worked and stuck when uploading the image file. This was also reported by other users on Kickstarter. The piDrive installer that is coming with the 128MB SD card is web browser based. My strong believe is that the installers webserver can not handle file uploads above a certain file size. Mine was 3.1GB.
So the solution here was to copy the SD card backup image directly to the piDrive. That’s nice and easy, the piDrive is running from USB. Connected to my PC I used Win32 Disk Imager to create the SD card backup and then write the image to piDrive.
Compare the speed difference when reading from SD and writing to SSD.
Win32 Disk Imager requires a drive letter to work. When your piDrive is not showing up with a drive letter then use the Windows drive manager and remove all existing partitions on the piDrive. Create a new primary partition using the full size available. There is no need to format the piDrive because the SD backup image will be written anyway.
When the SD card image is written to the piDrive half of the job is done. Next we need an SD card that boots the Raspberry Pi from piDrive via USB. The piDrive installer didn’t worked and not much space is needed, so I took the 128MB card that was coming with the piDrive and formated it to FAT32. Next I just copied the content from my server SD card to the piDrive SD card. That’s simple because the server SD card shows only the boot partition on a Windows PC and that is FAT32 too.
Once everything is copied the Raspberry Pi needs to know that it must boot from piDrive. A modification in cmdline.txt on the newly created SD card will do this. Open this file with a text editor and change:
This will instruct your Raspberry Pi to boot from the USB Flash Drive instead of from the SD card.