Stewart Watkiss
Welcome to the website of Stewart Watkiss.

I’m a Cyber Security Professional, Data Centre Manager, a STEM Ambassador, an author, a first aider, a Cub Scout Leader, Scout Trustee and most importantly a husband and father of two children.

You can find out a bit more about Stewart Watkiss.
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Latest Blog Entry

Raspberry Pi with SSD through NVMe - What went well. What went wrong!

Raspberry Pi have released their new NVMe HAT+ which allows you to connect a SSD through the PCIe connector on a Raspberry Pi.

There are also third party boards that do the same. I decided to try with the Pimoroni NVMe Base compared with the Raspberry Pi M.2 HAT+.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go quite to plan and I spent much of my time trying to work out what went wrong. The video below explains why it went wrong and how I fixed it. It then goes into the review of the Pimoroni NVMe base and the Raspberry Pi M.2 HAT+.

In summary. When buying an SSD make sure you buy one that is NVMe and NOT SATA.

Another useful lesson is that it’s not always user error, it could be a faulty Raspberry Pi.

  • The Pimoroni BASE is a great design, but does not fit the standard Raspberry Pi cases
    • If buying the Pimoroni base consider buying with a drive from their website for guaranteed compatibility
    • This can accommodate the physically larger (and often cheap) 2280 drives
    • Easy access to GPIO pins
  • The Raspberry Pi M.2 HAT+ fits the Raspberry Pi case, but doesn’t fit larger SSDs
  • Fits 2230 and 2242 drives, but not 2280
  • You may need additional M2.5 screws

Make sure you buy a M.2 NVMe SSD with M-Key

Raspberry Pi 5 with NVMe SSD on PCIe adapter

Did I say “Make sure you buy an M.2 NVMe SSD and not a SATA SSD”?

Successful Install

After working through those problems I’ve now bought another Raspberry Pi and successfully setup NVMe boot on one with the Pimoroni NVMe base with 2280 SSD 500GB drive and one with the Raspberry Pi M.2 HAT+ with a 2230 SSD. See how easily this is setup with this video shortened to a 60 second YouTube short.