Getting Started

The PiDrive installer is a bootable image to aid in the installation of the Raspbian operating system to a PiDrive attached SSD to your Raspberry Pi® model B+ or 2B.

You should download a zipped image file of Raspbian before you begin if you do not already have one on your local computer. The installer has only been tested with Raspbian and other operating systems may be added in the future if there is interest.

First Boot

Make sure you are using a power supply with at least a 2 amp rating. With the power off insert the provided microSD card to the Pi and plug in the USB connector from the PiDrive to the Pi. Next connect the power to the Pi. Booting can take up to 30 seconds.


The installer utilizes mDNS to locate the Pi. Open a web browser (latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari work) and go to http://pidrive.local.

If you are using Windows and this does not work then you need to use the IP address assigned to the Pi. There are a couple of ways to find the IP address.

  • Plug in a monitor to the Pi. The IP address will be above the login prompt.
  • Use a serial to USB adapter. The IP address will be above the login prompt.
  • We have an Android app that will find it on your Network called findPi
  • Use a network scanner such as nmap.

The login information is already filled out in the form for you. Click “Login” to continue to drive selection.


Select Drive

Click on “Scan Drive“. Your mSATA SSD drive should show up and then click “Select Drive“. This will take you to the partitioning screen.


If your drive does not show up you will need to unplug your USB cable attached to the PiDrive, wait five seconds and plug it back in. Go ahead and click on “Scan Drive again”.


This step will erase the contents of the drive.
If you want to save any data then you should not continue with the installer.

When this page loads it will show you current partitions on the drive. If you have a new drive or the the drive is empty the installer will tell you no partitions are found.


There are two choices under the “Disk Options” pulldown.

The first option is “Use Entire Drive” which will create and format a partition using the all usable space on the connected drive. If you do not need to create more partitions later under Linux use this option.


The second option is “Create a Partition” and allows you to specify a partition size from 8GB to the full size of the drive.


After you have selected your partition click on “Use this Partition“. A warning will appear to verify that all data will be deleted if you continue.


If everything is good click on “Partition Drive!” otherwise click “Cancel

You should now see a screen with your new partition information and a button to continue to step three. Click on “Go to Step 3. Software“. This will take a around 10 seconds to complete setting up the drive for installing and then bring you to the software page.


Software Upload

This step of the installer is for uploading the .zip file containing the image file for Raspbian. Click on “Choose File” and select the file from your local computer. A progress bar will indicate the percentage of progress of the file being uploaded. software

When the file is done uploading a button will appear for step four. Click on “Go to setp 4. Write


Write Image

The final step is to write the image to the PiDrive and the boot files to the microSD card. This can up to 30 minutes depending on the size of the image.

To begin click the “Write Image” button. The installer will go through the first three progress bars on the screen and will display the progress of each step in order.


When all three steps have completed a button will appear to complete the installation. Click on “Finalize Image” to continue. write_2

Under the “Finalize Image” button is information of what the installer is doing. The longest process is resizing the partition and can take some time depending on the size of the partition or drive.


When the installer is complete you will see the last screen telling you to reboot. You can safely unplug the Pi from power and plug it back in to boot into the newly installed operating system.


The PiDrive installer will no longer be available unless reinstalled to the microSD card.

Getting Started

Creating a bootable mSD card with the PiDrive Installer is pretty straight forward and does not take more than a few minutes.

The only thing you need is a mSD card to write the image on. You can use any size mSD card you have laying around. The mSD card only needs to be 128MB. You can use any size you want but it will only use the first 128MB on the card. It doesn’t even need to be a class 10 because the card is only going to be used for the first couple seconds until it transfers control to the PiDrive.

You also need to download the PiDrive Installer image file.


NOTE: Something else to be aware of is that after you run the PiDrive Installer to boot from your PiDrive, the installer will no longer be available on the mSD card. So keep your copy of the PiDrive Installer handy in case you need to reinstall at a later date.

Using A Windows PC

The first thing you need to do is download and install Win32 Disk Imager if you do not already have it.

Extract the PiDrive installer .img file from the .zip archive you downloaded above.

Now launch Win32 Disk Imager. You should have a window that looks like this…



After you have selected the .img file location and selected the drive letter for your mSD card, you can then click on the ‘Write’ button.

Take Note. Make sure that you have selected the drive letter corresponding to your mSD card. Choosing the wrong drive letter will turn your large drive into a very small 128MB drive with no way back to your data. You have been warned

It should only take about 30 seconds to write the image ( no matter what size mSD card you use).

Now you have a mSD card with the PiDrive installer ready to go.

Using Linux

Coming Soon

Using A Mac

Coming Soon

How Come The PiDrive Installer Will Not Work With NOOBS?

Because NOOBS is more than just the OS. It is an installer that sits in front of the actual OS image. The PiDrive installer is just an easier way to install Raspbian without delving into all of the code of a manual installation. It is also done completely from a browser. You just need to point your browser to the IP address of your Pi.

I have used the PiDrive Installer to install Raspbian Jessie successfully; a really nice, easy process.

From a PiDrive customer – CP

The PiDrive Installer Hangs At Different Points In The Installation.

The most likely reason for this is an AC Adapter that is not up to spec. A lot of inexpensive AC adapters do not live up to their specs. I have a had several 2A rated adapters have their output voltage drop below 5VDC well before their 2A rating. Or you could be using a USB cable that has very thin conductors, also causing the voltage to drop. Ideally your USB cable should have 24 gauge wire to be able to deliver 2A. Since I started using the official Raspberry Pi adapter, I have not had any power problems.

What Is The Largest mSATA Drive I Can Install On My PiDrive?

Right now, the largest mSATA drive is 1TB.

Can I Attach More than One PiDrive To My Pi?

Yes, You can add as many PiDrives as you have available USB ports. Assuming you do not exceed the Pi’s USB current limit of 1200ma.

Which Model Of Raspberry Pi Will The PiDrive Work On?

The PiDrive will ith any Raspberry Pi that has a 40 pin expansion header.