RaspBerryPi 4B Cases that support HDD/SSD (NEW DeskPi-Pro), [! BAD DEAL !]

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Their communications / interaction with the customers certainly leaves MUCH TO BE DESIRED... and they popped out two assembly videos yet nothing public to say what/how they are addressing issues.... That's a FacePalm move IMO...

They took my response to them (with the how to make a boottable USB drive, which can also be found in numerous places anyway) and put it in the GIT info (including my typo's, too funny and they've put other bits in as users have sent it to them, of course giving no acknowledgement to anyone of course, who's helped them out with this... Don't be surprised your fix ends up in their pile of info too. As long as it's helping fellow 'victims' of Version 1.0-alpha should never have been released product.

Keep a close eye on their GIT and here as well: Issues · DeskPi-Team/deskpi · GitHub
They advertise a forum and a wiki but vapourware... goes nowhere.

yesterday I sent them this:
So what is the status of the corrections on the deskPi ?
Have you resolved them yet ?
Are you shipping replacements after a thorough Q & A ?

Non-communications is not a good thing you know.
Their Response:
hello:
we are still test it,as long as we finished it,we will contact you,nice day

GEEZ What a Warm Feeling THAT provides.
 

Montala

New Member
I followed the instructions and added the appropriate quirk to the cmdline.txt file and that disabled UAS and reverted back to usb-storage. This gives a 20% reduction in performance, but it boots up and works OK.
Thanks for your comments, altough some of it was a bit beyond me, I'm afraid!

I am not quite sure which instructions you actually followed though... could you expand a bit here please?

Cheers! :)
 

CrunchyDoodle

New Member
Yes, the instructions I refer to are a little arcane and may not be specific to your situation. I interpolated the instructions and performed the fix in a different manner. While Ubuntu-mate 64-bit is an official Raspberry Pi 4 Debian-based Linux distribution, it is structured a little differently than Raspberry Pi OS and is a bit more capable. For instance, the cmdline.txt file is in a different folder than it is in other distributions and it's much easier to get the USB ID of the JMicron chip. The quirk you need to insert into the cmdline.txt file is "usb-storage.quirks=152d:0562:u ". I've attached my version of that file to this posting. This tells Linux that when it sees that JMIcron USB controller chip, to use the older USB 2.0 driver called usb-storage. For reference, the cmdline.txt file is in the /boot/ folder in Raspberry Pi OS, while it's in /boot/firmware/ in an Ubuntu OS.

Bye. :cool:
 

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spiff72

New Member
I actually got a response from their customer care a few days ago - but unfortunately it was a month-too-late response to my inquiry about when my item was shipping - they gave me the tracking number for my shipment. I got excited and thought maybe they were sending a replacement, but when I cross-referenced the tracking number, I saw that it matched the one that they sent me for my original order.

I then replied in confusion asking if they were responding to my support request for the boot issues, and they came back and asked if I edited the fstab, and also stated that they don't recommend booting from SSD because of issues with the chip (duh).
 

spiff72

New Member
I have successfully reconfigured the DeskPi Pro with an SSD to work fairly well. As noted, the issue is with the internal USB 3 to SATA adapter. The internal adapter uses a JMicron chip that does not support UAS protocol on the Raspberry Pi 4 with any flavor of Linux. The issue is well documented in this posting:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=245931&sid=2f65e00291e239e7ee9c1ee58c723f52

I followed the instructions and added the appropriate quirk to the cmdline.txt file and that disabled UAS and reverted back to usb-storage. This gives a 20% reduction in performance, but it boots up and works OK.

If you are using 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS, the DeskPi Pro software installation scripts will work as advertised. However, if you use most anything else, it will fail. This is documented on Github where you get the DeskPi Pro software under issues. I was able to easily recompile the source code for 64-bit Ubuntu Mate and also had to make a few corrections to the install script for 64-bit Mate 20.10, which is an official Raspberry Pi 4 Linux distribution. I have told all of this to the DeskPi Pro people and they did respond with a lame email and asked for pictures and videos. Since their Github has the script issues documented and the JMicron chip they used is known bad with a Raspberry Pi 4, they need to put someone to work and fix this stuff.
I am about 98% sure I tried this (basically the enabling of usb quirks) when I was trying to get mine to work, and was never successful. I already removed my pi4 from the DeskPi enclosure and put it back in my Argon Neo case so I could continue using it (with confidence) for my Syncthing setup. So unless there is a huge revelation for the existing hardware, it will likely stay there.

For @Steve_S : How did you get them to respond to your inquiry - was it related to your submitting a claim with Paypal? I am wondering if I should go ahead with starting that claim process, since I have not received a real response to my email inquiries about the issues I had.
 

CrunchyDoodle

New Member
I am about 98% sure I tried this (basically the enabling of usb quirks) when I was trying to get mine to work, and was never successful. I already removed my pi4 from the DeskPi enclosure and put it back in my Argon Neo case so I could continue using it (with confidence) for my Syncthing setup. So unless there is a huge revelation for the existing hardware, it will likely stay there.

For @Steve_S : How did you get them to respond to your inquiry - was it related to your submitting a claim with Paypal? I am wondering if I should go ahead with starting that claim process, since I have not received a real response to my email inquiries about the issues I had.
For the record . . . . I added the same quirk to 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS, 64-bit Ubuntu 20.10 (Pi 4 image), and 64-bit Ubuntu-mate 20.10 (Pi 4 image), and all three properly disabled UAS and downgraded to usb-storage which allowed the internal DeskPi Pro SSD to work OK.
 

spiff72

New Member
For the record . . . . I added the same quirk to 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS, 64-bit Ubuntu 20.10 (Pi 4 image), and 64-bit Ubuntu-mate 20.10 (Pi 4 image), and all three properly disabled UAS and downgraded to usb-storage which allowed the internal DeskPi Pro SSD to work OK.
Yeah - not sure why I was having the issues I was. I successfully enabled quirks on the same Pi4 with an external USB adapter (with a non-compliant chipset). This one just refused to boot at all for me even with the quirks enabled.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
They responded to me prior to opening a PayPal Dispute but moreso afterwards, not that it has resulted in anything worthwhile.
My deskpi's are sitting in their packing boxes... I am not screwing around with them.
I thought I could use the heat sink with another premade casing and just use an external case. Nothing out there can accommodate it that I want. I needed a nice enclosed case like this NUC. I can make one but I'd be $120 into cables & adapters with S&H etc all rolled in...

The Orico's external SATA drive cases work fine with SATA and even with the 52.-pi SATA to M.2.SATA board in them. I also have an Apex brand USB to SATA case which also works fine.

REF:
Hard Drive Enclosure 2.5 inch / Plastic / Transparent / HDD / SSD / USB3.0 - Orico

These would likely work just as good too:
NVMe M.2 SATA hard disk enclosures - Orico Nederland B2B - Orico
 

Montala

New Member
Although it may well be possible to boot directly from an SSD, I am sure that not many buyers would be happy with a 20% reduction in performance, and I am sure this was not the original intention either!

I have just written a polite email to the sellers, asking them directly if they are planning to release new hardware to overcome this problem (perhaps using a chip other than the JMicron?) and if so, will they be supplying me with this?

Obviously I will report back on here when I receive a reply, which has always been the case with my previous enquiries!
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Well another UPDATE.

I just got a PayPal Notice, a FULL REFUND was issued.
I guess they won't be sending replacements and I have my doubts if they will properly fix the issues if they disconnect & send a refund.
 

Montala

New Member
Well another UPDATE.

I just got a PayPal Notice, a FULL REFUND was issued.
I guess they won't be sending replacements and I have my doubts if they will properly fix the issues if they disconnect & send a refund.
That does sound as if, despite what they said previously, they will NOT be sending out automatic replacements to those of us who have already purchased a DeskPi, which is a shame.

Out of interest did you send yours back to them, and if not, have they now asked you to do so?

Thanks,
David
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
I did not return them as it would have cost more than buying the darn things... Canada to China != cheap.
They did not ask, as they know what the shipping would cost. BUT they have the "Gotcha" in their warranty statement as a convenient out.

Pi Vendors are "On Alert" for both the Deskpi & the new Argon.m.2. I know One Vendor will NOT be selling them until they test & verify all is well in-house first, they are not interested in getting stuck with a bag of broken hammers.
 

Montala

New Member
Thanks for the information, and I have now received the following reply from them:

"At present, we can only recommend that you use usb-stroage as an additional storage unit. USBboot is not recommended. Because it does cause the system to run very slowly, although your system may support UASP when you typing: lsblk -t in a terminal, but it still need for more than 2 minutes to booting up.
and BTW, the usb-storage driver is slower than UASP
and we are taking a video and we are going to show you the test result so that you can select your booting method on Raspberry Pi.
"

In view of this I have now asked them for a full refund... what a shame!
 

Montala

New Member
I have now received an email from DeskPi, saying that "You can boot directly from an internal SSD, without the need of an SD card,and it takes nearly 32 seconds - please refer to this link https://github.com/DeskPi-Team/deskpi/blob/master/README.md "

This doesn't however sound anything like what they were telling me a couple of days ago (see post above!) and 32 seconds boot time still sounds quite a long time to me! I assume therefore that the connection is only at USB2 speeds, rather than USB3, which rather defeats the object of using the USB3 link, and is not what was originally intended.

It is also looking as if they are not now proposing to send out replacement boards, or even complete units, to their customers, and I for one am not prepared to accept a much slower running system.

However, before I contact them again, and repeat my request for a refund, I would appreciate confirmation that what I have said is essentially correct, as it is obvious that most of you are far more experienced than I am in this sort of thing!

Many Thanks! :)
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
I've spotted a couple of threads on this and a video where they are talking about the USB-2 port... Even one of the YT reviewers on mentions part of it in "passing"

TBH, I stopped tracking this stuff as they refunded me everything, I figured they won't be sending me a replacement pair either. 32s from these is not cool. The difference between USB2 or 3 in this is not really huge. TBH I'd rather leave the USB3 for more important things. BUT, I remember 80 Megabyte Full Height 5.25" MFM 80ms hard disks you could your bacon on. So who am I to judge....

As I said before, I have Orico USB3 to SATA clear cases, they take the 52.pi SATA to M.2.SATA adapter and boot instantly. I'm salvaging the cooling and figuring out a casing of some sort.
 

Montala

New Member
Thanks Steve!
Another quick update from me though. After exchanging loads of emails with "DeskPi"... all of which were replied to very quickly... I have just received one from them this morning, saying "deeply sorry for bringing inconvenience to you,about your question,we are testing the board and upgrade a new version board,when we finish it,we will send you a new version mainboard."

My immediate reply was of course to ask when they think that wiil be, and they said "Considering R&D and mass production, the holiday on the Chinese Spring Festival, the new version PCB board will be shipped to you at the middle of March 2021.

Merry Christmas
"

I am prepared to wait intil then, but I will pass on their final two words to you all... "Merry Christmas"... and let's hope for a better 2021! :)
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Thanks Steve!
Another quick update from me though. After exchanging loads of emails with "DeskPi"... all of which were replied to very quickly... I have just received one from them this morning, saying "deeply sorry for bringing inconvenience to you,about your question,we are testing the board and upgrade a new version board,when we finish it,we will send you a new version mainboard."

My immediate reply was of course to ask when they think that wiil be, and they said "Considering R&D and mass production, the holiday on the Chinese Spring Festival, the new version PCB board will be shipped to you at the middle of March 2021.

Merry Christmas
"

I am prepared to wait intil then, but I will pass on their final two words to you all... "Merry Christmas"... and let's hope for a better 2021! :)
Well, I have been in contact with some manufacturers and it appears that there is a movement to fill a void.
I'm NOT waiting on 52.pi to get their act together... and March 2021 ? Seriously !

Down to a few options:
1) Find a 3D Printed Case Design which accommodates an SSD or M2.SATA
there are several on Thingyverse and elsewhere... some really creative and inventive ideas too ! Quite impressive really.
2) Just bodge together a STD Case + external USB-SATA/M2 drive enclosure...
this would work but is not a solution I am keen on. I suppose for my powerhouse management box it's would be okay
3) DIY my Own casing which has some certain appeal as I can make a format that suits and retain the fan and a few other things.

Ironically, there are "parts" like this for a PC which could solve MUCH if the damned cable end ends could plug into the Raspi-4B ports. Would have to get "usb-2 & 3 breakouts." It's surprising no one has come up with a "FacePlate" for Raspi's that have all the connectors on it
61S%2B-etMJvL._AC_SL1001_.jpg


Raspi-4B ports
1 - USB-C power connection.
2 - Micro-HDMI (converted to std HDMI)
1 - 4-pole audio/composite video
2 - USB-2 Ports
2 - USB-3 Ports
1 - Ethernet Port
1 - MicroSD Card Extender
 

spiff72

New Member
I have yet to hear a thing from them in regards to my initial inquiry about failure to boot from SSD (sent to their support email), and my paypal claim (which was submitted 10 days ago). I think PP gives them until Jan 6 to respond before it is escalated to a claim for refund.
 
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