Pi4 SSD failure

Several Raspberry Pi's occupy my place and I have this urge to use them in a proper way. Problem is, I'm not sure what this "proper" means.

There is a Pi3 B+ with an encrypted root file system and dropbear in the initial ramdisk to remotely unlock it. Is it any good? It runs Arch Linux which is nice. Somewhat secure. Runs of an SD card. Somethings around 120 Gigs, has "High Endurance" in its name. Still an SD card though.

I was so satisfied when this setup came out working. It could have been much easier with DNS working in arch-chroot on my laptop. Without it, I had to create an image from Arch Linux running on Pi itself. Quite interesting exercise! First, you create a small regular Arch Linux Arm installation on rather big boot partition & small root one. From there you create and install encrypted root to the rest of an SD card. The boot partition is reused for the new system and the old root becomes swap.

Small, silent and somewhat secure server. Somewhere around 200 Mbit/s which is more than a typical household connection. Neat!

Then Pi4 B got into my hands. With cool metal case:

Pi4 metal case

Several times I've failed miserably with Arch Linux ARM setup. At first, I've tried to port Pi3 setup by just plugging this exact SD card. But there is a catch. AArch64 version names SD card differently: mmcblk1 instead of mmcblk0. It's easy to change in fstab, but why just change when you can make it universal?! UUID is the way.

With proper fstab it was at least booting but had no USB support. No keyboard, no networks. Ouch! Fresh .dtb helped a little. No luck getting into the system though. Fresh installation of 64bit Arch Linux ARM rendered itself useless after first update.

Plain Ubuntu setup was working well though. Unfortunately, it's not the setup I was going for.

Yesterday I decided to go back to this issue with an external SATA 2.5" case with an SSD in it. Raspberry OS is doing something but not booting. Ubuntu resizes its partition, no fully loaded OS yet. Arch is stuck in a boot loop. In a blink of an error screen I've managed to read about failure in voltage communication. At least some sort of clue!

I'll buy official power supply because Power Delivery one doesn't know Pis special sauce. Which is quite sad! In case the power supply wouldn't be enough there is a chance that Pi's picky to SATA-USB adapter. This journey has thought me that the ARM ecosystem is still quite far from x86. But it's definitely a pleasure to see so much progress in computing power with good power efficiency.