Rock64 problems with external Hard Drive and powering
#1
Few of the problems to be described, with my Rock64 2GB equipped with SATA-to-USB adapter bought all from the official pine store.

First launch as a home server - hard drive (500GB 2.5') died after two or three months. OK - it wasn't new one, could happen.
The second launch with similar hard drive and death of hdd after three or four months.
I suspected the result of unreliable power plug, which makes me troubles too. It failed on delicate touch. There was no way to move rock64 at all when it was working.
I replaced the board's power socket using the one linked here on forum. Of course loosing any guarantee and possibility to sell this hardware someone else because of manual changes to hardware.
But, It didn't help. Thus I replaced the power plug and finally I have stable powering.

In the meantime I configured some old microPC as my home server and currently, while it's working very well, I'm trying to use my Rock64  at least as non-critical NAS.
I've connected 1TB 3.5' Hard Drive WD Green with additional 12V power.
This time with system on SD Card. Because there is too frequent problem with starting from external HDD after reboot. It's starting once per two/three attempts. So can't be rebooted remotely if needed.
After two or three days I observe hd related errors in dmesg. Smartctl reported me lack of connection to HDD.
Changed kernel from 5.0 to 4.4.
Aftet some minutes after boot, the LED on adapter is solid red all the time even though there is no disk activity, and this time again  after two/three days disk is failing in logs, smartctl also sent me email about terminated communication with disk.
I'm affraid that I'm going to loose third hard drive!

Just to conclude.
The idea of ARM based PC is interesting but there is a lot improvements to be done still. Apart of maybe particular sample's hardware problems there are also software related issue.
#2
I own 5 rock64's, multiple versions of pi's and multiple tinkerboards. The Rocks were by far the least reliable of all the devices I play with. It took me days to find an image that was stable enough to keep the Rock64 up longer than an hour. Once I found an image though, they became solid devices. The Pi does not suffer this problem at all. If you need reliability on a cutting edge OS, move away from the Rock.


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