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Booting your Banana Pi (BP) off a SATA hard drive
This is why the original Banana Pis are so good, they have a dedicated SATA drive connection. Beware of the later Banana Pi M3, the SATA is only a USB convert and is, therefore, slower.
Connect a SATA drive to your Pi via the SATA cable. It can be a Solid State Drive (SSD) or a traditional disk drive. I have one BP with a 1TB disk drive taken from an old laptop and one with a smaller SSD.
The reason for booting off a SATA drive is that SD cards are somewhat fragile and constant reading/wriiting to an SD can limit their life. You will still require an SD card in the BP but it will do little other than direct the Pi, during boot up, to get it's OS info from the SATA.
Start by installing nand-sata
$ sudo nand-sata-install
select options, a) SATA and b) ext4
The hard drive will be formatted and then create rootfs on /dev/sda1 (takes ~10 minutes)
reboot as asked
$ df -h
This will show something like:
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1 459G 44G 392G 10% /
udev 10M 0 10M 0% /dev
tmpfs 197M 4.8M 193M 3% /run
tmpfs 493M 0 493M 0% /dev/shm
tmpfs 5.0M 4.0K 5.0M 1% /run/lock
tmpfs 493M 0 493M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs 493M 0 493M 0% /tmp
/dev/mmcblk0p1 7.2G 1.1G 6.0G 16% /boot
log2ram 50M 3.5M 47M 7% /var/log
tmpfs 99M 0 99M 0% /run/user/1000
It is that easy !