Hey! Thanks for that, MichaIng. That's great to know.
I think I was definitely hitting that power limit when I got all those I/O errors.
I'll make sure I'm getting stable power to the drive then, no phone charger.
Finally my powered drive adapter came!
I powered off the Pi, swapped the adapters, but alas... It refused to boot. I believe I got the same error as earlier or maybe a variation:
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Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)
I got the same error on all USB ports 2.0 and 3.0, and when I switched back to the other enclosure just to be sure (it's been running fine for weeks now, but I haven't been pushing it hard), same error. So I popped the drive out and repaired the filesystems with my other Linux machine (I can't seem to get the hold shift trick working on my Pi), but now when I attempt to boot I am greeted with a blank screen.
I wish I had a more straightforward problem, sorry guys. I was under the impression that booting from SSD would be simple? Am I doing something dreadfully wrong? Is there an official Pi guide with a list of compatible drives and enclosures? It seems like I'm walking a tightrope over corruption city here, haha.
The only reason I switched to SSD was for longevity. I've heard the SD cards wear out quickly if you run busy webservers or the like. I want to run Caddy, Nextcloud, Syncthing, Home Assistant and Mycroft, maybe a few other things to fiddle with, so I thought it would be worth the switch with all that data moving around.
In the interest of looking at alternatives, I'm aware I can move most of the DietPi offical apps' userdata to an external drive which might be a good compromise? But some of the unofficial apps I run will still be writing with some regularity to the root partition. Are there any downsides to moving the whole root partition to SSD and just leaving boot on SD?
Any ideas welcome, guys.
Sorry for the messy confusing post