Possible to install ROCK on USB Stick?

Hi all
I have a new NUC8i5BEK on order for my main system. This will be a very standard installation on the built in SSD.
For my second system I have a NUC6i5SYK available. This machine has Windows installed on its internal SSD and it runs headless (without screen, keyboard etc.). I would like to operate this machine in the following way if possible:

  • Normally boot to Windows from internal SSD, as it has been used up to now
  • When using it as a Roon ROCK Core, boot from a USB stick which has ROCK installed on it

It seems the NUC6i5SYK’s boot configuration can be set so that the machine boots from a USB stick / drive if present. If not it will boot from the internal SSD. Is it possible to install ROCK on a USB stick, so the NUC can be booted from that stick if it is plugged into the NUC?
Maybe at some point I would buy a second NUC for my secondary system, but at this time I would like to try ROCK with minimal investment.

Why not just run roon core on windows for you second system?

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ROCK only installs on the internal drive and will format it completely.

I was intrigued by the simplicity of Rock, but I will probably do what you suggest and simply install Roon Core on Windows and let it run in the background.
Thanks for the idea

While unsupported many have had success running ROCK on non NUC hardware myself included…search for MOCK in tinkering.

This machine will not run ROCK. It requires UEFI boot, which ROCK does not currently support. There is no timeline for this feature yet.


Thanks for the information, danny. That’s a real pity, as I have already ordered the NUC. I do hope it is only a question of time for UEFI boot to become available.

Thanks, wizard, the asrock Deskmini 310 certainly sounds tempting. But then, not officially supported.

If its something you have laying around not occupied with anything its free to try.

Following Danny’s advice that ROCK does not (yet) run on a NUC8i5BEK, I have cancelled that order.

The Deskmini 310 is not something I have laying around, but it looks like a significantly better NUC than the Intel NUC at slightly lower price. I would put an i3-8100 or i3-9100 (4x3.7GHz) in it. Heat management looks a lot better than the NUC, given the quasi open enclosure.
NIC is an intel i219-v, same as in the NUC7ixxxx, so compatibility should not really be an issue, as long as ROCK supports NUC7ixxxx.

HW would be:
asrock Deskmini 310
Intel i3-9100 4x3.7GHz
GF.SKILL RipJaws F4-2400C16D-8GRS (2x4Gb)

Or am I missing something here?

I cant comment on that platform but read what others are having success with

What NUCs run the i219V exactly because that is the chipset on my H310M-ITX build and it wasn’t working last time I checked. I use a USB3 gigabit adaptor instead.

See here
NUC7i5BNH Drivers
or here

That is looking hopeful my build will be fully functional.

Let us know, please.
If the H310M-ITX works, then the Deskmini 310 should most likely also work.

Given ROCK does not use more than 2 cores, I would probably use a Pentium Gold G5600 instead of an i3-8100, as the Pentium has a higher single core performance with its higher clock rate and lower TPD to boot.
So the HW BOM of my build would be:

asrock Deskmini 310 (i219-v NIC)
Intel Pentium Gold G5600 2x3.9GHz
GF.SKILL RipJaws F4-2400C16D-8GRS (2x4Gb)

Goal is higher dual thread performance at lower cost and less noise than NUC with optimum ROCK compatibility.

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