The goal is to use the PcDuino as a samba file server with a large capacity 3.5" SATA drive.
Connected a 5300RPM 3.5" 4Tb internal desktop SATA drive using an separate 5V/12V SATA power supply to the PCDUINO3 (not Nano version) SATA port. The Ubuntu 12 OS was able to see the drive, but it was not able to successfully create partitions.
Used GParted to create an ext4 3.4TiB partition. GParted was able to create an empty partition and set the partition type on dev/sda1. When it went to create the ext4 file system using mkfs.ext4 -j -O extent -L "" /dev/sda1, the output was mkfs.ext4: Input/output error while trying to create journal.
Swapped out the cable, power supply and drive - same effect. It looks like the PcDuino3 (not Nano) version is only compatible with 2.5" sata drives or USB drives. Is this because there is no 12V on the PcDuino 3 (not nano) board? Is it possible to connect 12V to the non-nano board?
Connected the drive with a sata to usb adapter to the pdcuino - same result.
Connected the drive to a Windows 10 machine with the USB adapter. Easily formatted the drive to an NFTS partition and was able to use the drive.