Using Hard drive with rpi.


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by rexysmexy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:14 am
I'm seriously thinking of ordering a RPI or two for storage use / Downloading. Is there any way possible to link a 2.5" or 3.5" Hard drive to it? Do I need another board? Any way to do this would be a big help.
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by abishur » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:38 am
You absolutely can connect a drive to it. I would limit it to just one drive though, two drives would start chomping up all the throughput on a USB 2.0 device ;-)

If you're not using a hub and want to connect 2.5" drive to it, you'll need to use one of those "Y" USB cables and have it's secondary cable connected to an alternate power source. I think the current fuse limit is around 1A so it wouldn't be able to power the PI and a power hog like a hard drive all off the Pi's USB ports.

For a 3.5" drive, then you'd already have it powered off an alternate source and just need to plug the hard drive into a USB port

If you're using a hub then plug the hard drive into an available port and the hub into the pi and you'll be fine.

In all cases, you'll have to mount the drive before it can be used.
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by rexysmexy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:42 am
Thanks but I'm not talking about an external hard drive. What about a internal drive that uses sata?
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by Siegfried » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:11 am
No way, the SoC have no SATA interface. You will need to connect it via USB.

Also, use a hub. Do not connect two different power sources to a Y cable. It's ok to use them to connect to two USB ports in the same system because, internally, they use the same power source. If you use two of them, you will effectively connect them in parallel -- the smallest deviation in voltage will short circuit the sources.

Edit: I'm assuming your Y cable directly connects the two inputs. It is safe to connect two power sources if you build a cable with diodes limiting the current transfer between the sources.
Last edited by Siegfried on Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by Vindicator » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:13 am
No SATA available on the Raspi @Abishur is describing the most common way we have been connecting a HDD using USB.
I am using a 2.5 drive that is SATA but is connected to a usb to SATA adapter that came out of an external drive, the rootfs is on the HDD and I am using a 126Mb SD card to boot the Raspi and a change in the cmdline.txt
Code: Select all
dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/sda2 rootfstype=ext4 rootwait
snd_bcm2835

That routes to the sda2 in my case for the file system.
which is a Hatachi 120Gb drive I recovered from a dead Xbox 360.
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by rexysmexy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:52 am
Thanks for the help, looks like I'll be ordering a RPi really soon. :)
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by rexysmexy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:52 am
Thanks for the help, looks like I'll be ordering a RPi really soon.
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by abishur » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:00 am
Siegfried wrote:Also, use a hub. Do not connect two different power sources to a Y cable. It's ok to use them to connect to two USB ports in the same system because, internally, they use the same power source. If you use two of them, you will effectively connect them in parallel -- the smallest deviation in voltage will short circuit the sources.

Edit: I'm assuming your Y cable directly connects the two inputs. It is safe to connect two power sources if you build a cable with diodes limiting the current transfer between the sources.


Ah this is true, good catch. I was thinking in terms of the old revisions where the USB ports had fuses to protect against this situation.
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by stinos » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:45 am
if you use something like this: http://www.icidu.com/en/hard-disk-casin ... apter.html you don't need to get a hub or worry about Y-cables as the thing comes with it's own power supply,
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