Not enough power for external HDDs?

Hi guys,

I have the following:
• 6 x Seagate 4TB HDD ( Seagate Portable 4TB External Hard Drive HDD – USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, Xbox, & PS4 - 1-Year Rescue Service (STGX4000400) : Electronics)
• 2 x TPLink USB 3.0 Hub (

I plugged them into my Raspberry Pi 4, but they do not work, probably the Raspberry can’t provide that much power through the USB 3.0 port.

If that’s correct, should I buy something like Orico Powered USB 3.0 Hub ( Powered 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub, ORICO USB Data Hub with 12V Power Adapter, Multi USB 3.0 Splitter with 3.3 Ft Long USB Cable for PC, Laptop, Keyboard, Mouse, HDDs and More-Black : Electronics) and what voltage I should look for?


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One 4 tb hdd needs about 8-10 watt power. So you need 60 watt 5 volt power. Watt=volt x amper.
So 12 amp minimum 60 watt power.


Regardless, I never use unpowered USB hubs with anything other than a keyboard + mouse or a wireless mouse + 1x USB thumb drive. And I only use them with my laptop.

For farming, I only use powered USB hubs. Just assume you are running into a power limit issue and assume that you will need to get a powered USB hub of some kind.

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No this is not enough. You can burn your drives! 12 volt 2 amp power is 24 watts!!

Thank you so much for the help!

I’ve found 12V/5A (60W) USB 3.0 Hub, I guess it will work, right?

I’ll turn on only the 6 ports:


I also use a raspberry pi 4 for farming Chia, but I’m using only 3.5 inch external powered drives. I have 7 external HDDs connected to a unpowered TP-LINK 7 port USB hub and I do not have any problems.

My idea was the same, but unfortunately I couldn’t find powered external HDDs on a good price when I bought these. My disks were working fine on my plotting machine, it seems that the Pi can’t power that many unpowered disks.

Its not just the pi, I have seen other farmers having the same problems on computers. USB ports are not made to handle a lot of Amps.


A 3.5 in desktop powered drive is OK with unpowered hubs, but you can use less. I’d recommend no more than a 4 port unpowered hub with 4 powered 3.5 in desktop drives. However, I only recommend powered hubs, and the drive limits are by device + hub not just device or not just hub specifically.