I have an issue that means I have to use a powered USB hub for the HDD that is attached to my RPI4 (long story). The hub just broke.

My budget doesn't allow for a decent powered USB3 hub BUT does allow for a decent USB3 Y Power Cable.

Rookie question, but would this work? I just want the HDD to have its own power supply.

Further question: If it would work, can I just plug both Y ends of the power cable into the Pi to get more power for the HDD?


  • I had an external DVD Drive with one of those Y-cables, and there is not a single computer that it worked with - either a single port provided enough power, or even two ports didn't provide enough power.
    – Moshe Katz
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 18:09

2 Answers 2


This answer is incorrect.
Depending on model & OS USB can supply 1.2A. Typical Power Requirements

I doubt it would work, according to this page: USB - port power limits the Raspberry Pi USB ports are designed to handle 100mA each so the advice is to always use an external hub with its own power supply for a USB hard drive (and other "high-power" devices).

  • This looks like the answer I didn't want to hear but is almost definitely correct. Thanks!
    – lukenm
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 13:30

I think that at the very least you should consider using a separate power adapter on the usb-power connector end of the cable. As otherwise, plugging both usb ends to the Pi4/Pi400 ports won't give any more power to the HDD.

P.s. For awareness I posted a similar question specifically regarding pros/cons of powering the HDD this way that might interest you

Y-Cable and power adapter to power external HDD

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