I have a 2011 raspberry pi set up and running with openelec (v13.2 "GOTHAM") running on it. When I power up the raspberry pi with a USB 2.0 memory stick connected to it, it causes the screen to flash on and off. I am powering the raspberry pi with a 2.0Amp tablet charger so I am sure power is not an issue. Do I need to use a USB hub or configure the memory stick to work with openelec?

  • It doesn't matter what the nominal capacity of the PSU claims, the Pi can only supply very limited current to USB. Many phone "chargers" do NOT supply +5V at the rated current (and don't need to). Mind you most draw little current, so I am surprised if this is the cause, but you can only determine by measuring the voltage on the USB port.
    – Milliways
    Dec 16, 2014 at 11:25
  • I have a cheap 32gb USB memory stick that always causes the Pi to crash(power off/on) if attached directly after it has booted, the only remedy is a powered USB hub. I guess it must power spike beyond what the Pi can supply. I have seen more transient issues with wifi dongles that corrupt the SD card due to power problems but do not cause the Pi to reboot. All with a Pi rated PSU.
    – rob
    Dec 16, 2014 at 11:28
  • Okay I will look at getting a powered USB hub although connecting a drive wirelessly might be easier in my case
    – Darth Vader
    Dec 16, 2014 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


The original Pi had very low limitations on USB power. It was fixed in the later revisions.

So if yours is one of the first revisions, then powered USB hub is the only way.

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