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I am trying unsuccessfully to use an external hard drive (which has its own wall power) with my Raspberry Pi 2. I have cards with Raspbian versions Wheezy and Jessie and both have the same issue. The drive never shows up with lsusb. It does spin up when the usb cord is plugged into the pi.

/var/log/kern.log seems to indicate dwc_otg keeps trying to set up the USB device and either being unsuccessful or maybe failing to recognize successful assignment of an address as shown:

Dec 29 03:39:30 artoo kernel: [ 1839.294956] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 121 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:30 artoo kernel: [ 1840.065268] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 124 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:31 artoo kernel: [ 1840.325541] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 125 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:31 artoo kernel: [ 1840.825032] usb 1-1.2: device not accepting address 125, error -71
Dec 29 03:39:31 artoo kernel: [ 1841.085069] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 127 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:32 artoo kernel: [ 1841.345657] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 4 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:32 artoo kernel: [ 1842.115153] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 8 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:33 artoo kernel: [ 1842.375312] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 9 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:33 artoo kernel: [ 1842.875062] usb 1-1.2: device not accepting address 9, error -71
Dec 29 03:39:33 artoo kernel: [ 1843.135211] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 11 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:35 artoo kernel: [ 1844.415274] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 16 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:35 artoo kernel: [ 1844.915170] usb 1-1.2: device not accepting address 16, error -71
Dec 29 03:39:35 artoo kernel: [ 1845.175424] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 18 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:37 artoo kernel: [ 1846.465397] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 23 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:37 artoo kernel: [ 1846.965259] usb 1-1.2: device not accepting address 23, error -71
Dec 29 03:39:38 artoo kernel: [ 1847.265387] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 25 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:39 artoo kernel: [ 1848.515470] usb 1-1.2: new high-speed USB device number 30 using dwc_otg
Dec 29 03:39:39 artoo kernel: [ 1849.015336] usb 1-1.2: device not accepting address 30, error -71

I did a web search for USB error -71 and struck out. The hard drive also does not show up anywhere I would expect it in /dev.

Now I've just tried a different hard drive and been successful. The successful hard drive is about 75 GB, FAT32, WD800JB-00CRA1 sold as internal, EIDE (jumpered as slave) with an add-on enclosure supporting USB 2.0. The unsuccessful hard drive is Seagate 9FS2A4-500 1 TB, USB 2.0, formatted HFS+ sold as an external. Is there a way I can get it to work for all hard drives, or at least an identified category of hard drives to avoid?

  • Does the unsuccessful drive work in another computer? – Steve Robillard Dec 29 '15 at 4:44
  • Yes. It works fine with a Mac. It is not immediately obvious how to access it from my PC. – lefthandblue Dec 29 '15 at 4:51
  • "Yes. It works fine with a Mac." Well reading up on HFS+ was interesting. Take a look at the Wikipedia page for it and you can see there have been features that have not always worked on Linux and the Debian and thus Raspbian support is not as clear as one might hope. Indeed accessing the drive from a full size Linux or Windows platforms may not be as simple as say, an NTFS formatted drive. 8-/ – SlySven Dec 29 '15 at 5:01
  • I am having the same problem: the external USB drive works on my PC (Debian Wheezy) but does not work on a raspberry pi (Raspbian Wheezy). It is formatted with ext2fs. It seems that the drive is not recognized by the raspberry pi. – Giorgio Nov 14 '16 at 15:02
  • @lefthandblue could it have been a faulty cable/controller? – sehe Jan 27 '17 at 11:03

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