I currently own a "WD My Passport Ultra 2 TB", It needs 500 mA to run.
I only have a usb adapter that supplies my pi (2 b) with 1A.
Would getting a better adapter allow me to power the 2TB drive?

If that won't work, Should I just get a powered USB hub?
Get the 1TB version instead of 2tb drive for less power consumption?

  • I'm flagging this as it is opinion-based.
    – ave
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 22:11
  • 2
    Hello and welcome. The 1TB version is not likely to use less power than the 2TB drive. 1A for the Pi and the hdd is really low, could be too low. A powered hub is probably the safe choice.
    – Ghanima
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 22:12
  • I tend to agree with @Ghanima - although the RPi2 B (and the RPi B+) have more efficient supply circuits than the older B models you will still have to fiddle with the settings to get even 500mA out of one of the RPi 2's USB ports - and that power budget 0.5A for RPi + 0.5A for Drive hasn't covered any USB WiFi device or keyboard/mouse that might also be used. All in all a powered Hub will save you hassle in the short to medium term whilst you work out exactly what you want your RPi to do and how to do it...!
    – SlySven
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


As Ghanima mentioned, splitting a 1 A power supply between a Raspberry Pi 2, and an external hard drive is unlikely to perform well. Further, the capacity of the drive isn't likely to make much of a difference. You might might have more luck with lower RPM drives, but again, I'd caution against it.

You have two options:

  1. Get a better power supply. A 2 A power supply should power both the RPi and the drive without issues. Make sure to add max_usb_current=1 to the config.txt file.

  2. Get an externally powered hub. If you have additional power hungry devices like a wifi or bluetooth module, this is definitely the better way to go. Some hard drives like to suck more power than others when they first start, and the externally powered hub could protect you from issues where the HDD is pulling in large spikes.

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