Is there an external storage without needing supplementary power? (i.e. a second power adapter)

EDIT: Would a very light-weight external USB SSD, such as this Verbatim, have a low enough consumption? (the manufacturer doesn't specify the consumption..)

  • 1
    Western digital sells a drive kit designed to work specifically with the Pi wdlabs.wd.com/category/wd-pidrive. I have seen plenty of other drive issues arise from power problems. This seems to be one of the few or only drives specifically designed for the Pi (without exteranal power) and hence having undergone extensive testing with the Pi. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 2:00
  • @SteveRobillard : But why does it ship with a PS? Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 2:04
  • The base model does not and IIRC correctly (i think I saw it mentioned in the magpi) that it can run without external power. This may help raspberrypi.org/blog/meet-314gb-pidrive Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 2:07
  • I'm using a Western digital Elements drive on a Raspberry model B without problems. Other components in use are a monitor on the composite jack, active speakers on the audio jack and an Edimax Wifi-dongle on the second usb. I use a 1000mA power adapter for power supply. wdc.com/en-gb/products/portable-storage/…
    – sinclair
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


The use of flash drives should not require additional power sources. This is a viable option should your storage needs not be too large.

  • please take a look on the product link in the edit of the question Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 12:16
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    That should be fine, but remember the Pi doesn't support USB3.0.
    – Mobalized
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 2:39

There are no drives which can be guaranteed. Most modern portable USB drives (I use Seagate & Toshiba) can run without external power PROVIDED you have a quality power supply AND a good USB power cable.

Unfortunately these are rare; even "official" Pi power supplies do not meet the specs. See Raspberry Pi Power Limitations.

If you have a PSU/cable combination which is close to 5V (measured on pin 2,6 of the expansion header) it should be OK. Ideally the USB port should be loaded with a dummy load to draw ~600mA while testing.

Other options are SSD "drives" and USB Keys.

  • Could you please expand on SSD "drives"? Do you mean USB SSDs? Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 12:13
  • Would USB external SSDs use less current than USB external hard disks? Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 12:03
  • please take a look on the product link in the edit of the question Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 12:16

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