I am trying to make my Pi 3 work with one of the external HDDs I have at home.

A few of them have both USB input and power supply input, others have only USB input, but bigger capacity, which I prefer. To use such a HDD I decided to buy power-supplied USB hub. The main question I have is the following:

Can I plug Pi's micro-USB power input into one of the hub inputs, while still using another hub input to power the HDDs and connect them to the Pi via the hub's output?

This will result in the only socket-connected device being the hub. It seems strange to me that the Pi will be getting data from hub's USB, while being connected to the same hub itself.

  • If the hub is standards compliant (most don't seem to be) it will only supply 150mA and NOT run the Pi.
    – Milliways
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


You could but its only going to be possible if the USB hub can supply a lot of power reliably. The data lines on the micro USB power socket on the Pi are not connected, so the Pi isn't going to appear as a USB device.

  • Thanks for your answer. I though something similar, but was not sure.
    – Deimos
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 14:34

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