I have the following configuration: A Raspberry Pi model B connected to a powered USB hub, with the +5V detached from it (otherwise the hub powers the Pi due to backfeed). They work fine together and I can plug in many hi-powered devices, such as wifi adapters.

I want to connect to it an unpowered external western digital harddrive. When I plug it to my laptop it shows up as:

1058:1010 Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Elements External HDD

However, when I plug it to the powered hub on the Pi it shows up as:

13fd:160e Initio Corporation

The /dev/sdd file is not created. It is inaccessible.

I will note that if I connect the powered hub to my laptop, with +5V removed it also shows up as Initio Corporation. So this probably not a Pi specific problem, but due to it I can't access this drive with my Pi, as I would like to.

How can I get this drive to work with my Raspberry Pi.

  • 1
    Can you try with a USB hub that has a higher power output, and/or with a 2-to-1 or Y USB cable going to the disk? (My hunch is that your current hub isn't providing enough power to the disk)
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 28 '13 at 13:05
  • @Gagravarr I did, I found and adapter and now I can connect it to any USB port (only for power). Tried to a 1A super stabilized socket, still behaves badly. If someone voted this down, please explain why.
    – GuySoft
    Sep 7 '13 at 21:40

I got a 2.1A power supply for the USB hub and now it detects it correctly. I guess the drive draws more than 1A of power.


From Initio Corporation:

Initio is a leading provider of quality cost-effective integrated circuits and solutions for storage devices.

Inside of your hard drive's case is an Initio logic board (some call it the USB-SATA bridge board) which has its IC (microchip) installed right on the drive. This is what your Raspberry Pi is communicating with.

From what I can read up on, it seems to be a driver issue, power issue, or formatting issue:

  • Take a look at Google to see how to install the drivers properly.
  • Some Western Digital hard drives have their own power supply, so you could plug in the hard drive directly into the Pi with the external power supply to see if that fixes it.
  • Make sure that the Raspberry Pi can read from the filesystem used by your hard drive.
  • Thanks, that helps a bit. This is a western digital elements, which has no external power supply. The drive works fine on my laptop (has an ext4 and fat partition), so this is not a formatting issue. My laptop runs Kubuntu 13.04 and can read that disk perfectly fine. My only suspicion is the 1A power supply might not be enough, I'll try and test that in the meantime.
    – GuySoft
    Aug 27 '13 at 22:11
  • What is strange though is that there is a reply from the USB device. It identifies as a different device.
    – GuySoft
    Aug 27 '13 at 22:22
  • What is the full output of lsusb?
    – syb0rg
    Aug 27 '13 at 22:56
  • Sorry for the delay will get it for you. Been driving between two cities and the drive is currently in the wrong place
    – GuySoft
    Sep 7 '13 at 21:41

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