I want to build a NAS with RAID 1 using two 3.5 inch HDDs. I want to connect the HDDs via USB. Thus I'd need two cases for the HDDs with two separate power supplies.

Cases/Racks with two HDD slots usually already have a raid controller or JBOD inside and hence only one external USB connection.

Is there such a case, having more than one slot with one power supply but separate USB connections?

If not, I don't want to end up with a power supply clutter of three devices (Rpi + 2 HDDs). Is there an alternative to what I think about?

  • 1
    To avoid clutter, put everything in a box with a single large PSU to power everything. If you use cheap USB cables, then two separate cables could give better speeds than both drives over a single cable. The RPi is capable of doing soft-RAIDS, so separate cables aren't a problem. I Even did a striped array across 4 USB thumbdrives once. Simply to see if it would work.
    – svin83
    Feb 9, 2019 at 3:45

1 Answer 1


I'm not aware of such a case. I highly doubt there is a usecase. Usually you have RAID in hardware but you want to do it yourself in software. Which is absolutely fine. But as you wrote, usually you have separate cases with separate power supplies and so on.

You can power everything with one power supply if you pick one that has enough power for all devices. 3.5" hard drive cases usually are powered with 12V so pick a stronger one which can power both HDDs the Pi with enough head room, get a splitter cable or build one yourself and use a DC-DC step down module like this or that.

The first one can power you Pi directly over GPIO, bypassing the losses of the microUSB plug. Only do this if you are confident with what you are doing. You bypass the fuse that way. Any connected USB device that draws to much current can cause damage to your Pi!.

In the setup with two self-powered devices however, this is pretty safe. But any alteration of the setup may be dangerous.

The second one is more fail-safe but you will have to also buy a barrel plug and solder a short cable.

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