Starbuck, (edited )


The Raspberry Pi won’t be able to supply enough power for a 3.5-inch hard drive.


  1. Connect the hard drive to the adapter:

    • Carefully plug the SATA power and data cables from the SATA to USB adapter into the corresponding ports on the HGST Ultrastar He12 drive.
  2. Connect to the Raspberry Pi:

    • Plug the USB end of the SATA to USB adapter into an available USB port on your Raspberry Pi.
  3. Power the hard drive:

    • Connect the external power supply to the hard drive. Do not attempt to power it solely through the Raspberry Pi.
  4. Mount the hard drive (on the Raspberry Pi):

    • Check if the drive is detected: Use the command lsblk to list connected block devices. Your hard drive should show up (e.g., /dev/sda1).
  • Format: The hard drive might come pre-formatted with a filesystem that Raspberry Pi doesn’t recognize. You may need to format it using a Linux-compatible filesystem like ext4. Use mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1 (replace ‘/dev/sda1’ if necessary).
  • Create a mount point: Use the command sudo mkdir /mnt/mydrive (you can replace ‘mydrive’ with any name you prefer).
    • Mount the drive: Use the command sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/mydrive (replace ‘/dev/sda1’ with the actual device name if different).

Important Considerations

  • Power: Raspberry Pi’s USB ports cannot provide enough power for a large hard drive. Using an external power supply is crucial to avoid damaging the Raspberry Pi or causing the hard drive to malfunction.
  • Automatic Mounting: To automatically mount the drive on startup, you’ll need to edit your /etc/fstab file.

Additional Tips

  • Enclosure: Consider getting an enclosure for the hard drive and its adapter for protection and portability.
  • Data Transfer: File transfers over USB 2.0 (if your Raspberry Pi has that) will be slower than directly connected SATA.

PS: I’m a human who started typing out half of this, then wanted to see if the AI could come up with a better response. I gave it the image from the posting above and said “I want to connect this to a Raspberry Pi” and I thought it came out with a better response. Mine originally only mentioned the USB-SATA part, while the LLM came back with instructions (I had to reorder them, but otherwise they looked good)


Thank you for your remarkable work here — and for the confirmation that the LLM got it right!

minibyte, (edited )

Well done. I’ve had this set up with Kodi and it ran like a dream for years. Only took it offline because I upgraded to a Nvidia Shield Pro when it came out back in 2019.

Edit: I can say that your average spin disk over USB 3.0 read speed is sufficient for 4k Remux if that’s the goal.

jodanlime, avatar

Pi doesn’t have a SATA controller built in. You could use a SATA to USB adapter with this drive and it would work though.


I sometimes have trouble getting a low powered device like the pi to power a 3.5 hdd over usb. You’ll need the power source coming from the wall directly to the HDD most likely.

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