Adding external storage to N2+

Thank you to the CoreELEC team for your work and dedication.

I would like to connect external USB 2TB storage to my N2+.and have the following questions.

  1. Will a HDD suffice or is HDD or SSD optimum for performance and reliability?

  2. Can N2+ power the drive from the USB, or is additional power of some sort required?

  3. Any recommendations for make/model of drive that will just connect to, be recognised by, and function with CE without issues?

  4. Will Kodi immediately recognise the drive as available to add as a Kodi video source?

  5. Can the drive then be accessed over SMB to manage files from a PC on the network?

I’ll try and answer:

  1. HDD suffices, although I like the quietness of SSD :wink:
  2. In my experience 1 USB disk will be OK, only just though. A powered USB hub might be needed if your amperage is at minimum specs (2A).
  3. Any healthy disk should do. I like Kingston
  4. Yes, if formatted properly
  5. Yes. I think by default USB disks are autoshared

Hope it helps.

Thanks very much for your help.

Would a 2.5" HDD consume less power than a 3.5" HDD and therefore more likely to function correctly with the standard N2+ 2 amp PSU?+. Also what are the options for obtaining a higher amperage capacity PSU for the N2+?

How should the disk be correctly formatted for Kodi?

I had more success with 2.5 without a powered hub.
The power adapter standard is used in many devices like disks, routers etc. What I did on one system is take an old routers 3A power adapter and used that in a similar scenario.

I have used both 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs and had no problems.
A quality PSU should always be the first. I’m using a 12v 6a PSU, it works pretty well.
It will not use the power of the N2 as it will need external power for the 3.5" HDD, I don’t know if it will help.

You don’t need any special formatting. NTFS or ext4 doesn’t matter.
I prefer NTFS to be able to use it on other PCs.

Just saw the last question, missed that the first time. I agree with @istanbulls on this :wink:

Thanks very much for your replies.

I decided to go with an external 2TB 3.5" WD Elements Portable HDD to a powered USB 3 hub.

Presumably there are no potential issues connecting a powered USB 3 hub to the N2+? I know there were USB 3 issues with the N2.

As long as you use a 12V, at least 2A power adapter all should be fine.
There have been some reports of N2 users where the USB port closest to the power outlet would cause issues. Haven’t experienced that myself (N2 user)

Thanks.

Most powered USb hubs seem to be 5V/3A which would not work presumably then.

Would appreciate any recommendations for a N2+ compatible powered 4 port USB hub.

If you use a powered hub, the N2+ doesn’t need to provide power, so 2A suffices.
Just use whatever the hub needs separately.
You might be overthinking this a bit, did you plug it in yet…? :wink:

Edit: Ah, you don’t have the hub yet it seems. No specific recommendation, just use one of descent quality i would say.

They have been solved with N2+ (redesign of internal USB hub powersupply)

No specific recommendation, only watchout to get one which does not distribute power to the USB uplink (cheap devices often do so, to save little cost for a diode, but backpowering the N2 then, which gives reboot issues & may damage the N2+)
see:

https://elinux.org/RPi_Powered_USB_Hubs

The only thing I would add to all this is USB harddrives behave differently to SATA drives, they don’t automatically power up when you power up your N2 and this can play havoc with your shares and file system. So power interruptions and reboot will often leave your HDD’s missing. This means you have to manually power them up before switching on the N2. They can also power themselves down if not accessed regularly, again causing issues with your CE file system.

This may not be universal but its something to be aware of.

Thanks very much for all the advice which is really appreciated.

After what has been said I am wary of the powered USB hub route given the disconnects and other issues mentioned by Shoog which I definitely want to avoid.

Another option I am considering in view of this is a 2.5" HDD in an external enclosure and plugging it directly into a USB port of the N2+. The question is would the standard 12V/2A PSU power it reliably or would a higher rated one be required?

I assume the N2+ with standard 12V/2A power supply can at the very least power an SSD over USB 3 without the aforementioned issues?

It did for me. No guarantees, though :wink:
If you want a robust, reliable storage solution i recommend using a nas

Just as example of use:
On old N2 I have 3 HDD connected differently.
One via usb2sata docker with self power, one via usb2sata adapter with self power and 2.5 HDD via usb2sata adapter without power.
After 2 years of use I replaced usb2sata adapter and power adapter to new one as I had some disconnection issues on it one week before replacement. Now all is working again without issues and disk could sleep and wake up without issues.
And linux file system is preferred as it doesn’t use much cpu as NTFS.
If drive wake up too much time then you need to configure delay for nfs or smb in kodi advancedsettings file.

Thanks very much Atreyu and everyone else for all your advice which is much appreciated and most helpful.

All things and advice considered I have settled on a Samsung 2TB SSD formatted NTFS in a Ugreen enclosure, to connect directly to an N2+ USB port. Hoping that CE/Kodi and Samba from my PC will recognise the drive by default.

Thanks again to this community and CE team.

Have two 3.5" Ugreen USB3-SATA enclosure connected to a Ugreen USB3 4 port hub. Very happy with the quality of their products and have had absolutely no issues after two years use.

Yes, id say that’s s good choice. The disk should be recognized and shared over the network automatically

I got an Icybox directly connected to N2 and 3 external usb HD (with own power) connected trough a usbhub.
No problems here…

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