Like a lot of people, I use a Raspberry Pi as a media center (in addition to other things). But an SD card is not enough and simply not adapted to store a collection of films and series. That’s why I store them on an external hard drive, connected to the Pi via USB.

Recently, I bought a Raspberry Pi 2 and wanted to use it as a media center, to use my old Raspberry Pi for something other. However, I encountered a problem: I noticed that the Pi 2 didn’t want to power my external hard drive, while the Pi 1 did it well.

Maybe you have the same problem, and that’s why I wrote this article: there’s a solution!

By default, the Raspberry Pi doesn’t deliver more than 0.6A through USB. We need to increase this limit in order to power an external hard drive. To do that, edit the /boot/config.txt file (with for exemple sudo nano /boot/config.txt) and add the following line to the end:


Now reboot your Raspberry Pi (with sudo shutdown -r now for example). Magically, your Raspberry Pi can now deliver up to 1.2A through USB and that’s enough to power your external hard drive. Of course, you need a good power source: a microUSB adapter which delivers 5V and 2A is a good idea.