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External HDDs not detecting on x96 mini

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    External HDDs not detecting on x96 mini

    Hi all

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    I have a x96 mini 2gb/16 gb amlogic s905w Android tv box.

    I've had issues playing large size (50-60gb) high bitrate hevc movies from external 2.5" 1tb HDDs.

    The movies would buffer/stutter randomly. Similar movies on a 500gb 2.5" hdd & 1tb 3.5" powered hdd worked fine. Even smaller size samples of those movies worked ok from the 2.5" 1tb hdd. Tried the movies in question on a laptop & friend's Android box and it would stutter there too.

    After some googling & diagnosing it seems the only possible fix was more power for the 1tb hdd (though I don't understand why a 500gb works ok & not a 1tb, it's the same bitrate that needs to be played?).

    Had some missteps with a few powered USB hubs i bought which didn't help, & then last week, long story short, while trying yet another hub I ended up bricking the x96 mini's original 5v2a adapter (I think it was caused by reverse polarity on the power adapter I connected to the hub). I had a spare 5v2a adapter lying around but now I find none of the 2.5" HDDs are being detected by the box leave alone playing anything from them. Even the 500 gb hdd isn't being detected.

    First I thought I had fried the usb ports in the mishap but flash drives & the powered 1tb hdd are detected.

    So I'm thinking the replacement 5v 2a adapter isn't delivering the power it is rated for. Reading some posts on this forum some have suggested getting a 5v 3a adapter for their box also helped them with external hdd issues. Would it be safe to get one for my box? Would that also help me with my 2 issues (ie detecting external unpowered HDD'S & buffering of large size hevc movies from 1tb 2.5" hdds)?

    Also if I can get my hands on a 5v 5a adapter would that be more helpful or would that extra power be pointless? Do these boxes have some limitations on how much power the usb port can draw? I was reading somewhere that the raspberry Pi could be reconfigured to send more power to the usb port. Is there something like that in Android boxes? Would a higher ampere adapter be better or a powered USB hub? The really good hubs are expensive & I only rarely watch the movies I was having issues with so was reluctant to spring for one.

    Tldr - a higher ampere adapter than the original adapter or a powered USB hub which would help my tv box detect & play large size hevc movies from unpowered external HDDs?

    So, my box says
    usb2 = 5v 500ma
    usb3 = 5v 900 ma
    most hard drives use 12v 2a ( So, external powered is needed )

    As for 5v hard drives.. like my Usb3 to Msata drives the only work on old pc systems...
    By using a Y cable...that came with it
    USB female used for drive
    USB male thick cable is only power ( here I can use a USB adapter 5v 2a or higher )
    USB Male small cable is data only ( goes inside tvbox or old PC )

    I really think.. you should think about buying a NAS

    Anyway.. goodluck

    As for the Power adaptors..that come with tvboxes and CCTV stuff.. I trow them away as I don't trust them
    -- Some caught flames in the past..
    -I use adaptors from toshiba , HP, Asus , ect ( all 5v 3a or higher used for laptops or thinclients )
    Note: I buy them at kringloop store for about 5 to 10 bucks
    Models like :
    HP AD7011LF (5V 4A ) with converter to barrel 5.5 mm (from a old solar/powerbank)
    toshiba UP01221050A (5V 2A)
    i just took a few out of the drawer that where not in use / I also have few usb to 5.5 barrel cables
    Last edited by mitchell4you; 11-16-2020, 06:39.


      Hi @mitchell4you
      thanks for your reply

      My 2.5" hdd were being detected before so I don't think they need 12v.

      Nas would be overkill for my needs where I watch from hdd maybe few times in a year.

      Do you think a USB y cable where I connect one end to a mobile phone type charger & the other ends to the hdd & the tv box will help? I've seen conflicting responses about how safe y cables are with some saying usb protocol doesn't really recommend using them?

      How does a laptop adapter pin fit it in your tv box? Mine needs 5.5x2.1mm I think.