1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

External Drive support. Does it exist?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by INFUMUS, Sep 18, 2011.


    INFUMUS Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Are there any developers or manufacturers that are trying to incorporate external hard drive or optical drive support into software/hardware? Think maybe it'll show up in Ice Cream Sandwich?


  2. Rabid1

    Rabid1 Android Enthusiast

    What do you mean by external drive support? A Flytouch can see and use large portable USB driives. Or are you talking more like installing apps to an external drive?
  3. mplevy

    mplevy Android Expert

    The Acer Iconia A500 can also mount external drives. CD drives, possibly not, but a flash drive and possibly an external HDD will mount. it will even mount a digital camera and import the pictures off it.
  4. TheSultan

    TheSultan Android Expert

    my EEE has a dock with two USB ports in it, works awsome
  5. mplevy

    mplevy Android Expert

    No dock needed with the Iconia, it has an onboard USB host port...
  6. katefields

    katefields Lurker

    Hi! This is my first post here, and it was a search for info on this topic that brought me to Android forums!

    I think what the OP meant was (and the info I'm looking for is) whether it is or will be possible to plug an external CD/DVD drive into the USB port and have it function. I'd like to watch DVDs on my tablet sometimes, and it would be a lot easier to just plug in the drive rather than ripping the DVD to my computer and whatever other steps that would entail.

    It would also be mighty handy for transrerring files.

    It would just be nice to skip the middleman of the PC. As tablets become more advanced and able to stand alone for more things, I think this would be essential.
  7. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    VIP Member

    Welcome to AF Katefields! :)

    I'd hazard a guess and say it's a driver issue. With stuff like USB Storage, I can imagine the drivers are pretty generic, but when you start looking external DVD players, getting a generic driver (or set of drivers) for all the different models would get problematic.

    Not saying it isn't possible, just saying it's probably a bit difficult.
  8. xmr405o

    xmr405o Android Expert

    I've been searching for the answer for your question for a long time because I had the same thought. However, for android tablets, it doesn't seem like it exists. :(

    Just like what el presidente has said, the drivers aren't built for our tablets and also the power output through usb is another issue.
  9. katefields

    katefields Lurker

    Ah yes, that makes a lot of sense--especially about the power supply issue. I hadn't thought of that.

    Well, that answers my question. Thank you!
  10. ryaxnb

    ryaxnb Lurker

    The Toshiba Thrive can see exFAT and FAT32 drives, i believe.
    it can manipulate files on them, view the files if they're in Android 3.x compatible formats, and use external viewers like QuickOffice or MX Video Player
    tube517 likes this.
  11. iconiaa500

    iconiaa500 Lurker

    Hey guys
    I have tried to connect an external CD drive to my Acer iconia a500.
    The CD drive needed 2 USB connections. As the iconia a500 only has one I only did it with one. My tablet started to recognize it but then failed. I will try to get a multi USB hub so I can connect both of the USB's from the CD drive and see if it will recognize. Wish me luck and I'll reply my findings.
  12. iconiaa500

    iconiaa500 Lurker

    I have tried it using the multi usb hub and it did not work. I belive there is insaficient power to the external drive or lack of softwear.
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Was it a powered USB hub, with a mains brick, or just a passive one that relies on power from the USB port?

    It's most likely due to lack of power, if a tablet can mount a FAT32 formatted USB stick OK, it should be able to mount a FAT32 formatted HDD as well. Assuming the HDD has enough power to run. Probably more of a problem for HDDs that have two USB plugs for extra power, but a powered hub should be OK here.

    Don't know about Android supporting USB optical drives, it may not have the drivers.
  14. 350X

    350X Android Expert

    just for testing, plug the USB cable that feeds it power into a PC and the data USB into the tablet.
  15. jaycin

    jaycin Lurker

    Nubee here.

    I just bought a Android based mini computer with 4.0 . I read some posts here about this but it seems most refer to tablets. Can I connect a cd drive to an android mini?

  16. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    VIP Member

    Hi jaycin, I'm guessing the answer is no, but without specifics surrounding the model etc, I can't be sure.
  17. jaycin

    jaycin Lurker

    Thanks for a fast response. Specs:

    7" WM8850
    Android 4.0.
    2 usb 2.0 ports
    1.2Ghz prosesser
    512M ddr
    Made in China (maker unknown).

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