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Mount an External Hard Drive on the Raspberry Pi with Raspian

This is a quick guide on how to connect an External Hard Drive to the Raspberry Pi using the Raspian operating system. Most external Hard Drives are quite energy hungry and will require a USB Hub to run in a stable manner. You can buy a USB hub from our store.

The first step is to plug the Pi in and then switch it on. It should boot up as normal, so go ahead and log in to Raspian as normal.

Step 1. Is it there?

To check the current storage devices attached to your Pi simply run the command:

sudo blkid


This shows that we currently have a 'Seagate Expansion Drive' attached.

Step 2. Check the Partitions

We now have to check the boot name of the 'Seagate’s' partition.

sudo fdisk –l


Shows that the drive is located at /dev/sda1

Step 3. Mounting it.

Now we know where the drive is, we need to mount it:

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

The folder “/mnt” is the standard location for mounting permanent media, but you can create your own folder using the “mkdir” command.

That’s it! The drive is mounted.

Step 4. Permissions

As the drive is formatted in NTFS, we may have to change the /mnt drive permissions in order to enable proper access. Simply run the following command:

sudo chmod 775 /mnt

This will change your permissions and allow you to access the drive.

To test, let’s create a folder

cd /mnt

sudo mkdir /IMAFOLDER



Good! So you can read and write to the hard drive.

Step 5. Automounting the hardrive

If you want your Hard Drive to mount from boot, you should set this up.

First step is to edit the "fstab" file

sudo nano /etc/fstab


It will open up this file in nano text editor:


You need to add the following line to have the hard drive mount at boot:

/dev/sda1 /mnt /ntfs defaults 0 0


You can now reboot your Raspbery Pi, and your hard drive will automatically mount.

Step 5. How to unmount.

To unmount the drive, simply run this command:

sudo umount /mnt

As long as you’re not currently using the drive, it should un-mount.

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