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Connecting an external hard drive to my router

HeyBaby4D
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-07-2017

Connecting an external hard drive to my router

I've had a 1TB hard drive connected to my router for probably a year now, all set up and mapped in the correct way. I've been able to access it from different computers on the network without any problems.

Today we were moving some things across to it, and then it just randomly decided it didn't want to be recognised.

We got a range of error messages, but the gist was that it didn't exist.

Going into the router settings, I can see that it is there, connected to the USB, but it does say that the file format is not supported - "Elements 10B8 (Rev: 1012) File type not supported".

I know the correct way to map the drive is to type the IP address into File Explorer, but on doing this it says the file is empty. This would explain why it can't be accessed, if Windows Explorer thinks it no longer exists.

We've since restarted the computer, reset the router to factory settings, and the PlusNet tech support said they haven't got a clue about this sort of thing, their only advice was to switch it off and on again!

Any ideas?

Thanks

7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
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Registered: ‎24-10-2013

Re: Connecting an external hard drive to my router

sounds like the HDD is kaput.

i assume you have tried plugging the HDD into your computer directly?
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Connecting an external hard drive to my router

The hard drive has a 'header' that identifies how it has been formatted.  If sectors in this 'header' become corrupt and unreadable then any device trying to talk to the hard drive will not be able to identify the format so cannot read the contents.  Your hard drive seems to be in that state.  To confirm, follow @chenks76 advice and connect the hard drive directly to a computer. 

HeyBaby4D
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-07-2017

Re: Connecting an external hard drive to my router

Thanks both for the reply. I hadn't actually tried the hard drive directly in the PC, that would seem like an obvious place to start. Unfortunately, it's not really helped, it is working absolutely fine when it's connected directly.

To explain a bit more, we don't access the hard drive very often, we were just doing our quarterly archiving, it was working fine for a couple of hours, then, without any warning or obvious instigators, we just started getting these error messages.

I just tried experimenting with putting a USB drive in the back of the router. Again, navigating to the IP address in Explorer shows no results, but when I look at the Home Network section of the Advanced settings, I can see the USB drive there.

So it definitely seems like something to do with the router.

Unfortunately I don't have any other PC to see if it's a problem with the PC itself, just a Mac.

 

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Connecting an external hard drive to my router


@HeyBaby4D wrote:

Thanks both for the reply. I hadn't actually tried the hard drive directly in the PC, that would seem like an obvious place to start. Unfortunately, it's not really helped, it is working absolutely fine when it's connected directly.

 


So back it up ASAP as they have a habit of being ok and then going completely when you've deemed them to be ok.

As for the router.. been there and done that with my cisco linksys. It worked fine for a while and then one day it just didn't want to work anymore with that HDD. It was fine with usb thumb drives but the HDD it didn't want to cooperate with at all. I think many routers have a controller that stops working properly because if i plugged it in and left it for 10 minutes it would eventually see it and allow me to slowly access files but it was more hassle than it was worth.

My advice is if you want networked access cheaply then buy a raspberry pi and share it via that.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
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Registered: ‎24-10-2013

Re: Connecting an external hard drive to my router


@7up wrote:
My advice is if you want networked access cheaply then buy a raspberry pi and share it via that.

that's an overcomplicated solution.
It may be cheap to buy the pi, but add on the cost of the proper power supply, SD card, case (unless you're going to leave it sitting uncovered), and the knowledge to set up a linux system with file shares and permissions it quickly becomes not "that" cheap and a hassle to get up and running (and keep running).

a little more expensive, but far easier to simply by a NAS.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Connecting an external hard drive to my router

I'm glad the hard drive was found to be intact when connected directly to the computer.  Although some routers will support a USB device, it's not really part of their prime purpose so in my (limited) experience it's not a highly reliable function.  The router is trying to offer the function of Network Attached Storage on the cheap.  Or perhaps it was for a networked printer in the old days when they didn't all offer wireless networking.  I'm with @chenks76, if you want an NAS, best to purchase something designed as an NAS.  

TheRoadCrew
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Registered: ‎14-05-2017

Re: Connecting an external hard drive to my router


@chenks76 wrote:

@7up wrote:
My advice is if you want networked access cheaply then buy a raspberry pi and share it via that.

that's an overcomplicated solution.
It may be cheap to buy the pi, but add on the cost of the proper power supply, SD card, case (unless you're going to leave it sitting uncovered),

And you're not going to spend a whole lot more. 

and the knowledge to set up a linux system with file shares and permissions it quickly becomes not "that" cheap and a hassle to get up and running (and keep running).

openmediavault has RPi images that can be downloaded and written to SD card from Widows / OS X / Linux; configuration is done from a web interface. It may not be as polished as the likes of QNAP or Synology but it's perfectly functional.

a little more expensive, but far easier to simply by a NAS.

If attaching a USB HDD to a router sufficed as network attached storage for the OP, I dare say attaching a USB HDD to a RPi running omv would suffice too.

But, sure, spending more can get you a better NAS.