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External portable HDD to use with a Humax HDR-FOX T2 - Can you help!?

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Thread update:
I bought a buffalo HD-PCU2 1.0 TB ministation [usb external hard drive] as my drive was getting full and the kids didn't want to delete their favourite shows.

-Humax HDR Fox T2 -reads and writes without reformatting from it's shipped FAT32 format.
-It doesn't have or need external power supply.
-Humax plays my apple mp4 videos that I have transferred from PC. [made using freemake]
-PC plays humax files with VLC media player

It is really small and neat and the blue LED is the same shade as the Humax blue light for those that care.
It was much easier than I thought.
(I did update the Humax firmware last year which may have enabled some features.)
None of the above is dependent on the custom firmware. The only things you might have an issue with are:
  • Fat32 has a 4GB limit on file size. Trying to copy a recording that is greater than 4GB will cause the copy to be truncated with no warning.
  • HiDef recordings must be Foxy'd or auto-unprotected before the copy will be usable on PC or wherever.
For information, see Things Every... (click) sections 12 & 5.

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
PC World currently have the Seagate Backup Plus 1TB USB3 portable drive for £55 (available in four colours). I bought a red one to try out (not that I think the case colour will make any difference!). It has a funny connector, which I guess must be a USB3 standard for the device end, but it is supplied with a cable that connects the drive to a USB2 port OK (and probably a USB3 port as well, but I don't have one of those).

I can confirm that hanging off my HDR3 (with a UPD in the rear socket as well) there have been no problems powering the drive or booting with it in, and a bulk copy proceeded at about the usual rate (about 10 GB per hour). The one little niggle I have is that the power LED doesn't flash with data transfer, it remains solid except during start-up.

I will try it on two other HDRs later (to check it's not a fluke) and on a HD (but I do not intend to reformat the drive at the moment so the HD-FOX test will be restricted to playback).
There are a couple of different types of connector used for the drive end on USB3 devices. The plug on the other end is standard (it has to be, usb 3 drives can connect to usb2 ports and usb2 drives can be used with usb3 ports)

Picture of a B type here


And the A type here


I have drives with both types of connector

All of them work fine with my HDR FOX T2 (largest is 3TB)


Well-Known Member
It has a funny connector, which I guess must be a USB3 standard for the device end, but it is supplied with a cable that connects the drive to a USB2 port OK (and probably a USB3 port as well, but I don't have one of those).
It should also work with a USB 2.0 standard type A -> micro B cable, since the 'funny' connector accepts either USB 2 or USB 3 connectors.

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It's the one in the second link described as a "USB 3.0 Micro-B plug". It doesn't look compatible with anything USB2, unless a micro fits the wide bit and the narrow bit isn't necessary (which I now read is the case).

For experience, I just hooked it up with a USB2 micro, and proved it works.

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I have started a bulk copy between a USB2 Hitachi 500GB and the USB3 Seagate (using USB2) through my Celeron notebook, and I'm getting 100GB per hour. Compare that with the Humax rate!


Well-Knwοn Мember
A USB 3.0 drive will have a fall-back mode that communicates with a USB 2.0 port. However, the specification permits a USB 3.0 device to draw up to 900mA and this exceeds the rated capability of the HD/HDR-FOX's ports. This is not to say that such a device will draw more that 500mA, just that it could and still be within specification, therefore you would have no comeback.
On the contrary the specification does not permit the drawing of that much power from a USB 2.0 port.

Here is a link to the USB 3.0 specification:
http://www.gaw.ru/pdf/interface/usb/USB 3 0_english.pdf

If you are using a USB2.0 port you are using the HDD in non-superSpeed mode ...
Note that the maximum power draw for a SuperSpeed device operating in non-SuperSpeed mode is governed by the limits set in the USB 2.0 specification.
A USB 3.0 device shall reset successfully at one of the supported USB 2.0 speeds when in an USB 2.0 only electrical environment.
Suspended devices, whether configured or not, shall limit their bus power consumption as to the suspend power requirements in the USB 2.0 specification.

Also see the 5th design goal in section 1.6.

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
Interesting, If I am interpreting this correctly, when a USB3.0 device detects a USB2.0 socket it should fall back to USB2.0 data rates and also fall back to USB2.0 power supply maximum values. In this case a USB3.0 device should never fail to operate due to lack of power on the Humax, if the Humax correctly meets the USB2.0 spec. However, users have reported this to be a problem


The Dumb One
EP said:
The link above seems to have been removed, here is another Amazon link :-Express Card £5.99+£0.49
Expresscard To USB 3.0 2 Ports Adapter
I've got one of those for my lappy and it does not work solidly (keeps dropping the connection, so is useless) on my WD 1.5TB USB3 external drive. It also seemed shaky, but less so, on a Dynamode USB3 caddy with a 250G SSD in it. I'm waiting for a replacement.
Edited to make sentence 2 to read It .... shaky instead of I ..... shaky. Oh, I don't know, perhaps I'll change it back.

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
I would have to say no, there were reports of users replacing a USB powered drive that didn't work on the Humax with mains powered drives that did work with the Humax and assuming that the power supply was the problem

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I agree with EP (I think - the wording is a little obscure). There were reports of problems with USB-powered HDDs, but you would have to make a determined forum search to find them (use Google not the forum search tool, prefix the search term with "site:hummy.tv/forum").