Powered USB hub for external hard drives?

  br1anstorm 15:16 PM 27 Feb 12
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For reasons mentioned in other posts (dead computer) I am having to try to run more than one external hard drive on a fairly old laptop.

This laptop has two USB 2.0 ports. But it clearly struggles to cope with the power demand of external hard drives. Some of my external drives have a single USB connection, others have two, one of which takes power from the second USB socket (I assume this indicates that different HDDs have differing power requirements and that some need more power than a single USB socket can provide). This means that often I can only run one external device at a time.

So I am thinking of getting a separate powered USB hub. But a quick online check reveals that not all powered hubs are the same, and some of them can't cope with running more one external HDD. Can anyone advise on which powered hubs are capable of coping at the same time with, say, two external drives, or a hard disk drive and an external CD-writer?

  br1anstorm 12:33 PM 28 Feb 12

Thanks Lazarus .... but YMMV. Some of the reviews of this Akasa hub suggest that it may not be able to handle more than one hard drive. The reviews on Amazon tell a similar story about many other brands too, although the MaxValue 13-port hub seems to perform better than most.

Some websites suggest that the design of hubs varies: in theory each port needs to be able to provide 500mA, but in many of then only one or two ports provide full power and it is assumed that other ports will be used by flash drives etc which need little power.

I found a US website at http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/1756.aspx which reviews some models. But the problem is that detailed spec on power-supply is rarely provided in the descriptions of the hubs currently on the market. So any expert advice on the power-configuration of hubs would be welcome.

  wiz-king 13:04 PM 28 Feb 12

You are correct - I have a 6 port hub that has a 5v 2A power supply. Thats 3 ports and the hub with it's pretty multi coloured LEDS, I don't know where the other 3 ports are powered from!!!

  ams4127 17:01 PM 28 Feb 12

I've been running a Belkin self-powered USB hub for several years. It's had HDDs, game controllers, Flash drives and heaven knows what else plugged in, and has happily run them all.

All 7 ports are currently in use.

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