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Surface Pro 4 working with 2TB External HD

rockluvva

New Member
Hi

I don't actually own this yet, but I would like to. I'm looking at the Surface Pro 4 i5 128GB version.

It says it's the equivalent of a laptop as well as a tablet, so the only thing stopping me buying is whether it will work with my Western Digital 2TB External HD. Does anyone know whether it will or not? And would it work if I was to upgrade my External to a 4TB, which I'm thinking of doing?

Thanks
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome to the forum. I'm afraid I can't respond regarding that specific hard drive, some will work, some won't, it depends on their power requirements. I use a 1tb seagate drive with mine and it works fine, but given my earlier point, that really doesn't help.

are there any electronic stores near you who may have one in stock that you could try it with? Else buy fomr somewhere with a good return policy.
 
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rockluvva

New Member
Welcome to the forum. I'm afraid I can't respond regarding that specific hard drive, some will work, some won't, it depends on their power requirements. I use a 1tb seagate drive with mine and it works fine, but given my earlier point, that really doesn't help.

are there any electronic stores near you who may have one in stock that you could try it with? Else buy fomr somewhere with a good return policy.

Hi Hughlie

Thanks for the reply.

In the past, I've found that tablets do tend to recognise externals as long as they have their own power supply, which mine does. Unfortunately, I don't know of any stores near me that have them on display (maybe John Lewis or something). I'll probably do some more research, or just wait for my sister to come over again from the US & test it with hers :)
 
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rockluvva

New Member
What model drive?
Yes, with either a powered hub or powered drive it will work.
Hi Greyfox

Ok, I completely lied. Just looked up which one I got, in fact it's a Seagate Expansion 4TB (I'm at work, had to check back). I wonder whether the Surface Pro 4 will stretch to that kind of drive, even with its own power supply?

Thanks
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Let me plug mine in (4tb seagate expansion) and I'll get back to you. I was thinking we were talking about portable harddrives. If it has an external power supply, then there should be zero issue of "stretching" to it, that's why it has external power.

Yep, works absolutely fine on my sp4 (128gb/4gb i5)
 
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rockluvva

New Member
Let me plug mine in and I'll get back to you. I was thinking we were talking about portable harddrives. If it has an external power supply, then there should be zero issue of "stretching" to it, that's why it has external power.
Thanks. I know the portable ones do sometimes work as long as the size is not too large. But that's why I was hoping that because this has its own power supply it'd be Ok. A lot of money to spend on something that I can't use as a fully functional laptop (I already have a mini laptop, but want to get rid of it & have a tablet & laptop in one).
 

Afy

Member
For what its worth I have used a WD 4TB portable drive plugged in and on battery, as well as a Samsung 2TB SSD without issues.
 
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rockluvva

New Member
For what its worth I have used a WD 4TB portable drive plugged in and on battery, as well as a Samsung 2TB SSD without issues.
Thanks Afy. I think that tablets have come quite a long way in the tech world that mine should hopefully be Ok.

I will probably give it a shot.

Thanks again
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Afy. I think that tablets have come quite a long way in the tech world that mine should hopefully be Ok.

I will probably give it a shot.

Thanks again
Just remember, best not to look at this as a tablet. It might share the form factor, but it is no different to an ultra book in reality. No need to worry about special OTG cables etc, it's just a regular computer with a regular USB port running a regular OS. It's why the surface line rock! :)
 
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rockluvva

New Member
Just remember, best not to look at this as a tablet. It might share the form factor, but it is no different to an ultra book in reality. No need to worry about special OTG cables etc, it's just a regular computer with a regular USB port running a regular OS. It's why the surface line rock! :)
I will, thanks. My sister has the Pro 4 I5, which is when I first started drooling. I wanted to just keep an Android tablet, but I do need Windows for various bits.

I shall now go shop for one.

Thanks again. :)
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Regular computer ... except the Surface USB port only provides the mandatory 900 ma of power out where computers often exceed this minimum power requirement. It's not wrong and it makes good sense for a battery powered device this size to limit the USB drain on the battery. Many USB devices exceed 900 ma and those will not work without extra power either via a powered USB hub, their own power supply, or a USB Y cable to draw power from an auxiliary source.

Unfortunately most USB devices do not advertise or provide their power requirements or specify the current needed. Many newer devices do stay under the 900 ma limit but I doubt they tell you.
 
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