How can I access a external hard drive over a network via USB?
Question by David Zack /

I have a DROBO external hard drive enclosure that I want to connect to my networked Raspberry Pi computer or another compatible PC and be able to send and retrive files remotely from outside my home network. I wanted to make it available to a freind so that he can stream movies and send files to it for backup.

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Answers (7)
  • Jim B.

    Read all the comments. None of them are acceptable.

    Yes, with the right software you can easily attach your Drobo to your Raspberry Pi (Pi). Then you can stream the media. Once you get the Pi set up and the appropriate OS (spoken Linux) and the media center software you’ll be in good shape to just use it as a player with the Pi connected to the TV via the HDMI.

    1) Recommend you buy the $3.50 mpeg layer 2 codec.

    2) There is an attachment that you can buy for about $100-125 for your Drobo. Instead of buying that, your Pi should serve that bit of functionality.

    3) You just have to make sure your Pi will read the file system (you may lack the utilities from Drobo (I think it is called drobo-utils)). Realistically those are only needed for setting up how your Drobo will work. Once done most of us just access the Drobo as a USB or firewire (firewire only while attached to a regular computer).

    4) Since the Drobo is powered and your Pi is powered and your PI will likely be running Linux, if you have the drives formatted in ext3 (or ext4), you should be able to access those from the Pi.

    5) All that is left is to get a stable media center player to run on the OS (Linux). The most popular is XBMC. So, you don’t actually need a web server. XBMC does have some web server features that allow you to control the media center with a browser or a remote control android/ios app for a phone or tablet.

    If you don’t plan on doing anything else on the Pi other than media streaming I think there’s a image file of XBMC for the Pi for the soon to be released Frodo edition. If you do plan on doing something more such as mail, asterisk server, web browser, etc., you are going to want a real distribution install and not the XBMC image for the Pi.

    As of now there are a number of high profile projects to move XBMC to Android devices, to move Ubuntu and other distros to the Nexus 7 (which will lead to more), and XBMC and Linux to a number of devices similar to the Pi.

    • Toby Secker

      Hi I’m looking to use my rpi as a media player using my drobo connected via usb for storage of my movies. I’m concerned about disconnecting the drobo or powering down. I’m a complete noob. Any suggestions as I don’t want to corrupt 6tb of data. Cheers.

  • kumar raja

    I think it is not very easy and it is costly u can try WDC and Seagate HDD drives its built in devices are coming now a days

  • Alex Perkins

    There are routers that have a USB connection on the back for just such a situation, try here:

  • Kannon Y

    I’m completely unfamiliar with the Drobo storage unit, although according to Drobo’s own website, setting it up as a network device requires a third party unit – specifically, Drobo’s developers said that a PogoPlug is required to connect with Android and other operating systems.

    However, according to their website, the Drobo is basically a RAID array (with outstanding design) that will appear as a network drive.

    So it may be possible to use the TeamViewer app on Android to remotely access a computer connected to the Drobo. But that’s definitely a suboptimal solution. It seems that Drobo is actually designed in mind with PogoPlug.

  • Erlis Dhima

    Well, what I think you are searching for, it’s not a simple thing!
    If you want to stream videos, music, or share your files in real time, that means you want to turn your HDD into a web server…
    That’s not a simple thing, since you need to create a server by yourself, or maybe there are some websites that will do that for you, for an amount of money…
    Here is a tutorial, which I think you should read:

    You can build up your own server, if you are using Windows Server…
    What I recommend, is using a site, like mediafire to upload your files, and share them with your friends!

    Also, if you want to turn your HDD into a server, that means, if you turn off your computer(and of course the HDD will be off too), your server will be down for that moment!
    Hope it helped! Also, wait for others comment, and see if they give an easier solution!

  • Gian Singh

    Just Google raspberry Pi external hdd connection

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