External memory/HDD question

Hi All, I currently have locally stored content on a HDD connected to my Vero 4K and was thinking of getting a larger drive. That said, I see on ebay that you can get upwards of 1tb USB sticks for almost nothing (@£3 or so) which seems a bit too good to be true given that the HDD I’m looking at is around the £80 mark. Has anyone ever used one of these? Also, what would be the transfer speed of something like this compared to something like a WD or Seagate HDD and might this affect viewing? And is there a maximum size USB drive which could be used with the 4K/4K+?

Also, as I can’t seem to find this anywhere and the red box up there :arrow_upper_right: for the 4K+ doesn’t seem to be working for me, what are the differences between the 4K and 4K+?

Thanks in advance

Those thumb drives that are priced that low are most certainly fake and transfer so slow as to be almost unusable. You will plug them in and they will show as one size. You can transfer files to them and have it work. You then add more files and the first files break because it normally is something like a small drive that has been hacked so it just keeps writing new stuff over the old.

If you want to purchase a larger hard drive I would stick with a self powered WD (my preference) or Seagate in the old school bulky variety.

Thanks for letting us know about that link. You can click on the Shop link instead. The Vero 4K is no longer available and has been superseded by the 4K+.

Thanks for the quick reply, I did wonder if it was a load of BS. Should have said before but I have a 4K already which is working fine, I was just wondering what the difference is between it and the + in case I decided to, for no good reason, throw £99 at something I probably don’t really need :rofl:

Gbit ethernet and slighly faster memory.

That’s it.

Both the RAM and the flash storage are faster, AIUI. I’ve also heard that there’s a better heatsink and that the old Vero 4K had an always-on blue power LED which the 4K+ eliminates.

OK thanks, nice profile pic by the way, I loved that show when I was little :grinning:

So I got a Seagate 4tb Backup Plus Portable drive in the end. It came preformatted as ex-FAT whereas my previous HDD was formatted as NTFS. I copied across all my content but none of it seems to want to play. Either the Vero freezes (with a big movie file for example) or might stutter at the start of a TV show then stop playing. Is this likely to be not enough power being supplied to the HDD i.e. I need a powered USB hub, or because the two HDDs were formatted differently?

Yes, you will need a powered USB hub.

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Ok thanks, before I buy one off the shop here does it come with a USB A to USB A cable, and I’m assuming I’ll get a UK power adapter not the EU one as in the pic?

It comes with the USB cable (USB A - USB3 Micro-B). And the power adapter will be correct for your country.

Just ordered one, I’m presuming the USB3 bit goes into the hub and the USB A bit goes into the Vero, then the HDD goes into one of the USB A ports on the hub? Sorry if that’s a daft question I’ve just never used or even seen one before.

Correct, the connection is Vero -> USB-A -> USB3-Micro-B -> HUB. Then: HUB -> USB-A -> drive.

Awesome, cheers :+1:

I have a Seagate 4TB and a 5TB Backup Plus Portable and both worked flawlessly plugged directly into the Vero USB ports.
I have since expanded to adding 8TB Backup Plus Hubs so my portables now are plugged into the hubs and thus powered separately, but before that I ran my portable drives right off the Vero without issue.
The Vero should provide enough power for the Seagate portable HDDs.
You may have a separate issue that is causing your problems.
My drives are formatted as NTFS, but people say that ex-FAT should perform better than NTFS on the Vero so I don’t imagine the file system being the issue.
Doesn’t hurt to have an external powered hub thought.

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You don’t need to use either NTFS or exFAT. These are non-native file systems to Linux and need a slower, compatibility, layer to be used. For NTFS, specific mount options can help and might be required to get the required permissions correct. big_writes is the option, but there are options to prevent file names that work on Linux, but don’t work on Windows from being used too.

OTOH, if you format the partition on the disk with ext4, you’ll get native performance and native file permissions. Unix systems care about file permissions since they are multi-user from the ground up. Formatting is a destructive process, so any data on the partition will be lost.
As for performance, using USB-ported storage will always be slower. I’ve found that any of the 2.5 inch “portable” storage HDD options will always be slower than a powered, 3.5 inch storage HDD connected over USB. There are SSDs in 2.5inch enclosures which will have excellent performance, if you like, but SSD storage is about 2x more expensive. I don’t use SSD storage for media due to the expense.

For media files that aren’t copied over and over, using quality flash storage should be fine. The native file system for that would be f2fs, but exFAT shouldn’t be too bad. Both require installing driver packages using APT. Names are: f2fs-tools and exfat-utils / exfat-fuse.

If I didn’t use NFS over the network to access media on a Linux server, I’d get an 8TB external USB3, powered, enclosure, split it into 2 partitions of 4TB each (my backup storage is 4TB sized), format each partition into ext4 file systems. That command is
sudo mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sdZ1 and
sudo mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sdZ2
where the “Z” needs to be discovered from the dmesg output. Then add each partition + file system to the /etc/fstab file so it gets mounted at boot, automatically. I’d use the UUID for the mount. I’d mount them to /D1 and /D2, but mount points are a personal decision. Linux has file system hierarchy standards which I’d try to follow. Google that term for where things belong.

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OK, thanks for the advice, was hoping the hub would have arrived today so I can test it but it hasn’t. Will update when it gets here. BTW I left it as exFat in case I need to add, transfer or edit the content using a Windows laptop. I’m not sure if a ext4 formatted HDD would work like that from what I’ve previously read on here.

Using exFat, or NTFS, will allow you to plug your HDD into a Windows laptop.
If you want to use ext4, you would need to run third party software on your Windows Laptop to be able to see the drive.
No matter what file system you use, you should be able to play mkv files without stuttering.
Currently m2ts files are stuttering since the last update but they’ll fix that sooner than later I’m sure.

I’ve now added a powered USB and it seems to have solved the issue. Thanks for all the help.

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