GNARBOX pairs well with a number of external devices, including card readers and external hard drives. This article is a quick rundown of the best practices for using devices with your GNARBOX!

Best Practices for using External Hard Drives with the GNARBOX

Are there any restrictions on the kind of external drives I can use with GNARBOX?

The GNARBOX has a 1AMP power draw limitation, which basically means:  

  • Only plug in 1 external hard drive at a time
  • GNARBOX can handle 1 external hard drive and 1 card reader plugged in at the same time
  • If you exceed the 1AMP power limitation, the GNARBOX will brown out. This doesn’t mean you’ve damaged your GNARBOX, it just means that there has been a power distribution issue and the GNARBOX will need to be powered down (10 second hold) and restarted.

Additionally, all drives must be USB3.0 or USB2.0 compatible, and cannot rely on additional external wall socket power.  SATA to USB3 converters are unfortunately not compatible with the GNARBOX as they generally pull more than 1AMP of power.

Can I transfer files while the GNARBOX is charging?

We do not recommend performing any file transfers while the GNARBOX is charging, as it can cause power distribution issues within the device, which can lead to failed transfers. 

Can I plug an external hard drive into the GNARBOX while it’s connected to my computer? 

When the GNARBOX is in Mass Storage Mode, it turns off power to the other USB ports, which means that you cannot plug in an external hard drive to the GNARBOX when it is in Mass Storage Mode. 

Can I plug an external hard drive into the GNARBOX while it’s charging? 

We do not recommend running an external hard drive while the GNARBOX is plugged into power, as it can cause power distribution issues, which can lead to the GNARBOX “browning” out. This is due to the fact that charging the GNARBOX requires a small amount of power consumption itself, which, when paired with the power consumption of an external drive, causes power distribution issues. If your GNARBOX browns out, please hold the power button for 10 seconds to power down, and then reboot. Your GNARBOX will not be damaged if a brownout occurs.

Can I view the contents of external drives that have more than 128GB of data stored on them? 

Yes! As of Release 1.5.0, drives with more than 128GB of content can be viewed by selecting the “List” view in the 'Connected Devices' screen. 

Best Practices for Using Card Readers with the GNARBOX

Can I charge my GNARBOX while transferring files from my card reader? 

We do not recommend performing any file transfers while the GNARBOX is charging, as it can cause power distribution issues within the device, which can lead to failed transfers. 

Can I use a USB-C CF card reader with GNARBOX? 

Yes, but you will need a USB-C to USB 3.0 dongle to be able to plug your reader into the GNARBOX.

Pro Tip: Short on time and need your GNARBOX to charge quickly? Make sure your device is powered OFF before you put it on the charger!  

As always, we're here to help solve your GNARBOX related issues, so if you're unable to find the answer you're looking for on help.gnarbox.com, feel free to shoot us a message using the chat window found in the bottom right corner of the page! 

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Marlena is the Community Support Manager at GNARBOX. Talk to her about Canon cameras, travel and adventure photography! You can see her personal work atinstagram.com/marlenapearlphoto and marlenapearlphotography.com

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