What should I do if my TP-Link router does not detect my USB storage drive

Released On: 2018-11-26 08:29:26Last update time: 2018-11-26 08:29:26

Because of the varety of USB storage drives in the market, it is difficult for us to make our routers compatible with all them.


Before you begin troubleshooting, please make sure that the drive works correctly when it is connected directly to your computer.




Case 1


1. Format your hard drive. 

2. Contact TP-Link support with information including model number of hard drive, capacity, partition table (MBR or GPT) and format type (FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, etc.)



Case 2


1. Check hard drive format type

Currently, the FAT/FAT32/NTFS format is supported and some models like C8/C9/C2600/P5 also support exfat/hfs+. However, it does not support ext3, which is a Linux partition format.


2. Check Capacity

TP-Link router supports at most eight partitions in theory, if the hard drive has more than eight partitions, it just loads the first 8 partitions. (On the same drive, the total capacity of each partition cannot exceed 2TB for WR842N, WR1043N, WDR3500, WDR3600, WDR4300; If there are different hard drives connected via an USB hub, in theory the router can detects a maximum capacity of 8 * 2TB. Similarly, the other models with USB function like our archer series routers, the total capacity of each partition of usb drive cannot exceed 5TB).


3. Check Encryption 

For hard drives encrypted by hardware, data can only be loaded after it is decryption.


4. Additional Power Adapter

Some drives require an additional power.  If your hard drive needs more than 500mA of power, but it does not have an additional power adapter, then that drive is not compatible with our routers, since they can only provide up to 500mA power supply on the USB port.


5. Contact TP-Link support with information including model number of hard drive, capacity, partition table (MBR or GPT) and format type (FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, etc.)


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I have a problem with my 5TB WD HDD, and my new router vr2100 (AC2100 Wireless MU-MIMO VDSL/ADSL Modem Router).


All my other HDDs work with this router (Seagate), But when I pug my new 5TB (Formatted ExFat), it doesn't like it and shows the drive as 0GB in the Web/Admin site.


Can you please give me some advice?




I have a very similar problem to auswade


TP-Link Archer VR2100 modem/router (AC2100)

3TB NTFS format Seagate expansion USB HDD (USB 3.0)


When I plug my USB HDD into the modem/router, the modem recognises and mounts the HDD, but shows it as 0GB, and so the content cant be accessed.

If I plug the HDD back into my laptop, all the content is there, and available.


This HDD was used in exactly this same way with 2 previous TP Link modems (Archer D9 and Archer VR1600v) without problem.

HDD is not encrypted, and does not have bitlocker installed

Thank you

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