Is there an external devices limit?


  1. Posts : 93
    Windows 10 Home
       #1

    Is there an external devices limit?


    Is there a maximum number of external accessories that Windows 10 Home Creator's Update will accept? The system hasn't used all the letters of the alphabet yet but it won't create a new drive icon once I have 19 letters used. (Some of them are reserved by the system for USB ports that I can't use.)

    I had some drives that were working before the update that don't show up now. When I plug them in a get that acceptance tone that says the system recognizes the device, however they never show up in device manager which list 16 items under "disk drives".
    Down under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" it lists 30 items. It identifies 12 of them as USB Mass Storage Device.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 11,204
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #2

    Hi there

    I think if you are using external devices the power supply limit will be reached long before you run out of the possible number of external devices even with powered hubs.

    Remember also that whatever power the external USB devices can get whether via the PC itself or external power supplies all the data still goes through the bus on the Mobo.

    I would think that a maximum SENSIBLE limit would be about 7 (with a powered hub) for USB 3 devices -- any more than that through a single USB port and you'd be BONKERS.

    I'd shudder also at 2 X a 7 USB port hub as well -- but if you really need 26 external devices online at the same time surely you'd be better off buying a few really large capacity HDD's -- even consumer grade 5TB ones are cheap and reliable enough now !!!!.

    Of course if you use LINUX then the volume naming restriction doesn't apply as you just do as root or sudo : mount /dev/xxx -t auto -o rw /mnt/zzzz for as many devices as you want. Then share with Windows via SAMBA and you don't need the Windows volume names. !!!!

    Because Linux is basically a multi-user SERVER system it can have an almost unlimited number of external devices attached --the limitation is in the HARDWARE rather than in the OS. !!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 93
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts jimbo. I hadn't considered it that way but it does make sense to just use bigger drives.
    Larry
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 12,474
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro
       #4

    Portability would be a consideration in how many drives one needs and therefore the size. If using a number of drives on the same computer the Drive Lettering in Disk Management will usually be the limit, has only 26 letters available, have heard there's ways around that limit but haven't checked it out. Newer computers I've seen [last few years] don't have the capability in the BIOS or motherboard connections for the older floppy drives with A: and B: reserved for them. First gone was a second floppy drive B: a few years ago, usually only a BIOS thing as A: and B: used the same data port on the motherboard with a single 2-plug cable. To get around the limit of how many USB ports are available one could use NAS/Network Attached Storage drive plugged into the Router by Ethernet cable, then Mapped to desired computers. Mine can be Mapped and reached by Ethernet or Wi-Fi connected computers and Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers. The drive lettering limit still exists for them, I have 2 such drives and by default the lettering started at Z: and works back up the alphabet.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 11,204
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #5

    Berton said:
    Portability would be a consideration in how many drives one needs and therefore the size. If using a number of drives on the same computer the Drive Lettering in Disk Management will usually be the limit, has only 26 letters available, have heard there's ways around that limit but haven't checked it out. Newer computers I've seen [last few years] don't have the capability in the BIOS or motherboard connections for the older floppy drives with A: and B: reserved for them. First gone was a second floppy drive B: a few years ago, usually only a BIOS thing as A: and B: used the same data port on the motherboard with a single 2-plug cable. To get around the limit of how many USB ports are available one could use NAS/Network Attached Storage drive plugged into the Router by Ethernet cable, then Mapped to desired computers. Mine can be Mapped and reached by Ethernet or Wi-Fi connected computers and Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers. The drive lettering limit still exists for them, I have 2 such drives and by default the lettering started at Z: and works back up the alphabet.
    Hi there

    If you share HDD's from linux via SAMBA you don't have any drive limits at all

    Is there an external devices limit?-zog.png

    From Linux to Windows for example for HDD1

    Is there an external devices limit?-snapshot1.png

    cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 5,478
    2004
       #6

    Obviously the alphabet stops a Z but you don't need to mount volumes using drive letters. You can map a drive to a folder on another volume.

    Mounted Folders (Windows)

    I don't believe is any hard limit

    Apparently there is a limit of 96 USB devices (not volumes) per controller in the xHCI driver but your desk would be getting quite cluttered by this point I'd imagine.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 11,204
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #7

    Hi there

    As per example shown above from the Linux screen - here's what Windows sees.


    Is there an external devices limit?-fttv.png

    Remember though the Windows file + directory (folder) name limit of around 260 chars.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


 

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