Multiple USB hard drives

Roon Core Machine

No details

Networking Gear & Setup Details


Connected Audio Devices

USB hard drives

Number of Tracks in Library

well over 500,000 tracks [?]

Description of Issue

I have set up Roon on my 89 year old friend and music fanatic.

Despite his age he absolutely loves Roon, but there is an issue with the way I have set it up. He is a pensioner, so he is not able to purchase anything too expensive.

Basically Roon is installed on his PC, which is a modern SSD based PC with only 512k of storage on board. Consequently any music is stored on 4 seperate external 2.5" hard drives.

They are as follows :

Western Digital - 4TB

Western Digital - 2TB

Toshiba - 2TB

Verbatim - 1TB

Each drive has a unique name, but Roon seems to get confused between drives from time to time.

Our hope was that it would be possible to scan each drive separately, [ie WD4, WD2, Toshiba, and Verbatim], and only have the information of a drive show in Roon when that particular drive is powered up and connected.

However from time to time Roon seems to mistake one drive for one of the others, and the albums that are shown are not necessarily available.

So it therefore appears that it is not possible to have multiple drives with music. The only way that I have found to sort out the issue each time Roon has been confused, is to delete reference to all the seperate drives, clear the library information, and start again. But I can really only have one drive recognised by Roon to ensure that all runs smoothly. To scan an external drive of course takes a lot of time, so it’s not a particularly user friendly solution.

My friend does not have a server, but is connected to the internet via a 4g phone ‘modem’ device. The 4 drives are connected via a powered USB3 hub. The computer is running the latest version of Windows 11.

I hope that you may be able to offer some suggestions.


Terry Heazlewood

Hi Terry
Would it be possible to post a screenshot of settings:storage?
That way we can see what Roon is looking at for external attached storage drives.

Sorry, won’t be able to see my 89yr old friend until Thursday 23rd March. I see him every fortnight, and he is quite a distance away.

He would’t be able to do a screen shot, or navigate in Roon to find settings, but it would’t show anything at the moment.

At the moment I have left him with Roon looking at one only external hard drive, which will work OK for him in the interim. The problem/confusion starts when we try to add extra drives.

In principal, do you think that it should be possible to do as I previously described.?

I really appreciate your super fast response.

By the way I am using Roon on my own Mac Studio and also absolutely love how it works. So fast.



@Terry_Heazlewood You could treat your friend to a single 10tb or 12tb external drive for around £200, it will simplify his setup and make it easier for you to manage going forward?


Just another user here trying to help.

It should be possible to have multiple drives connected.
What powered hub are you using? I have seen issues with powered hubs getting devices mixed op (not necessarily with Roon but with other peripheral devices).

Is there a reason you need to power down the drives? Can they not all be connected at the same time? Can you not fit all the music onto one or fewer drives?

I would leave them all connected and powered on so Roon does not mark the files as “missing” and have database issues. If you can consolidate the music into fewer (or one) drive that would lessen the chance of database issues…

Part of the nice thing about Roon is that you can have all your music available and create curated playlists. tags, and bookmarks for it for ease of finding and playing the selections you want. You could leave all the drives connected and create “playlists” or make “tags” for different batches of music.

Or an easy way to isolate one drive is to use “focus” and sort by storage location. I do this to separate my Tidal library from my local library. Among other things like favorites, soundtracks, etc.
Like this:

Then make a “bookmark” for that focus view:

This way the database does not get as confused .

If you absolutely need to turn off or disconnect the drives then you should probably “disable” the storage location before turning it off or disconnecting it.

Besides given a strong “I second” the following:

  1. Bite the bullet and consolidate onto a single 12 TB drive and drop the usb hub. (Use exFAT formatting)
  2. Don’t turn the drives off. Not sure why this is needed.

Or, make sure that you go into Settings/Storage and Disable the drive before turning it off. This should prevent Roon from getting confused.

Is the Drive Letter changing and therefore pointing to a different drive?


You also said:

Did you mean 512Gig of storage? I hope so… :slight_smile:

500,000 tracks is a lot of tracks…just saying that will take a while to load up each time it boots and scans

All those drives on a hub are limited by the single port connection to the pc… get it all on one drive and things will be likely be much better….better still put the new drive internally connected in the pc and copy all the data to it one drive at a time and keep them as backups.

Once you have all data on the one drive then run roon and add just that drive location as a single entry.

Don’t have roon running when you are copying and moving things

1 Like

Hey @Terry_Heazlewood,

Ben with the support team here! I wanted to check in on this thread to see how things are going. Truth be told, there are some excellent next steps and suggestions here, and I don’t have a ton more to add at the moment.

My initial thoughts are that the powered USB3 hub may be causing you issues. I’d be curious to see how things play without it.

I’ll be monitoring this thread for your reply. :+1:

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