Connect External Hard Drive To iPad Using Camera Connection Kit

iPad connect to external hard drive

The camera connection kit for iPad enables iPad users to import photos and videos from a digital camera: using your camera’s USB cable or directly from an SD card. 

It was available a few weeks after the iPad was launched but since then users have discovered interesting ways to make use of the kit other than importing photos and videos from a digital camera.

For instance, we had reported that the kit could also be used to connect USB keyboards and audio headsets to the iPad. 

Massachssetts resident Maxwell Shay has discovered another interesting use case for the camera connection kit. In a recent revelation made to Engadget, Shay has provided an exhaustive guide to connect an external hard drive to the iPad via iPad's camera connection accessory. However, unlike the earlier discoveries, connecting an external HDD to the iPad requires the device to be jailbroken.

In addition to a jailbroken iPad, users will also need a terminal like MacBook to run commands on the iPad. Shay insists that users will need to find a way out to power their hard drive. This can be easily made available in case of an external ATA drive, which includes an external power supply. However, with a SATA external drive, users will require a split USB cord to power their HDD. 

Check out a demo of the process in the video embedded below. 

As Engadget notes, the methodology may not be entirely sophisticated. But this is without doubt a very useful hack for iPad users. 

You can checkout the detailed instructions to connect an external HDD to your jailbroken iPad from Max Shay's website. As always, if you plan to try it, let us know how it goes. 

[via Engadget]

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  • josh

    cool lets turn this sleek machine into a wired warehouse.

  • unreal

    Starting to become a better machine. When I travel, I travel with 1TB of DVDs ripped to 2x500GB 2.5" drives. 16GB is laughable; my phone has twice that. And 64GB is less than my old ipod.

    Next thing: I need the ipad to run normal OSX applications.

    Finally, I need a webcam with at least screen resolution.

    Essentially, I want a wacom screen combined with the guts of a MBP. Would make the perfect tool for me. *Your* mileage may vary… 😉

    Right now I can do that with many meters of cables, a lot of duct tape, and a long extension cord…

  • hxclos

    I don't understand why this doesn't come standard on the iPad. I would more than likely buy one if it did. I'm not about to go through all this to do what my laptop already does.

  • Really cool post I will try this stuff on my mate's Ipad soon.

  • Z

    two words: modbook pro
    (by axiotron)
    EXACTLY what you're looking for, wacom pen and all. possibly not the webcam tho.

  • Z

    oh wait, the webcam is still there (640×480 i think tho, but its fine for videochatting and taking videos)

  • VampiraQula

    I bought the camera connection kit for my ipad yesterday and started connecting anything I had that was USB I found that you can connect an iPod gen 5 and classic to the ipad via this usb connection (it does not come up with this device is unsupported message)then use ifile to access the ipod hdd.

    Ifile can read all the files on the ipod as flash drive(external HDD).

    Ifile is able to play the music in the iPod_Control/Music folder and open/edit iTunesDB and .plist files.(Although I would not recommend doing so). I transferred a movie to my classic through my computer then to the ipad from the ipod using the usb adapter and it works great.
    I would guess you can transfer anything via this method. The movie is only accessible through ifile but it works. I would assume one can transfer files to their respective folders and access them through the proper app.

    I am going to transfer some other files via this method. I may even free up some more room on my ipods to use as my external HDD.

    Edit: This method also works with my PSP in usb mode.

  • ShakalHunter

    If you have SBSettings (free on Cydia), you can use its USB Mount SBSettings Toggle (also on Cydia) to make the all process as easy as taping on one icon.

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