Help getting ROMS from USB Hard drive onto RetroPie

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Roo Roo 2 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #87883
    Profile photo of chumsky

    Hi all,

    I’m pretty close to getting RetroPie working. I’ve got my RPI2, powered usb hub, controllers and a 16gb microsd card with RetroPie for rpi2 image installed on it.
    I’ve got around 5GB of nes, snes, N64 and megadrive roms ready to put on it but I’m not sure how to load them onto it.

    I’ve read that after plugging my external hard drive into the Pi when RetroPie is on, it should create a bunch of folders on my hard drive, I can then plug the hard drive into a windows machine and transfer my roms into the appropriate folders. Plug the hard drive back into the pi, boot up and retropi should transfer the roms onto the SD card automatically.

    I’ve tried this but when looking at the external hard drive from my computer there’re no folders to place my ROMS into.

    Can anyone explain why the folders aren’t being created on my external hard drive?

    A few possible reasons why this might not be working that I’ve thought of:

    – The external hard drive I plugged into the rpi2 already has a load of files on it, at the root there are 3 folders: Films TV Shows ROMS
    – This could be the name of the folder that’s automatically created by RetroPie already and is confusing it.
    – The hard drive is NTFS formatted. – My installation of RetroPie isn’t setup properly.

    If anyone has any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated.

    I’m wondering if anyone is able to provide me with the folder structures and names for my external hard drive and I’ll just manually create the folders and place them there myself?


    Profile photo of herbfargus

    Which image are you using? The 2.4 image didn’t have it enabled by default so you’d have to go into the setup script:

    CD RetroPie-Setup
    Sudo ./
    Update script
    From the setup script select usbromservice and enable/update that and see if it changes anything.

    I’ve only transferred ROMs with a flash drive not an external hard drive but I don’t know if that makes a difference.

    You could also look in the ROMs folder on your external hard drive and see if it copyed it in there or rename the ROMs folder to something else and see if that changes anything.

    Profile photo of Roo

    You’re not going to be able to read that hard drive from the Pi. Especially an NTFS formatted drive. With some linux expertise, you could theoretically install the drivers needed to read an NTFS formatted drive, but it seems to me your going about this the really hard way.

    Instead, why not connect the drive to your Windows PC and use WinSCP (it’s free) to copy the files to the appropriate directories on the Pi under /home/pi/RetroPie/roms


    Ignore that comment, it looks like you can mount NTFS partitions in Raspbian without loading any extra drivers (though I haven’t tested it personally).

    That said, I’d still recommend you use your PC to copy the ROMs over to the SD card 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Profile photo of Roo Roo.
    Profile photo of adcooney

    What I do is put my roms on the usb then when I plug my USB in I mount it and copy it over. I mostly do this because its easier than connecting my pi to the LAN as I don’t have a wireless adaptor.

    Mounting is trivial (mine mounts on boot by modifying fstab).

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