Can't use external drive for games

  • Hi Group. I know I am only new here, but I honestly have been everywhere and no one seems to want to help me, even though what I am wanting to do is quite simple (I think)
    I already have a Recalbox games machine (Raspberry pi 3B+ Recalbox Video Game Machine) and it comes with its games on a 64GB SD card which is external. I have collected a lot of roms, mainly PS1 and SNES and they take up approx 530GB, so obviously I can't put them on the SD card. What I want to do is to either move these games to my external 2TB portable drive, then do whatever I have to do to the roms I have collected (skrape etc) then add those games to the corresponding directory of games that were moved from the SD card, or at the very least switch between internal and external sources for my roms. When I plugged in my drive into the console, it did set up a directory called 'recalbox' with all the relevant folders. but that is as far as I have got. When I switch to an external drive, it just uses the games on the SD card. Ideally, I would like to be able to play all the roms I have collected. I really need some help. I have been everywhere and have been ignored. No one offers any advice. Not one bit. I purchased this console after buying a Pandora (on recommendation) just to find out it would not let me add SNES roms. So I went into debt to buy this machine recommended to me, and I am too much of a novice to know what to do next. Please, someone, take the time to help me. I am very savvy with computers of any kind, so not quite a noob with his first toy. But I catch on quick. I purchased this console with the specific purpose of being able to play PS1 and SNES games. I have a full romset. I hope someone who has a bit of spare time and a little patience to help me get the full potential out of my recalbox. Thank you in advance. I read through most of the posts, and I'm sorry if this topic has been covered elsewhere.

  • @yobydnub Hi,
    I notice you say you "bought this console", but Recalbox is a free to download OS / piece of software, so it sounds as if you have paid for pre built system, which isnt liked by the Admin on here (as they do all their work for free in their own time), plus, the microSD is external ???

    You say you went into debt to buy it, but a Pi3B or Pi4 is under £40, a good case £8, and even a 128Gb microSD card is on Amazon for under £12, so I have no idea just how much you have paid.....

    However, I will try and help.
    You say you are a novice, but, if you dont learn a wee bit and get your hands dirty so to speak, you unfortunately wont get very far.

    I have various setups of Recalbox 6.

    One on a 128gb microSD card, and the other is a 16gb microSD card effectively just to boot up Recalbox, with my games on a tiny Samsung 128gb USB stick.

    I recently bought another 16Gb Kingston microSD card from Amazon for under £4, installed Recalbox 7.01 on it, plugged my USB stick in, setup my controller, pressed Start, selected System Settings, and then Storage Device, changing it from internal to any external (or the name of the device attached if you prefer).

    Once it rebooted, I shut it back down, and copied over all the bios files and overlay files into the relevant folders on the usb stick, plugged it back into my Pi3B, powered it up, and it found my games, and the systems Ive loaded so far, the scraped data has been fine, ie screenshots, game descriptions, into videos etc.

    Ive also just tried a 2Tb Western Digital portable device, and it too is fine, although I had to use my official Pie power supply due to the power drain from it.

    Now, MY setup worked, but thats because I had scraped all my own stuff before, and if I go into the files, there are no "absolute" path names, so it will work.
    As your device is pre built, it all depends on how they have scraped their data, and if absolute path names have been used (ie they specifically refer to a specific named folder or sub folder that clearly wont exist on a usb stick), I doubt it will work.

    Simplest way is to do the above, and try just one system.

    You obviously need the bios files for any systems. Those are all pretty much still copyrighted, although a google or youtube (seriously) search for Recalbox 7 bios files" will probably turn up something - I will leave your conscience to decide!

    Or, you could copy them off your microSD card (you will need to learn quickly how to use the software WinSCP if you do) and copy over the files to the usb stick in Recalbox/bios, making sure not to overwrite any ones already there with your older ones.
    Ditto with the overlay folders and their contents if your system has overlays / bezels.

  • external drive bios.JPG external drive system.JPG external drive recalbox.JPG I paid about AU$300 for my prebuilt system which I got from here:


    I opened it up, and it has a lead going from inside the console to the outside where the SD card is situated. When I plugged in my 2TB portable drive into the one of the bottom USB ports (it has 4) it copied over a folder called 'recalbox' with bios files, a roms directory with all the different consoles, and a bunch of other directories, but none of the roms from the SD card. I put all my roms into their respective directories on the portable drive, went into the menu setting and changed the data storage to external and rebooted. It still used all the roms located on the SD card, and I could see when it was booting up, there was no activity on the portable drive, so it was not being used. I have to presume that since there is an option to choose from the internal or external 'drive' then it must support some sort of external data storage. I had bought a Pandora system on the understanding that I would be able to import SNES games, only to find out that my system was not compatible with that, which is why this console was recommended to me. I am sure if you are able to help me, you may require some more information from me regarding what version of recalbox I am using or other information. I hope I hear again from you with some advice, as you are the first person who has reached out to me offering me any kind of help at all. To assist you, I have attached a few screen shots of what was copied to my external portable drive. Most of the directories are pretty empty, except for the BIOS and SYSTEM directories. I have attached snapshots of these for you to look at. Where you see "Retro Pi(E:)" that is referring to my external portable drive. Again thank you for replying to me.

  • Staff
    Global moderator

    no support for non officiel recalbox installation.
    Please ask help to your reseller.

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