MicroUSB to External Hard Drive for Windows 8.1 Tablets (Dell Venue 8 Pro)


If you’re like me and you’ve just bought a nice new Dell Venue 8 pro as a potential laptop replacement, you’ve probably noticed that one of the drawbacks of these lightweight but powerful Bay Trail powered tablets is their lack of adequate storage space. For example, this 32 gigabyte model that I’m using to type this article(I recommend Microsoft’s Wedge Keyboard), came with only 12 gigabytes for storage after the OS and the Microsoft’s prepackaged Office are installed. This doesn’t leave room for much of anything and while most tablets in this price range do come with the ability to upgrade space via microSD, I was curious to see if there are any viable alternatives

One problem with the smaller version 8 inch version of Dell’s Venue line is that it doesn’t have a full usb port. To get USB access one needs to buy an OTG on the go USB adapter. This cable is a micro USB to female USB adapter that allows one to connect USB input peripherals to their tablet.

A micro usb OTG Y splitter cable with power.

While this is fine and dandy, I wondered whether I could use this USB port to power an external hard drive and while looking across various forums online tried one of the various solutions. It involves a microusb OTG cable with power as shown above. The link to which I purchased this cable should available.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C4521R4/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1A simple OTG cable will not work in this application as the microUSB cannot supply enough power to run the platter within the external hard drive. The benefit of this cable is that external power can be added through the addition of a typical USB cellphone charger AC adapter. One caveat of this setup is that one needs to be near a power outlet to take advantage of the extra space offered by an external hard drive. The benefits of this setup however can be best summarized by the following.

HUGE upgrade in space

HUGE upgrade in space

If anyone has any questions please ask in the comments.


I also purchased a female USB to male USB extension so that I could work this a little farther from the power outlet.


By James Xu


8 thoughts on “MicroUSB to External Hard Drive for Windows 8.1 Tablets (Dell Venue 8 Pro)

  1. Hey, excllnt work. I have WDBAAU500EBK (Western digital 500gb) and I will test this on my pro 8. U posted this on feb 4, have u faced any prb with ur tablet. and if possible, then upload a video.

    1. I’ve tried this unsuccessfully. In theory it works but I believe you need a really nice high quality portable charger that can provide the stable power.

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