Does the USB A port support external hard drives that draw their power from the USB port? And does it need to be plugged in to do this?

USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

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    I have used this adaptor with my 2016 MacBook and successfully run a WD Essential USB disk with it. The drive draws all its power from the adapter. I initially used it with the adaptor plugged into the wall socket for power and the disk operated fine. When I unplugged the USB-C lead supplying power to the adapter the HD ungracefully ejected itself and powered down. I unplugged the drive and plugged it back in again with no power connected and it worked fine. So, in summary, this adapter supports a WD Essential drive that draws power from it and will operate with or without power, but I would avoid either plugging, or unplugging the adapter with a disk mounted to it. I only tested it with a WD Essential, other disks may draw more power and not work with this adapter.

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