First of all, the main reason why I am writing this post is that, problems like this are rare. Very few people (like me) still watch movies on their DVD Players these days. It’s all computer this and computer that, so if you try to google for a solution, most of the search results will be quite irrelevant.
I went through many tech forums and even mentioned my problems there, but the replies were all unhelpful. Most of them told me, “Why don’t you just watch it on your PC?”
Uh… what if I don’t have a computer or don’t want to buy one? What if I am content watching movies using my plain old DVD Player and TV, the old fashion way?
So after a lot of trial and error, I finally found a way to solve this problem.
These days, all new DVD Players come with a usb slot. Gone are the days of limiting your entertainment to just CDs or DVDs on your DVD Player. We can just take our pen-drive, copy the movie file we want, insert the pen drive in the DVD Player usb slot, and enjoy the movie.
After that comes the next level – Instead of inserting my 4GB or 8GB pen drive, what if I insert my portable 500GB hard drive? Will that work too? And won’t that be awesome?
And so, a lot of us tried, and the DVD player of course couldn’t detect the hard drive.
“DEVICE NOT SUPPORTED” the DVD Player proudly displayed.
Many so called “experts” on numerous Tech forums then said that the DVD Player didn’t detect the 500 GB portable hard drive because it couldn’t support such a huge data storage size, it was not built that way, blah blah blah…
Last night, I finally got my plain ol simple DVD Player to detect my 1TB portable hard drive! Yeah, one freaking TB, baby. 1000 gig of Movies, TV shows, Music etc. Suck on that.
So here’s how you should do it.
First of all, let me just briefly explain the basic – Your hard drive can be formatted in either FATxx (FAT16, FAT 32 etc) or NTFS. NTFS is a more popular file system, and considered to be safer, faster and more space efficient.
Most hard drives come pre-formatted in NTFS, while most pen drives are formatted in FAT32. In FAT32, you cannot save a single file that is bigger than 4GB. You can do that in NTFS, but it has many compatibility issues with third party devices.
And that is where the PROBLEM lies.
Your DVD Player cannot detect your portable hard drive simply because it is in NTFS format. You will find the same problem with a car music player that has a usb slot, your PSP etc.
The simple solution to this is to format your drive and convert it to FAT32.
Of course this is not so simple as I learnt recently.
First of all, formatting a 1TB hard drive using command prompt is apparently not possible. I googled and found the correct cmd command – Suppose the drive you want to format and convert is G:
Then type: convert G: /fs: FAT32
It will start converting. Slowly. Very slowly. 10%. 40%. 98%... Since it was converting a 1TB drive, it took nearly 3 hours to complete!
And finally when it’s done, *drumroll* I got the message that the drive could not be converted to FAT32 because it is too big! Aaargghhh…
Next, I tried formatting it directly, like how most of us would format pen drives – Right click on the drive letter, and select “Format”.
The problem is, Windows does not support formatting a hard drive of more than 32GB size to FAT32 format! And so, while you have the option of selecting either FAT32 or NTFS while formatting a pen drive, if you do the same with a hard drive that is greater than 32 GB, you will not get this option. Instead, there is just NTFS and a vague FATxx option! (See screenshot below)
So one of my colleagues took my 1 TB hard disk, formatted it in NTFS using Windows, and then converted it to FAT32 using a Linux system.
In just a matter of seconds, my 1TB drive was converted to FAT32! Whoah!
So I rushed home all excited and all… connected my newly FAT32 formatted 1TB drive to my DVD Player… and bloody hell got the same freaking message that the device is not supported again! Aaaarghh!
So yesterday, for the last time, I googled again, trying to be more specific. I did come across some discussions saying that Linux formatted FAT32 drives sometimes don’t work well on third party devices. Which didn’t surprise me much because it took just 4-5 seconds to convert the 1TB drive. Lolz. Linux systems are not exactly my area of expertise, so I browsed for some more time and took another advice – Use softwares like Partition Magic to format it in FAT32.
I found the perfect software – Aomei Partition Assistant. Using this, I could format up to 2TB partition in FAT32! Me Gusta!
There’s a freeware version from the link mentioned above. Less than 3MB file, the software is very easy to use. I formatted my 1 TB drive to FAT32 in 5-10 minutes.
And FINALLYYYYY my DVD Player can now detect my 1TB hard drive. W00t!!
Imagine all the movies and TV series I can fit into this and easily watch via my DVD Player and TV. And 1 TB portable hard drives now come cheaper than 5 grand, so it is indeed a good investment.
Of course there are many disadvantages to having a FAT32 drive, like you cannot save a file that is bigger than 4GB. So if you are a gamer, you will come across many .iso files that are bigger than 8GB. Also, many of these HD movies are more than 4GB per file.
So in the end, it’s your call. Meanwhile, if you just want your DVD Player to detect your portable hard disk, whether it is 250GB or 500GB or 1TB or 2TB, it can be easily done the way I’ve mentioned above. Don’t let any so called tech expert tell you that it cannot be done because of the file size limitation.
Edit: WARNING!!! Please BACK-UP your files before you format! :D I was working on a new 1TB hard drive above so I didn’t have any data on it, but if you are doing it to your existing hard drive, do back-up all your files first before you format, or you’ll lose everything. [Thanx @mnowluck]