It used to be that DVD players were only good for one thing: Playing DVDs. These days, however, while they still work their magic with the plastic discs, they can also read USB devices such as flash drives. Most DVD players with USB support can also read from USB hard drives, but it is a little trickier to get them working properly because of some of the technobabble involved. Fortunately, it is not difficult to get a USB hard drive to a point where it can work with a DVD player. You just have to do a little tweaking.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- DVD Player with USB support
- USB hard drive
- Computer (Macintosh or Windows)
Plug your USB drive into your computer and make sure it is powered on, then turn on your computer and allow Windows to load normally.
Go into your "Start" menu and select the "run" option.
Type the letters "CMD" into the new window. This will open the MS-DOS prompt window.
Type the following into the MS DOS window: "format /FS:FAT32 X:" without the quotation marks, and replacing X with the drive letter of your USB drive.
Wait while Windows goes through the process of formatting your USB hard drive.
Your DVD player should now be able to read media placed on your USB Hard Drive.
Setting up the hard drive: Windows
Plug the USB Hard drive into your computer, then turn both on.
Run "Disk Utility." This can be reached by pressing COMMAND+SPACE, then typing the name into the search bar that appears.
Locate the drive letter of your USB hard drive and select it.
Select the "MS-DOS (FAT)" format under "volume format." This is what the Macintosh operating system calls the FAT32 format.
Click "Erase," then click "Erase" again to confirm. This will erase all data from the hard drive, so make sure you have backed up any information you wish to save before performing this step.
The drive will now be formatted as a FAT32 drive, and will be able to be read by most DVD players with USB support.
Setting up the hard drive: Macintosh
Tips and warnings
- To avoid errors or incompatibilities, make sure that whatever media you wish your DVD Player to read is placed in the root directory of the drive (not inside a folder), and that you do not partition your drive, as some DVD players cannot read partitioned hard drives.
- Because of the way it is set up, FAT32 does not support any types of single files larger than 4 gigabytes. Keep this in mind when selecting media to put on your hard drive.
- Reformatting your hard drive to FAT32 will cause all the data previously stored on the drive to be lost. Make sure you back up any data you wish to save before attempting the steps outlined in this guide.
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