Why can my DVD player not read my external hard drive?

kakete habert August 6, 2011

My external hard drive is a Toshiba 750 GB already loaded with movies, music, photos. The DVD Player is Lasonic with a USB port, and a Sony TV.

Why is the HDD not responding to a DVD player? Is there any other DVD player that can read my external hard drive? If there is, tell me the type and I buy it. Thanks.

  1. Budjie Garcia
    June 22, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Here's based on my observation. It depends on your USB port. If the USB port is just an extension to the motherboard of your dvd/tv and is just an extension, your external HDD might not even get detected. I've tried this first using different PCs. Whenever i'm connecting my external HDD in the front USB port of my CPU enclosure, the external HDD doesn't get detected or maybe there's not enough power(electricity) to spin the hard disk (due to the front USB port is only for Flash drives). This happens to all PCs that i've tried. I always connect it to the back USB port of my CPU enclosure (which is the built in USB port connected to the motherboard). I have 2 external HDD both in FAT32 format and both does the same thing to diff PCs. they're also not playing in my DVD player even if it's in AVI format but when i connect my Flash Drive, it will play that same AVI movie i have in the external HDD. the simple conclusion to this is that the USB port (probably just an extension to the motherboard of your DVD player) is not giving enough power (electricity) to run and spin the hard disk of your external HDD or probably the long USB cable + the long wire inside your DVD (connecting USB port to the board) will diminish the power before it gets to your HDD.

    • Budjie Garcia
      June 22, 2012 at 4:56 am

      Flash drives doesn't run require that much power so my DVD can play movies from it.

  2. Luke White
    June 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I have Pioneer DVD Player and I also external Hard drive which is 500 GB.But when i connect it to DVD player it gives me an error that is NTFS file does not support it.So anybody can tell me about it and please give the suggestion or solution on it.

    • Sanjaya
      June 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      You can convert your HDD to FAT32 but you can't copy a single file more than 3GB.(so no HD content). The best solution is to keep a big hard drive to store all the movies and use a flash drive to watch movies. Or else if you have a HDMI connection you can play movies on dvd player via pc/laptop.

  3. Manny Rivera
    June 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I played movie with ntfs har drive sometimes it detect sometimes not why is that

  4. vishal
    May 30, 2012 at 7:20 am

    My external hard drive is 1 tb of seagate already loaded with movies, music, photos. The DVD Player with a USB port, and a LG TV.
    Why is the HDD not responding to a DVD player?

    • Bruce Epper
      May 31, 2012 at 12:04 am

      What drive formats does your DVD player support? How is the HDD formatted? Many DVD players will only recognize devices formatted with FAT/FAT32 and not NTFS which is more common for larger drives.

      May 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Hello, do you have the manual that came with DVD player? That should tell you if your DVD player is compatible with NTFS. If it is 1 TB, that is the format that should be in the external drive. If you do not have the manual, try to research by model and brand online. There are some TVs for example, that accept USB but only the flashdrives, not external. I do not know if this happens with DVD players too.

      If it is a matter of your DVD player not compatible with NTFS, then your only option would be to transfer all the data/contents from external somewhere else and format the external drive with FAT32. Once that is done, transfer data back and try

  5. ernesto arias
    May 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    your dvd player will not really play an external HDD. you can only insert the most is a 16 gigabyte flash drive into the USB port. there are tv sets in the market today that can play even a 2tb ext HDD, but if you really want to use your external but your dvd player & tv set don't, you have to buy a separate media player that can play even bigger than 2tb. there are lots of brands and features to choose from. that's all thank you...

  6. Me Vergara
    April 16, 2012 at 7:22 am

    if your external hard drive can connect to a SATA cord. then plug it to your desktop computer. insert the WinXP/Win7 installer. then when its checking the available drive you will your HDD there with its size then format it to Fat 32. end

  7. Shelly Rosen
    April 8, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I have a Samsung 1t external hd that is formatted ntfs. I reparations the disk taking 1g and formating it FAT3   and my dvd still doesn't see any if the tv shows on it.
     What do you suggest that I try

  8. Phatnanis
    April 1, 2012 at 11:44 am

    i have 320gb accer hard disk with fat32 fil system and i format in ntfs now in ntfs but when i go in format option then shows ntfs not fat why

  9. luis
    March 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    mira tienes que tener tu disco duro a fat 32 para que te lo pueda reconocer pero depende del formato de videos que tengas los dvd solo leen formatos mp4 yo tengo un blu ray y me lee hasta formatos mkv los de ts y dts no los lee menos los de flv

  10. Wanderingnaught
    March 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    ive found the answer to my problem [hope this helps others]: "While I understand people's complaints about external hard drives
    not being 100% compatible, its just a bit more common sense that it
    makes better use of FAT32 USB sticks. This doesn't cater to much bigger
    files, but this where you burn things to a DVD. (cheap as dirt these
    days). If you really want some huge data tank to stream content to your
    television then consider a media hub, a gaming console (they do this
    now), or the proper cables to run your PC to your TV. Theres much better
    alternatives. I just think expecting a 40 dollar device to cater to
    this and being disappointed just because it had a USB slot is a bit
    short sighted."

    • Tina
      March 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Thank you for sharing you solution!

  11. Wanderingnaught
    March 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

     i think i found the problem: "It does not play NTFS or exFAT formatted USB devices. FAT32 will not hold single files larger than 4GB; thus
    uncompressed, full-length, HD movies will not load onto compatible USB devices. Though limited, USB
    thumb-drive access for shorter or appropriately compressed video,
    music, or JPEG slideshows is nice." but i still feel i should be able to play my ext. hdd on here...

  12. Wanderingnaught
    March 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    i have a 300gig external hdd converted to FAT32 that ran fine on my ps3, but i recently bought a dvd/usb player [philips dvp3560/f7] that wont recognize the hdd.  any suggestions as to why? i thought this player could support up to 500gig usb drives...

  13. Rrps700
    March 4, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    use ext3 or fat not fat32 or ntfs as they are Microsoft formats

  14. Harish
    February 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    First make sure that the drive which you are trying to play is not FAT 32 if it is so please format your external drive in NTFS format and check for the issue.

  15. Randy Lemaster
    February 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Type "Media Player" in EBAY search, and these players will play them on TV.

  16. super
    February 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    it's simple the tv can only read fat 32 files may be ur hard drive is ntsf. format it and convert it into fat32 file and it will work

  17. super
    February 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    it's simple the tv can only read fat 32 files may be ur hard drive is ntsf. format it and convert it into fat32 file and it will work

  18. Srinikethan Shandrasekaram
    February 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    if u want to formatt ur hdd into Fat32 u can convert it but it will be only 32 GB. so u can use ur hdd only 32 gb other can't formatt okey

  19. Ginung
    February 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    General DVD Players have some limitation to play movie files.
    Ussually they can only play only AVI video files with DIVX codec with width not more than 640x480.

  20. Victor
    February 13, 2012 at 1:11 am


    My external hard
    drive is a Toshiba 750 GB already loaded with movies, music, photos. The DVD
    Player is Lasonic with a USB port, and a Sony TV.


    is the HDD not responding to a DVD player? Is there any other DVD player that
    can read my external hard drive? If there is, tell me the type and I buy it.

    YES, there is a DVD Player that can read your External Hard Drives and do much more than you can ever imagine. Those saying otherwise are actually ignorant of current developments in the media entertainment market.

    The following Players from HDI Dune can do all you want and much more that you have ever dreamed of:

    (1).    Dune HD Max

    (2).   Dune BD Prime 3.0 BlurRay Disc and Network Media Player

    (3).    Dune HD Duo

    The following features are about common for all the above players:
    Playback of retail Blu-ray and DVD discs (Dune HD Max and Dune BD Prime 3.0)Playback of full Blu-ray structures from HDD and network (with Blu-ray menu, BD-J, BonusView, BD-Live)Playback of video, music, photos from any media source (HDD, PC, NAS, etc)Optical
    disc formats: data discs (CD/DVD/BD) (MP3, JPEG, etc), Audio CD
    (PCM/DTS), DVD-Video (retail and user-authored discs), Blu-ray (retail
    and user-authored discs)Support for modern video file formats (MKV, H.264, VC1, etc) with very high bitrate (up to 50 Mbit/s and higher)Dune
    Network Playback Accelerator: special optimizations ensuring
    best-in-class network playback performance for the Sigma Designs 864x
    platform and enabling smooth playback of any supported kind of media
    content via any network protocol (including NFS and SMB) in both 100
    Mbit/s and 1000 Mbit/s networks.Dimensions: 430 mm (width) x 260 mm (depth) x 50 mm (height)


    Video codecs: MPEG2, MPEG4, XVID, WMV9, VC1, H.264; support for very high bitrate video (up to 50 MBit/s and higher)Video file formats: MKV, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, M2TS, VOB, AVI, MOV, MP4, QT, ASF, WMV, Blu-ray-ISO, BDMV, DVD-ISO, VIDEO_TSOptical disc formats: data discs (CD/DVD/BD) (MP3, JPEG,
    etc), Audio CD (PCM/DTS), DVD-Video (retail and user-authored discs),
    Blu-ray (retail and user-authored discs)Blu-ray playback: Blu-ray menu, BD-J, BonusView, BD-Live –
    for both Blu-ray discs (retail and user-authored) and full Blu-ray
    structures (Blu-ray-ISO, BDMV) played from HDD and networkVideo output modes: wide range of supported output resolutions (up to 1080p) and framerates (including 23.976p, 24p, PAL, NTSC)Video output framerate: automatic (according to the played content) and manualAudio codecs: AC3 (Dolby Digital), DTS, MPEG, AAC, LPCM,
    WMA, WMAPro, EAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), Dolby True HD, DTS HD High
    Resolution Audio, DTS HD Master Audio, FLAC, multichannel FLAC,
    Ogg/Vorbis; support for very high quality audio (up to 192 kHz / 24-bit)Audio file formats: MP3, MPA, M4A, WMA, FLAC, APE (Monkey’s Audio), Ogg/Vorbis, WAV, DTS-WAV, DTS, AC3, AACHD audio support: pass-through (up to 7.1 channels) and
    decoding (up to 7.1 channels) of Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA audiotracks
    (Blu-ray, TS, MKV), pass-through (up to 7.1 channels) of multichannel
    LPCM audiotracks (Blu-ray, TS, MKV), decoding (up to 7.1 channels) of
    FLAC audiotracks (MKV, external)Subtitle formats: SRT (external), SUB (MicroDVD) (external),
    text (MKV), SSA/ASS (MKV, external), VobSub (MP4, MKV, external
    SUB/IDX), PGS (Blu-ray, TS, MKV)Picture file formats: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIFPlaylist file formats: M3U, PLSPhoto viewer functions: slideshow, transition effects, picture rotation, zoom, browse playlist, repeat, shuffleAudio playback functions: browse playlist, repeat, shuffle, ID3 tags, plasma TV burn-in preventionFilesystems: FAT16/FAT32 (read-write), EXT2/EXT3 (read-write), NTFS (read-write)Ethernet: 10/100 Mbit (with 1000 Mbit/s experimental support) *WiFi: optional 802.11n WiFi (via an external USB WiFi stick, not included, Dune HD Air recommended)Dune Network Playback Accelerator: special optimizations
    ensuring best-in-class network playback performance for the Sigma
    Designs 864x platform and enabling smooth playback of any supported kind
    of media content via any network protocol (including NFS and SMB) even
    in 100 Mbit/s Ethernet networks.

    ...plus constant firmware upgrades that keeps improving/extending the features/functions of the player.

    I've been using the Dune BD Prime 3.0 for more that 2years now and every dollar I spent on it has been money well spent for me. So far I've been using my Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 2TB External HDD (NTFS Formated) without a hitch. It also powers my portable External HDDs without any issue whatsover

    • Aibek
      February 13, 2012 at 4:49 am

      thanks for the input, Viktor

  21. Vanowie
    February 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm


  22. Vanowie
    February 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    l have new philips dvd player and when l play with my flash drive,it freshest every 20 min,please what should l do.

  23. Tristan
    January 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    my drive wont play in my dvdplayer. its already set in fat 32.. i go to videos.. my movie isnt there..

  24. Adi_kynder
    January 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Hello mate I had the same issue and finally i've solve it.
    when insert the usb or hdd keep a dvd in the dvd player and then it will recognise it. Hope it will work for you

  25. Gary
    December 18, 2011 at 3:38 am

    get yourself any' play it all 'media player free .

  26. Mariostel
    December 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    hello all,
    i would like to post my problem in connecting my Verbatim 320GB Hard Drive to my LG DVD player. 
    My problem is that some folders are hidden the dvd player. It actually only recognizes one of the 4-5 different folders that i have in the drive.

    Thanks for any comments!

  27. Pat Ridgway
    September 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Try partitioning the HD into 40GB sectors. I know this works on LG players

  28. Violet Lazarte
    September 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I formatted mine from FAT32 to NTFS (not knowing that DVD players can't read NTFS), avi's wouldn't play so I switched back to FAT32 using Freecom's formatting software.. Still won't play avi files. Using Freecom XXS 3.0, and my DVD Player is a Philips DVP3260K.. Can anyone help please? Thank you..

    • Tina
      September 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm


      if none of the tips above work for you, I recommend you to ask a new question. Your question will be featured on the frontpage, with the chance for everyone to see it and there may be some fresh ideas out there. Please do list what you have tried already as you did above. Thank you!

      December 16, 2011 at 12:36 am

      Hello, Violet, the following link will show you the specifications for your Philips dvd player.


      According to this, it is able to play .divx files in an .avi container from USB. It plays .Divx, which is a format similar to AVI but it there are some differences. With divx you are able to have menu and subtitles. It is compatible with DIVX format starting at version 3.1 up to version 6.0. If a player is compatible with divx, it should play avi files by default.  That only leaves the possibility that the encoding in the .avi doesn't agree with the player.

      You are right, most DVD players or TVs recognize FAT32 format, not NTFS. There are some that do recognized NTFS format. The only way I see that you can play your video files is if you convert them from .avi to .divx or reencode the the .avi itself to a different framerate. There are many encoding software available for free to convert this videos. You could try the following:



      Any of the above options will convert your avi to divx or reencode the avi itself.  Download the first option and once it is downloaded install it.  Once installed, open one of the avis you are trying to play and select to encode it to divx.  Be aware that if will take some time for the encoding to finish.  When finish, connect your external to dvd player and see if it can play it.  Let me know how it goes.

  29. Tristan
    August 28, 2011 at 4:36 am

    try to look for format utilities of your 2TB external HD. im sure it has its own software.

  30. Sarahlouise1311
    August 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    But thank to every1 who was trying to help me its much appreciated :) 

  31. Sarahlouise1311
    August 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Hi i have found a few blu ray players that can play the NTFS format. the one i am getting is the LG BD550 it is well priced and has good reviews.
    Also i have a samsung tv with a usb port on the side, which aslo reads my 2tb external hard drive and it plays the dvds stored on it just fine. 
    so there are ways to use the NTFS format its not useless after all lol

    August 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

    OHH  thank god i managed to fix it. i panicked then lol. i dont think i will be doing that again lol
    is there a special dvd player i can buy that will read NTFS ???  

    • Tina
      August 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm


      I don't know the answer to your question for sure, but I'm afraid it's 'no'. Formatting to exFAT is the recommended solution. If you want to get other opinions, I recommend to ask a new question.

    • Pet
      January 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      PS3 seems to be the most compatible, I have a 2TB and various other HD's connected to my mac and with a media server program and my internal network set up I actually play all my films directly off the HD's via the computer. I have been told that this also works with windows computers running windows media players. 

      • Pet
        January 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        oh and by via the computer I mean its running off the computer to the PS3 and onto the TV.

    • Crimzon
      January 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Sarah, google EASEUS Partition Master 6.5.2 Home Edition.  I used this program to format my 1TB HD from NTFS to FAT3@Jeff_Fabish:disqus.  But you can't have anything that you want on the HD otherwise it will get deleted.  Its a reletively easy program to use as well, so it won't take you long to learn how to use it.

      Hope this helps you Sarah, good luck.

    • xcore
      January 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      how did u manage to fix the situation?

      • Kuru
        February 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

        Incase you do change NTFS to any other format - those wont be able to take up files bigger than 3 GB - Might not sound as a necessity, NTFS is good to keep your files, but even I am yet to find a way to play NTFS in a dvd player

    • boemslang
      March 8, 2012 at 6:27 am

       HI Sarah

      I have done the same thing... HOw did you fix it?

      • boemslang
        March 8, 2012 at 6:29 am

         By same thing I mean my 500gb hard drive has been reduced to 31.9 GB :- /

    August 20, 2011 at 10:51 am

    omg i just run the cnet programme that u said and now my 2 TB external hard drive is a 31.9 GB and i cant change it ck to defaulT HELP 

    • Dave L
      August 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      Sorry to hear that Sarah,  I did not know you had a 2TB device,  Think that is to much for the program to handle,  Unfortunately the dvd's/tv's only see the format FAT32 not sure about EXFAT  but I used that program to change a 320GB E.H.D. with no problems at all.   Two suggestions but both cost, store your DVD collection on your 2TB DRIVE AND EITHER buy a Memory stick (Asda selling 16GIG for 19 pound) or a small external drive off ebay for a few quid then use above program to change to FAT32 (make sure not already FAT32 by right click/Properties on the device) and use the 2TB to store all Your DVDs and move over when you want to watch one.  hope this helps

    • Xyz
      April 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      generally space is lost or increased when converting from one format to another

  34. Sarahlouise1311
    August 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    i have the same problem here. i plug in my external hard drive to my dvd player via usb cord. It says there are no videos there. i have tried on both of my dvd players and they both say nothing is there.  i aslo checked my hard drives format and it is NTFS. i do not have the option to change it to FAT32 my only option i have is the format exFAT.
    does any1 have any ideas?

    • Dave Lynch
      August 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

      I have that same problem, I can only format to exFAT.  Is there a program that WE  can use to format the ext. HD to FAT32?

    • Dave Lynch
      August 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Hi Sarahlouise1311,  I found this site which explains how you can format your external hard drive to FAT32 using windows.  If it works or not I will reply with what happened.    Dave

    • Dave Lynch
      August 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Took me a short while to find (longer then actually formatting the disk)  go to Cnet downloads (safe site) and download 
      HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
      It seen my external hard drive (which is a 320 GB ) and transferred it to FAT32 in about 20 seconds.  Was also very easy to use.    Hope this helps Sarah.

      • xcore
        January 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        have a question should i be backing up my files before converting?

    • Randy Lemaster
      February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      They make media players that play avi, mp4, mkv ect. for 30-200 dollars, i have 2 of them. A micca and a diamond digital media player. I love them, and it will work with 2tb drive, cause i have one. They are plug and play connected to tv and usb from drive. Regular and HD versions, your choice.

      • christopher
        February 26, 2012 at 6:48 am

        I have the same setup, but now the player won't recongnize new files. I check the file and put it in a flash drive-works. Then back to the hard drive, not there. I'm planning to backup the files and reformat it again to FAT32 again. And probably scanning it and defrag the whole hard drive. I really don't want to do that because it will take 2-3days again.

        Do you have any solution to my problem.
        (Refreshed info) I have a Sony-bdp and it was working fine. It still play files already inside the hard drive, but does not show any of the new files I put in it recent???

  35. AppleMan
    August 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Perhaps you should revise your question.  DVD players play DVDs.  How exaxtly are you trying to make the connection (what are you connecting to what and how), and what do you expect to happen.

    • Dave
      November 11, 2011 at 8:03 am

      If you're that behind the times that you don't understand, perhaps you should keep your mouth shut.

      • Weez
        May 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

        Totally agree Dave lmao @ appleman weirdo

  36. Mike
    August 7, 2011 at 12:49 am

    My first (and most likely) guess is that your external Hard Drive is formatted in NTFS which is not supported by the majority of DVD Players if any at all.

    First you should look what format your external Hard Drive is using. All you have to do is connect it to the computer, rightlick > Properties and look for the File System. 

    If it is NTFS you will have to backup all data from the drive, format it in FAT32 and copy back all the files.

    • Mike
      August 7, 2011 at 12:51 am

      Of course I meant "right-click* Properties"

      • Suzanne
        October 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm

        I have a 500gb external hard drive that is formatted in NTFS that none of my dvd players or xbox 360 will pick up, how do i format it in FAT32?

        • crimzon
          January 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

          I downloaded a file called "EASEUS Partition Master 6.5.2 Home Edition" (Google it).
          I used this to format my External Hard drive (1TB) from NTFS to FAT32 and it now plays through what ever I plug it into...

          Hope that helps

    • paul
      March 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      hi. i just formatted my hard drive to fat32. and now it whant play on aneything. not my dvd. ps3. or thought my computer..and the computer we have in our bar just shutdow with blue screan... can anyone hellp

  37. Jeffery Fabish
    August 7, 2011 at 12:47 am

    What is the file format of the movie you are trying to play (flv,mp4, etc)? Does your external HD have its own power supply? Do you get an error message or it just doesn't play? What file system is your external HD running? Does the manual say this kind of setup is viable? 

    In order to recommend another DVD player or diagnose the current issue you need to answer some questions. I only wish I was Houdini. 

    This problem usually arises when either the external hard drive doesn't have its own power supply, or the file system is incompatible with the DVD player's standards. Also, if you're attempting to play a file that isn't supported by the DVD player, this can happen.

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