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unable to play USB HDD 40 GB

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  • unable to play USB HDD 40 GB

    Hi folks..bought a Chinese made head unit for car with DVD/MP3/GPS/etc..etc...hoping to play all my mp3 from a 40GB USB HDD. It can play mp3 off a 128 flash drive...but not from a 2 GB flash drive and ofcourse not from my 40GB USB HDD. Have you guys got suggestion. Im sorry if this has been dealth with before, Im new here.

  • #2
    common things to check.

    formatting of the drive, some only like "fat32"

    no more than 99 songs in a directory

    does the hard drive spin up or does it sit there making "ticking" noises. if its ticking its not getting enough power via usb.

    check the manual and make sure there is no maximum limit to the size of the drive that it can read from. it might only be able to see up to 1GB for example.

    if you brought it from a shop, take your drive into the shop and try it on a unit there.
    if it still dosnt work in the shop, get a refund or swap it for one that does work with yoru hard drive? additionally if you asked the sales person for one that you can plug your hard drive into and they said this one should, you should not have any problems swapping it. as they mislead you


    • #3
      Thanks very much for your reply, I have checked these things already. It accepts 128 meg FAT32 flash drive..but fails with 40 GB FAT32. There is no ticking sound but the light on the HDD case is dim which makes me think it needs power. From memory I know most OS support 32GB as FAT32. So i have to partition to 30 GB or something. And there's no way I can ask for a refund as I bought it off eBay and the guy doesnt reply to the email. Also the manual is probably written by some Chinese/Japanese. I have to decipher the meaning of their english.


      • #4
        another thought is if you know someone with an ipod, see if it can read that.


        • #5
          Thanks again....i hv checked with HDD partitioned 29GB luck. still looking.....


          • #6
            try checking the tree. sony headunits supports only up to 3 subfolders and 399 files i guess


            • #7
              Most headunits have a limit to the amount of storage they can access.
              Most will not read from a USB hard drive.

              I'd expect that a generic low-budget Chinese knock-off unit like yours would not be able to.
              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
              How about the Wiki?

              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


              • #8
                USB standard is current limited to 500ma on the 5V line. If you are using a laptop drive that gets all power from 5V and the current rating is >500ma (which it usually is) than you need an external 5V power supply to give it more current (amps).

                If it's a full size desktop drive, it will definitelly need an external power supply because the 12V and 5V draws too much current.

                If you rectify the power issue, and it's formated to FAT32 and have not exceeded the file/folder limitations set forth by the mfg, then I would say it's a matter of a cheap chinese headunit.
                System always under construction


                • #9
                  I have been researching this situation as well.... I am going to be purchasing one of the new AVN systems with USB ports as soon as I compare them all. The new ones from the CES08 in January should be reviewed within the next few months. In the meantime, my research has led me to the following links:



                  I hope this helps... it seems that Microsoft Sync allows for this quite easily...



                  • #10
                    ...Problem solved!

                    Dear sir,

                    First, you have to format your IDE 2.5" HDD to FAT32 format. Do not use partition magic or anything else. Make sure that you use a 40Gb hard disc. Larger capacity consumes more power (W).
                    Formating in fat32 gives you a max capacity of 29Gb. Use the rest as file storage, or what ever you like. Car audio will not see any other partition, any way.
                    Now, Buy one case with voltage input (prefer one with the normal size USB female input plug).
                    One of those which are allso media players, are fine too.
                    Get from Radiosack a 4 cell battery case (comes free with the media player case mentioned above) with the appropriate plug and polarity according your HDD case.
                    When you gather all that gear, then you are ready to go!
                    You have and have done all the above (formating, battery case, ect...).
                    You are in your car.
                    Start the car! (if you start it later, probably the power will cut off and this is dangerous for the hard disc).
                    Your car stereo is off!
                    You have in hand your hard disc and the battery case.
                    Plug first the USB cable, to the hard disc.
                    Then plug the other end to your car stereo.
                    It would be helpfull if the battery case have a switch.
                    Just a few seconds will do the trick!
                    HDD needs a kickstart current to get going.
                    After that, it will not shut down, unless you switch off the car stereo.
                    Changing source, will not affect the status of the hard disc. Switching back to USB input, the hard disc will resume without the use of the external power.
                    This procedure is needed only once, every time you attach the HDD to the car stereo for the first time in a day. If you leave the HDD attached to the car stereo, kickstart current is not needed.
                    Please note that the car stereo MUST have a normal size USB female input plug.

                    I hope that this will help you.

                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Oh! one last thing...
                      All the partition space, is effective. You will have a nearly 30 Gigs of music or video. ;-)


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spacegear View Post
                        try checking the tree. sony headunits supports only up to 3 subfolders and 399 files i guess
                        Sony head unit does not have any restriction... As you see in the pics I have a sony head unit. My HDD have over a dozen folders with sub folders and one of them have 1200 files.
                        It shufles trough all of them!


                        • #13
                          What about larger HD? 250GB? 1TB?

                          Is the process different? How so?



                          • #14
                            Is there a 1Tb IDE 2.5" HDD, that I'm not aware off?!

                            It has to be 2.5". Otherwise you need external power. It has to be IDE. I don't know why. Sata never work at my case. It has to be small. Fat32 formats partition of 30Gb.
                            What will you do with the rest of 1Tb?!
                            After all... Larger capacity consumes more power (W) that USB conector of head units can not provide. They are designed to give enough power for a USB memory stick. That is merely 500mA.



                            • #15
                              There isn't a 1Tb IDE 2.5" HDD, yet, but I'm sure there will be. Even so, you are correct in as far that I do not need 1TB for music... however, I do have about 150GB of music and I am expanding that collection, so I would like to have a 250GB to use in the car. Based upon the links in my previous post in this thread, there is a work around on the GB limitation on FAT32.

                              Also, what if I ran separate power to the hard drive (the HDD's power port) and then just used the USB port for data? Or do the 2.5" HDD only have USB ports and no power ports?