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  1. Member
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    I still use a WDTV Live for playing video files on my HDTV. I've been using Western Digital Elements or Passport 2 TB USB drives for several years. They used to come with MBR partitions, a few years ago they switched to GPT partitions. When I first encountered GPT I was able to use a WIN 7 PC to convert to MBR so the drive would work on my WDTV and WIN XP PC. I did this to several drives over the past couple years. I recently purchased a new WD Elements 2 TB USB drive. I went through the GPT to MBR procedure and the drive is recognized by Win 7 and WIN XP but not the WDTV - NO STORAGE PRESENT. There were several test files on the disk. I have tried formatting the drive twice with no success with the WDTV. I intended to use the drive to store mkv files of some TV series ripped from Blu Ray and play them using the WDTV, so right now it is useless.

    Any ideas? There appears to be a WDTV Forum website but it appears there have been no new postings there for a couple years. I may try registering and posting about this problem. I've been wanting to replace the WDTV, but haven't devoted any time to research that.
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    Yesterday was a sad day as I finally replaced my beloved WDTV Gen 3 with a laptop because it wouldn't recognize some of my drives in an external case. I've gone through multiple WDTVs ever since they were first introduced and I've replaced some of them because they wouldn't recognize my drives. I've also noticed the USB ports tend to fail over time even if the drives are permanently connected to them.

    That said, here's a thread about Win 10 doing something to the drive that may cause it to fail being recognized on the WDTV: https://community.wd.com/t/wdtv-media-player-suddenly-not-reading-my-hard-drive/162795/43. I don't think this is my issue since I've been using Win 10 to format my drives for years without major issues.

    The fact is, as great as the WDTV Live series was, particularly the WDTV Live Streaming (aka Gen 3), there are better alternatives out there (though not as easy to use if you're used to the WDTV interface).

    I'll quote myself for a nutshell list of alternatives from this thread: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/389775-Please-help-me-find-a-media-player-box

    Assuming you have your Blu-Rays backed up as .MKV (i.e separate files with no menus), any of the" following will suit your needs. If they're saved as .ISO (i.e a complete copy of the disc with menus, the options are far fewer, possibly a Blu-Ray player or a HTPC or laptop. About a year ago, I swapped out one of my failing WDTVs with a small laptop for my secondary TV. It's not quite as user friendly, but works well with a wireless keyboard.*

    *My preference is a Logitech K400 which combines a mid-size keyboard with a touchpad. I've other mini-keyboards including one with a wireless mouse feature (you wave the keyboard to maneuver the mouse, but the K400 is the most convenient.

    $50 - $100 - Android Box or Raspberry Pi (as Jagabo suggested). Stick with the 4 star+ boxes on Amazon and the build quality is generally solid with higher cost giving you additional streaming features that you may not need.

    $100 - $150 - Blu-Ray player. Be sure the player will play DVD .ISOs (if you have them) and .MKVs. Newer players may not support all types of video files.

    $150+ - KDLinks, Nvidia Shield, laptop, HTPC. Note that the newer KDLinks models (e.g. A400) run Android and IMHO, doesn't warrant the premium over a $100 Android Box. While the Nvidia Shield is highly praised, most of the praise is for it's gaming capabilities, not the video capabilities."
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  3. Member misterbill's Avatar
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    Did you try "Mini Tool Partition Wizard" on your USB drives? DISK option on the top bar.

    I've had my WDTV running constantly for years, Love it. < added>
    Last edited by misterbill; 14th Oct 2018 at 23:18.
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  4. Member
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    Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    Did you try "Mini Tool Partition Wizard" on your USB drives? DISK option on the top bar.

    I've had my WDTV running constantly for years, Love it. < added>
    I'll take a look at it, but tell me how it helps. Does it convert GPT to MBR? Does it work better than the utilities supplied with Windows?
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Yesterday was a sad day as I finally replaced my beloved WDTV Gen 3 with a laptop because it wouldn't recognize some of my drives in an external case. I've gone through multiple WDTVs ever since they were first introduced and I've replaced some of them because they wouldn't recognize my drives. I've also noticed the USB ports tend to fail over time even if the drives are permanently connected to them.
    .
    .
    .
    ."
    I never updated the firmware in my WDTV, it's 1.14.09 . There are updates available, but I don't know if any of them affect access to USB drives. It's a task to sort out which software is correct for my device since WD used similar names for various models. The USB ports seem to be fine though.
    It would be easier to get a modern media player that can handle h265 these days. I think I like the KDLinks A400, but think it's overpriced.
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    Originally Posted by JoeS99 View Post
    I still use a WDTV Live for playing video files on my HDTV. I've been using Western Digital Elements or Passport 2 TB USB drives for several years. They used to come with MBR partitions, a few years ago they switched to GPT partitions. When I first encountered GPT I was able to use a WIN 7 PC to convert to MBR so the drive would work on my WDTV and WIN XP PC. I did this to several drives over the past couple years. I recently purchased a new WD Elements 2 TB USB drive. I went through the GPT to MBR procedure and the drive is recognized by Win 7 and WIN XP but not the WDTV - NO STORAGE PRESENT. There were several test files on the disk. I have tried formatting the drive twice with no success with the WDTV. I intended to use the drive to store mkv files of some TV series ripped from Blu Ray and play them using the WDTV, so right now it is useless.

    Any ideas? There appears to be a WDTV Forum website but it appears there have been no new postings there for a couple years. I may try registering and posting about this problem. I've been wanting to replace the WDTV, but haven't devoted any time to research that.

    lingyi mentioned this one above, but I'll second the NVidia Shield. I too have been gradually replacing WDTV's over the past few years - it seems there are a lot of us doing that! I now have a few of these boxes laying around, but I actually like to have one completely offline. I took a Shield, loaded VLC and Kodi on to it, and then had it forget my network. I use those two apps to play from my local (5 TB) USB drive and nothing else. It works great as a WDTV replacement, and I love the interface (which I have tinkered with to get to be pretty minimal) and remote control.
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  7. Member hydra3333's Avatar
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    This used to work:

    https://github.com/hydra3333/Pi3CCserver

    Pi3CCserver - a Raspberry Pi3 Chromecast Server
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    Originally Posted by JoeS99 View Post
    I still use a WDTV Live for playing video files on my HDTV. I've been using Western Digital Elements or Passport 2 TB USB drives for several years. They used to come with MBR partitions, a few years ago they switched to GPT partitions. When I first encountered GPT I was able to use a WIN 7 PC to convert to MBR so the drive would work on my WDTV and WIN XP PC. I did this to several drives over the past couple years. I recently purchased a new WD Elements 2 TB USB drive. I went through the GPT to MBR procedure and the drive is recognized by Win 7 and WIN XP but not the WDTV - NO STORAGE PRESENT. There were several test files on the disk. I have tried formatting the drive twice with no success with the WDTV.
    Did you try to use the official WD format tool to convert GPT to MBR?

    Download link and guide: https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?ID=3868

    Make sure to select "XP compatible" before formatting. You must use Window 7 as the guide says.


    With the WD Format Tool, WD external drives can be made MBR. Even the 4TB and 6TB drives can be formatted as MBR since the WD external drives have special emulation in the USB controller board. The only negative is if the external enclosure fails, you can't pull the drive out and recover it in a PC. The drive formatted as MBR will only work with that special controller board. Windows will see the entire 4TB or 6TB as a single MBR partition.
    Last edited by Vidd; 17th Oct 2018 at 09:36.
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    Originally Posted by Vidd View Post
    Originally Posted by JoeS99 View Post
    I still use a WDTV Live for playing video files
    .
    .
    Did you try to use the official WD format tool to convert GPT to MBR?

    Download link and guide: https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?ID=3868

    Make sure to select "XP compatible" before formatting. You must use Window 7 as the guide says.


    With the WD Format Tool, WD external drives can be made MBR. Even the 4TB and 6TB drives can be formatted as MBR since the WD external drives have special emulation in the USB controller board. The only negative is if the external enclosure fails, you can't pull the drive out and recover it in a PC. The drive formatted as MBR will only work with that special controller board. Windows will see the entire 4TB or 6TB as a single MBR partition.
    Thank You for letting me know about the WD Format Tool. I had a chance to try it today and it's a success!
    I ran it on my XP machine and placed a few video files on the WD Drive and the WDTV can see it and play them.

    Edit: Wish we knew what it does differently than a format under XP. The new drives themselves must be the problem.
    Last edited by JoeS99; 20th Oct 2018 at 09:37. Reason: add info
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