Compatibility issues with WD TV HD media player and attached USB 3.0 device

Bear with me, I am not tech savvy…

I have a WD TV HD media player which has worked fine for the last 3 years or so with attached USB devices for my stored media content. Previously attached USB devices were, WD MyBook and ancient Maxtor HDD. I recently acquired a Seagate USB3.0 device for increased capacity but the WD TV box fails to detect it, listing it as an unsupported device. The only thing that has changed is the USB3.0 capability (even though it is USB2.0 backwards compatible.

Any ideas on updates etc that may fix the problem. So far the only solution has been to move media content BACK to the previous working HDD and watch them from there. This is a headache because it basically involves moving required content between drives in order to watch it, whereas the higher capacity device has simply become a straightforward storage device unable to be detected through the WD TV device. I have updated the firmware on the WDTV device to the latest available.

Any ideas and working suggestions will be highly appreciated. 

LSPLSN, what size is your new external drive?

The older one was a 2TB and the new one is a 3TB. I have read some of the other forums and apparently drives larger than 2TB are not supported. Im attempting to repartition the drive to see if that will temporarily solve the problem.

Nope.  I’m fairly certain that you’re stuck with 2TB as a maximum.  If you do manage to somehow trick the WDTV into detecting the 3TB drive, you’re likely to run into issues with corruption and damaged/missing files.

Ok, repartitioning to smaller volumes failed as well. Could this perhaps be a combination problem with the USB 3.0 too? Need to get my hands on a smaller 2TB drive now to see if that solves this issue. So much for thinking bigger. Need to know so that i can get a USB2.0 device instead of the 3.

I don’t have any 3.0 drives myself to test with, but as far as I know, that shouldn’t be an issue.  The drive should just detect that the WDTV only has a USB 2.0 port and should degrade itself down to USB 2.0 specs.

As long as you stick to drives 2 TB and under (and make sure the drive is formatted as MBR and not GPT), anything “should” work.  Sure, sticking to USB 2.0 should assure compatability, but USB 3.0 shouldn’t cause issues that I’m aware of.

But, even if the drive is 2TB or less, I believe the WDTV won’t accept it if it’s formatted as GPT.  When you get your new drive, I’d strongly suggest re-formatting it as MBR and connecting it to the WDTV as a recognition test, before filling it.  Otherwise, if it needs re-formatting and you’ve spent days filling the 2TB, you’re going to be rather annoyed at having to re-format and start all over. :wink:

There has been no word on a Gen2 update to fix the 2TB/MBR cap.  I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for one.  And a Gen1 update simply won’t ever see the light of day since the device is officially End-Of-Life.  The newest firmwares for the Live/Live Plus and Live Hub all address the problem, and work with larger drives, but any earlier firmwares for the newer WDTV devices also have the 2TB/MBR cap, since all the firmwares were written before large drives ever started hitting store shelves.

Ok, I have exhausted all logical options. Read through a couple of your other ideas and recommendations on similar posts (I shouldve read these before buying the **bleep** 3TB Seagate). All partitioning attempts and combinations failed. Looks like my only remaining option is to get a 2TB drive now, my remaining question now is, does it matter if the 2TB drive is USB3 or USB2, will a similar 2TB Seagate be recognised and work properly and lastly, would getting WD TV HD Live media player alleviate any of the preceding issues bar the >2TB issues on the Seagate.

It shouldn’t matter if the drive’s USB3… it should work in USB2 mode.  The only things that matter should be the drive size and partition table type.

As far as I know, even a 1TB USB2 drive won’t work if it’s GPT… it will only work if it is formatted MBR.  I think with 1TB and 1.5TB drives this normally isn’t an issue and they “just work” because theu ship as MBR, but I think most 2TB drives ship as GPT, so the first thing you’d have to do when you got the 2TB drive out of the box would be hook it up to your PC and re-format it as MBR.  Once you’ve done that, the WDTV shouldn’t have any problems using the drive, whether it’s USB2 or USB3.

Getting a WDTV Live (or Live Plus or Live Hub) won’t fix the issues out of the box.  But the issue is fixed on the latest firmwares.  So, if you upgrade the WDTV Live firmware to the current 1.05.04, it will recognize (and be able to use) your 3TB Seagate.  Any previous firmwares (1.01.xx through 1.04.xx) will behave identically to your current WDTV HD.  So, yes, getting a Live (or Live Plus or Live Hub) can get around the problem, as long as you use the latest firmware.


Ok, this matter can now be put to rest. I ordered a WD TV HD Live media player and updated the firmware to version wdtvlive_1.05.04_V - My Seagate GOFLEX 3TB is detected and appears to be working fine without any corrupted/lost data so far. The old WD TV HD Media player is effectively a doorstop now and my old WD 2TB HDD has opened up sufficient new storage for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for the input and suggestions, it is highly appreciated. I hope this thread can help a few others as well.