WDTV Gen 1 - How to get it to recognize a partitioned drive?

Hi, I hope someone w/ more experience in this area can give me some help/advice. I have an original Gen 1 WDTV. (WD00AVN00 Firmware 1.01.02) At present, I have two older MyBooks hooked up to it - a 500gb and a 1.5tb, but need to expand my storage. I have a more recent 4tb MyBook. Of course, the WDTV didn’t recognize it, since (as I found out after coming here), the original WDTV can’t recognize drives larger than 2tb. But I also read that if the drive was split into 2tb partitions, that it would work then. So, I split the drive into 2 partiations.

For some reason, this still is not working for me. It simply gives me an “Unrecognized USB Device” error message. My other drives work perfectly, the WDTV works perfectly - no problems with any of that.

Any suggestions, or ideas as to why it won’t recognize the drive? The new drive being USB 3.0 shouldn’t matter, should it, as it’s backwards-compatible w/ usb2? (I’m grabbing wildly at straws here, trying to come up with any reason why it’s giving me trouble) Ideally, I’d like to get the 4tb drive to work with it since I already have it, but if need be, I’ll buy another 2tb drive.

If I do have to get a new drive - which do you feel would be more reliable? Since the desktop drives don’t seem to be available in 2tb any longer - should I get an older MyBook from Ebay or elsewhere — or would a new Passport be (likely to be) as trustworthy (and long-lasting) as my old MyBooks have been? I’m very pleasantly surprised that the drives are still running great after 12 years, and app. 10 years, respectively. The WDTV is app. 8 years old now. I do not wish to replace the WDTV for sentimental reasons. (long story) Besides, it works great & does exactly what I need it to do - simply play my media off the HDs, reading just about any format I’ve thrown at it. That’s all I want from it, so there is no compelling reason to replace it at this point. I have my Roku for streaming services, and use the WDTV only for playing my own media.

The 4tb MyBook is partitioned into 2 partitions, just under 2tb each. NTFS, MBR, one primary partition, one logical partition. Is there anything I need to change there? It all reads fine on my PC. CHKDSK finds no errors at all.

One very strange thing did happen the other day — I hooked a USB hub to the WDTV, to see if that would work, allowing me to hook up more than 2 drives. It worked fine with my two older drives. When I hooked up the partitioned 4tb drive through the hub, at first it displayed some of the files on the first partition, but didn’t show the second partition at all. The next time I hooked it up, I once again got the “unrecognized USB device” error, both using the hub & hooking directly to the player. Several more tries - it never did recognize the drive again at all. (I do use the ‘eject’ function on my PC, and also used it on the WDTV.)

THANK YOU so much in advance for any advice or help you can give me! I would love to get the drive I have working, or I’d like to feel somewhat assured that I make the best selection if I buy a new drive. I have no familiarity with the “smaller” drives like the Passport, and don’t know if they’re generally as ‘long-lasting’ as the MyBooks. .

Thank you again!!! I hope someone can point me in the right direction.

  • Nickie

Hi there,

I believe the reason this is not working has to do more with the fact that the USB drive has a different sector size than a normal 2 TB would, I recommend getting an older drive that’s 2 TB or less, this should help the unit see the partition.

Oh my goodness… that never occurred to me, but you are totally correct!! I just checked my newer partitioned drive, and one of my “old” drives – and sure enough, different sector sizes! 512 bytes on the old drive, 4096 on the newer drive!

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!! I’ll hunt down a couple older MyBooks to use, I’ll probably grab one or two “extras” if I can find them, just so I’ll have plenty of storage space to “grow into”! :slight_smile: . And, it also makes me feel much better knowing why it wouldn’t work! That was driving me buggy! I kept checking all sorts of stuff, but I never thought to look at sector sizes…

Thank you ever so much – I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out & for sharing your expertise & solving the problem for me!!!

Thank you again, ArMak & have a wonderful week!!!

  • Nickie