Plugging USB Passport hard drive

Discussion in 'Acer Iconia Tab A500 Forum' started by cwk, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. cwk
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    cwk Junior Member

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    I attached my WD Passport hard drive to my A500 and the A500 apparently did not see it. The Passport's pilot light came on and it the disk spun up, but no file system mounted to the obvious places - /usbdrive, /mnt/usb_storage, /mnt/usbdrive. Sam result when I plug in a generic external disk. Both disks areAm I missing something obvious?

    P.S.
    Just noticed that the no-name drive is an NTFS file system. That (according to Ace) explains that. But the Passport is a FAT32 file system. FWIW, a USB thumb drive was immediately recognized. Any thoughts?
  2. KiwiNessie
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    KiwiNessie Junior Member

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    I have to wait several minutes before files in my 500 gb portable hard drive show up and sometimes I have to restart my tablet. Try a restart.

    Sent from my A500 using Android Tablet Forum
  3. 2wheelsagain
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    2wheelsagain Junior Member

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    it seems the more files on the drive the longer the wait.
    Also if you are impatient and unplug and replug trying to get it working you will need to reboot the tab.
    Thats been my experience anyway.

    You're not expecting win/mac connectivity are you? lol
  4. Icebike
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    Icebike Junior Member

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    I found the same thing. First plug-in it scans everything, looking for media files that it knows how to handle.
    It builds a thumnail cache of all of these and stores it /Android/Data/(app
    These then show up in the appropriate applications.

    Huge external storage full of tons of pictures and songs is probably not what you want to use for
    your tablet.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
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  5. StFuz
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    StFuz Junior Member

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    From Spexwood. You have format your Passport. See the below thread. Helped me out a bunch.

    Whoever told you that it can't be done apparently doesnt know what he is talking about LOL :p
    Why they told that is a mystery to me, but it CAN be done and works perfectly fine :D

    So, let's try and get your Passport up and running:

    TO CHECK THE HDD's FILE FORMAT:
    Once you have the drive plugged into your computer (I am assuming that you are using a Windows-based OS... I cannot help you with Macs, sorry) go to Computer and right-click the drive and select Properties.
    Under the General tab (which should be the default tab that first appears after selecting Properties), you will see 2 pieces of information under the name of the drive. The first should be "Type" and the second should be "File System." If you havent already formatted the drive as FAT32, then the drive's file system will most likely be NTFS, as this is the standard format nowadays.

    TO FORMAT THE DRIVE AS FAT32:
    Now, if the drive IS NTFS, then you should format it as FAT32, but starting with Windows XP, Microsoft dropped the ability to reformat drives as FAT32 from within the OS (like I said before, it is because NTFS became the standard). So, what you need is a free, and small-sized program, called FAT32Formatter.
    http://tokiwa.qee.jp/EN/Fat32Formatter/
    (download link is under the first big picture)
    Open this program (no installation needed), select the drive (Since you are using a similar drive as me, the name should be something "WD Passport..."), and format. It's pretty easy.
    Afterwards, just double-check that it was successful by doing the Computer> Properties thing again.

    *Be aware though that FAT32 is a little stubborn. It will NOT accept any files larger than 4GB. So, like, if you have a movie that is 6GB or something, then you need to split it in a video conversion program so that the individual parts are no larger than 4GB... see why NTFS became the preference? :/
    ****** ALSO BE AWARE THAT FORMATTING WILL DELETE ALL DATA FROM THE HDD!!!!! You have no idea how many people format drives and then find this out the hard way -_-'

    FILE MANAGER APP:
    To view, move, etc files from the HDD to the Tablet, just use any File Manager off of the Android Market. Personally, I use "File Manager HD (Honeycomb)." There are many other alternatives, but just be certain that they support Honeycomb/Android 3.0/Android 3.1, as the file system is slightly different from other Android systems. I like that particular app though because it is simple, easy to use, designed nicely, and you can add bookmarks to certain file locations.
    If you use the app that I mentioned, then to get to the HDD once it is plugged in (BTW, be sure to allow a minute or two for the tablet to read the drive after plugging it in), then you need to go "UP" a file directory (default location is your tablet's internal drive, or /mnt/sdcard), which will bring you to /mnt/. /mnt/ is where you will be able to access all your drives. "sdcard" is your internal HDD, "external_sd" is your memory card slot, and "usb_storage" is your USB slot, or in this case, your external HDD. Like I said, I like this particular file manager because of its ability to bookmark files, so I do recommend bookmarking these locations by long-pressing the file and choosing "Bookmark." Once inside the "usb_storage" folder, you will have access to all folders and files on the HDD. You can move/copy the files to the tablet's internal memory, or you can use them directly from the HDD itself... your choice. Nice thing about Honeycomb is that you can actually manipulate the files on the drive- deleting and writing to the HDD, for example- unlike other Android systems in which you can only copy and read files from USB devices.



    Let me know if there is anything else you need to know (or if I didnt answer your questions right). I am happy to help with what I can :)
    -Spex
  6. cver22
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    cver22 Junior Member

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    Awesome, I've been looking for a tablet solution for traveling. I want to use a camera that uses SD cards with a WD passport drive. Do you know if the iconia can transfer files even if it cant understand/open them. I'm particularly interested in RAW camera files, I don't shoot in jpg. My only goal is storage on the go, I can look at them later and I hate the idea of bringing a big bulky laptop.

    Thanks!!!
  7. OutaDaDark
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    OutaDaDark Junior Member

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    WAIT!!! There is no need to reformat your drive.... the XDA Developers have released a program called USB Mount All. I use this program to mount all manner of file types, mainly FAT32 and NTFS. I mount a 1Terrabyte drive (NTFS) and several smaller 80Gb, 160Gb and 320Gb drives (FAT32).

    All work seamlessly. USB Mount All can be found in the Market. Any File Manager will mount it under the /mnt folder.

    Try it before you do anything else.
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  8. the_incredible_z
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    the_incredible_z Junior Member

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    I use Drive Mount, can be found in the market for free. It mounts my 1tb(NTFS) and my 250gb(fat32) with no problems. I used an HP disc formatting tool, free on-line, to format my 250gb drive. Just my $.02
  9. Ami
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    Ami Junior Member

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    I just got an Acer A500, too, and have a Western Digital Passport drive as well. It seems that sometimes it will read it and sometimes it won't. My Passport had already been reformatted to fat32 a few years ago in order to access it via our PS3. I have noticed that it will eventually "see" it if I leave it plugged into the tablet and alone for a bit, make sure the tablet's plugged to the charger as well as that seems to help. Sometimes I do need to do a reboot but I think mostly it's just a matter of waiting it out for the device to "pick it up" eventually.

    ~Ami
  10. Icebike
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    Icebike Junior Member

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    You need to be patient, plug it in, and give it some time to scan the drive and build thumbnails of images it finds on the drive.

    The bigger the drive, the longer this takes.

    If you plug and unplug the drive without allowing sufficient time for it to build, and then flush its preview thumbnails, the tablet will simply start ignoring the drive altogether until you reboot the tablet.

    So patience pays.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
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  11. Douvie
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    Douvie Junior Member

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    Actually I've got the opposite problem.

    If I plug a USB stick into my tablet if works fine. If I take that same stick and plug it back into my Win 7 PC the PC won't read it. Even though it did before the stick was plugged into the A500.

    But a standard USB HDD no problems.

    I have 3 WIN 7 PCs. 2 don't have the problem yet mine does - they are all exactly the same.

    I've tried to nut the issue out but it is alluding me at the moment.
  12. Ami
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    Ami Junior Member

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    Ever since I upgraded to ICS the USB problem has been fixed for me since it added the option of mountimg /unmounting USB drives/sdcards and now it sees my attached USB drive almost instantly which is nice though yes patience is best overall when dealing with electronics.
  13. StoneKy
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    StoneKy Junior Member

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    Are you unmounting properly?
  14. Douvie
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    Douvie Junior Member

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    Yes. I use the unmount in SETTINGS/STORAGE. But this problem exists on my WIN 7 PC only. I cannot plug a USB stick into it if that stick has been plugged into the A500. The other 2 PCs which are exactly the same, hardware & OS wise, don't have a problem. It just my PC. Even the internet PC, which is an i5 hasn't got a problem either. The P4 PCs, 3 which run XP and 1 RED HAT, don't have a problem. My work laptop, XP, doesn' have a problem either.

    I have plugged in WD PASSBOOK USB 3 DRIVES and WD ELEMENTS drives into my problem PC after they have been used in A500 without an hassle.They are all working fine.
    But come to think about it I put my daughter's USB stick, VERBATIM, into the PC and it works fine. Other makes are a no go! This is weird this problem and its driving me batty trying to solve it.
  15. StoneKy
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    StoneKy Junior Member

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    Reason I asked is cauz I totally screwed a WD Passport 1TB several months ago by not unmounting correcty. (click of death)
  16. Douvie
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    Douvie Junior Member

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    Thanks anyway StoneKy!
  17. frnkws
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    frnkws Junior Member

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    Do not go by the old Acer information.
    It says it does not support NTFS but it does.
    I believe that was changed in the 3.21 update.
    I have 2 64 gig usb sticks formatted NTFS that I use on the A500 with no problem.
    Acer also says it will support up to a 32 gig micro SD but it does support a 64 gig.
    Even with a USB stick it needs to read the contents before it is ready to use.
    I believe the light on the stick or USB drive will blink while it is busy being read.
    When it stops blinking you can access it.
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  18. Douvie
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    Douvie Junior Member

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    Yeah that right 64GB micro SD but effectively that becomes a storage device. under HC can't load an app on it and run it from there. Same deal under ICS I think - Haven't got ICS yet.

    The problem I have is not really a tablet problem but a WIN 7 problem on my PC - I haven't seen a solution yet.
  19. sopranosv
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    sopranosv Junior Member

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    Yeap...the ability to read NTFS got solved with a Honeycomb minor update...
  20. adrian4408
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    adrian4408 Junior Member

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    Quick question I want to buy a Ainol Novo10 Hero Tab, runs android 4.1. Only has a mini usb socket, if I get an adapter will it read my Seagate 500gb portable hard drive. I want to run videos (mainly avi & mkv files)

    Need to know before I spend my money on this tab

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