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Playing Video from an external USB hard drive

by budhukan / February 23, 2011 7:18 PM PST


I had trouble playing videos from my portable (USB-powered) Western Digital 1 TB hard drive. The video stops and stutters. When I copied the video to my hard drive though it played fine. So I guess that eliminates the possibilities that there's something wrong with (a)the video or (b)the PC that's playing it?

Next I tried a similar thing with my portable Western Digital 500GB hard drive. I didn't actually use the same video but a similar one and the video played fine from the hard drive. I didn't have to copy it to my internal HD.

So does someone have any idea why this might be and how I can fix it? I'd like to use my 1TB play movies without having to copy them to internal hard drive every time.

Another thing: my 1TB HD (which I'm having problem with) has NTFS format while my 500GB one has FAT32 - if that helps. I've posted this on the storage forum also.


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Format is probably not the problem.
by ahtoi / February 24, 2011 1:06 AM PST

Here is another test. Download your friend's video, the one that plays fine, to your external harddrive and see how it goes.

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tried the same video file
by budhukan / February 24, 2011 11:25 AM PST

works fine on the 500GB one and stutters when played from the 1TB one

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Too close to the edge for this machine?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2011 4:40 AM PST

I didn't find what machine is doing the playback. Since NTFS incurs some processing overheat it is possible that a machine with just barely enough to work with the FAT32 volume could be in trouble with NTFS externals.

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what would the requirements be?
by budhukan / February 25, 2011 1:07 PM PST

That might be a valid point. But I'm not sure what the requirements are to play from an NTFS drive. What details of the machine would I need? RAM Space is just 2GB which the processor shares with the graphic card. It has an AMD Athlon dual-core 64-bit processor with Vista running on it.

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My vista on
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2011 2:23 PM PST

I own own of those renowned, reviled hp dv6000's but with 3GB RAM and it crawls. Sorry but I have to call it that you may be at the performance edge where you would find NTFS overhead to push it from working to sputtering.

Let's try something lighter weight to play that video and see what happens. Sorry but I missed what player.

Try it with VLC PLAYER.

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by budhukan / February 25, 2011 4:36 PM PST
In reply to: My vista on

I guess this is the best I can get then. I don't know if making any tweaks to my internal hard drive would compensate for the NTFS overhead, but I'll look it up.

I do use VLC at all times.

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A guess?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 25, 2011 5:35 AM PST

Does this portable USB hard drive have it's own mains power connection? If so, use that instead of using the USB port to power it.

Does it work any better that way?


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by budhukan / February 25, 2011 1:08 PM PST
In reply to: A guess?

It doesn't have an external power connection. Both are only USB-powered.

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by Thejammer22 / December 21, 2011 12:57 AM PST

I have the same problem but im using a Seagate HD over USB3 my system is pretty well equipped.
the diffrence is i use Mediaplayer Classic with the haali output.
i used to use a diffrrent output that would cause the video to freeze then studder and i would have to seek to get it back.
now it just stops and countinues, but is none the less annoying.

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same here
by RMACH7 / November 26, 2012 7:18 AM PST
In reply to: same

I too have an external 3 TB Western Digital hard drive and even while reading mp3 files from it with MusicBee or VLC player, it stutters which baffles me. My old 500GB Western Digital external discs didn't have this problem and my laptop is much better now (Asus N53S intel core i7-2630qm 2.0GHz, 6Gb memory, Windows7Premium). I have not altered the default format of the hard drive.
Any news on how to solve this problem????

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NOT baffled.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 27, 2012 1:30 AM PST
In reply to: same here

These multi-terabyte drives will use the new 4K sectors and will create new overhead issues.

I'd alter the format of the drive. That is, I'd wipe it clean by removing ALL partitions, create a new partition and a quick format so we're sure it's fresh and something the OS will like.

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