Samsung forum

General discussion

Connecting External USB HDD for recording TV and timeshiftin

by s1rhubert / December 29, 2010 5:46 PM PST

I have a Samsung UE40C7000 3D LED TV and I wish to connect a WD Passport 160G external USB hard drive for recording TV and timeshifting. The hard drive can be connected for playing movies, pictures etc in both NTFS format and FAT32, but when I try to record the TV says the drive needs to be available for recording and needs formatting. After starting the format process using the TV menus, the TV reports the drive cannot be formatted. The operating system used to format the USB hard drive is Windows 7 (to format in FAT32 I used guiformat.exe which is a gui version of FAT32format).

Is it possible to connect an external USB hard drive to perform this function and if so, how is it done?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Connecting External USB HDD for recording TV and timeshiftin
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Connecting External USB HDD for recording TV and timeshiftin
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Same problem for LE40C750
by gravenslund / December 29, 2010 7:33 PM PST

I have the Samsung LE40C750 3D LCD TV. I connected a WD MyBook 500GB 3.5" USB drive. It is currently FAT formatted, and plays MKVs and photos just fine. I get the same error when trying to format from the TV. The TV was recently firmware upgraded from the internet, but I don't know if it would have worked before this.

The TV was bought in Denmark (Northern Europe), if it matters.

From what I understand this should 'just work'. Are we missing something?

Collapse -
Possible solution: Remove partition(s)
by gravenslund / December 29, 2010 11:13 PM PST

I tried connecting the usb disc to a windows machine, and from the 'drive management' utility i removed the FAT32 partition from the drive, such that it appeared as 'unformatted'. I then hooked it up to the TV again, and this time the formatting completed with succes. Everything appears to be working now. Maybe this could do the trick for you as well.

Collapse -
No Difference
by s1rhubert / December 30, 2010 1:01 AM PST

No, that didn't work although in Windows 7 the drive does not appear as 'unformatted' but as 'unallocated'. After connecting to TV, the drive failed to format but was recognised by the PC as FAT32 formatted. The TV saw it as VFAT. I am totally confused!

Collapse -
Give it another try
by gravenslund / January 1, 2011 2:55 AM PST
In reply to: No Difference

From what you write, the partition has not been successfully removed. If it had been, it would not appear as FAT32 nor VFAT. For me, the drive showed as 'unknown' (or similar) on the TV. It did show up as VFAT before I removed the partition.

I have had some trouble before, killing off FAT partitions from non-windows machines (some Linux distros). I used a WinXP machine to remove the partition.

Best of luck.

Collapse -
WIN7 is bad at formatting drives.
by karnosaurus / June 18, 2012 8:21 AM PDT
In reply to: No Difference

WIN7 is bad at formatting drives. You need something like "PARAGON disk manager" or Norton Partition Magic utility to actually perform low level format and clearing all unnrelevant windows file system info. I believe that WIN 7 format just leaves some extra info on hard disk - that's it.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 18, 2012 8:23 AM PDT

I can boot up a small CD or USB stick and use GPARTED in a few minutes.

Collapse -
Only if you use the standard formater
by instinct46 / October 2, 2015 5:17 AM PDT

You might get better results if you use the command application: "diskpart"

Collapse -
Samsung LE46C750 is now recording TV more info

After spending days searching the internet, forums and contacting Samsung , Western digital and a large Pc store.
this is what I found out with the help of a few chance remarks from the above the tv usb ports are 500ma max power, (which is a usb standard for all usb ports) which is why a old laptop hard disk refitted into external case would not work it just clicked power for this disk needed 1.5 amps. now trying to find out the max power used is surprising hard even looking on manufactures web sites hence the call to western digital who recomended I try Wd elements SE usb portable hard drive as it is made for tv's max current 500 m/a the 2.5 inch not 3.5 it just has a short usb cable nothing else, but a usb extension cable works ok if it not long enough.

now to get it to work if you want to used the tv media player recorded tv and time shift, plus videos music and films.
the disk comes ready formatted but you need 2 partitions I bought the 1TB as it was only £10 more than the 500gb.
NOTE if you only have I partition then all you can do is time record tv as there is now way to add films music or photos
free partitioning software links
(EaseUS® Partition Master 8.0.1 Home Edition free from or acronis free from Western digital web site but you have to have a wd disk or it wont work)

The first partition is for time recording and time shift
on the second partition create 3 directories video music photos this is ntfs partition which you can read on your pc add delete music films (videos) and photos.
Now when you plug it into the tv let the tv format and test the drive it will never ever work unless you do that which is the first partition by default why because it formats as a samsung modified unix partition,
you will never see this partition on a PC in fact the pc will say drive needs formating.thats why you need 2 partitions
the test checks read and write speeds and says ok or fail.
for just photos videos and music my external ntfs formatted iomega with seperate psu works fine, not tested on recorded tv as I had other info on first partiton
I would presume this would work for most Samsung models that have the recording tv facility.

ps I tried a usb pen drive formatted ok passed read test failed write test, not fast enough.

Hope this helps as my first post on Cnet

Collapse -
why making two partitions instead of using 2 separate drives
by aleksander_roszak / August 26, 2011 11:04 AM PDT

It was unclear for me why do you recommend making two separate partitions and not simply using two separate drives, one formatted by the TV for recording from the TV, and another formatted on the PC for recording videos/photos/music on the PC to be played on the TV? It takes a lot of space to record 1 hour from the TV so if the HD capacity is limited because of the limited usb-port power than you probably need whole drive for recording, don't you? Then again, what about powered HDs, do they also need to draw power from the TV's USB? I wouldn't think so. If that is true then one could use large capacity drive with external power supply, right? But it worries me what people were saying that the drive could not be formatted by the TV if it was not 'unformatted' before? Did you have this problem?

Collapse -
making 2 partitions I think is the best way to go

I dont think you can use 2 hard drives because the tv only has 1 usb port marked HDD the other is for usb pen drives , and the TV will not support a usb hub according to samsung, so I dont see how you would connect them unless you keep swopping them over depending whether you want to record tv or watch videos/pictures/ music.
The hard disk I am using is a Western Digital 2.5" WD elements SE 1TB model No.WDBABV0010BBK-EESN and only draws 500m/a is very neat and small 4.5 " x 3" with just a usb cable coming out for power and data and just sits inside my TV stand never have to touch it or switch it ON/off as the tv controls it.
Why this works is because it only draws 500ma I was not able to find any other makes at the time with that low a current.
powered hard drives get their power from the external power supply and wont exceed the 500m/a max from the usb port, if you read my original you will see I also tried my external omega 3.5" drive which worked on video/music/pictures but did try it I recorded TV as I did not want to format it.
1TB wil hold 76 hours of films according to the WD web site
I did not have a formatting problem as the drive came with it already formatted ntfs which the TV accepts and reformats to samsung format so if people are having a problem first reformat the drive to NTFS on a PC
then let the TV format it, I am only guessing that the TV can't handle a un-partitioned or unformatted hard disk.
Hope this helps

Collapse -
my situation is probably different than yours
by aleksander_roszak / August 31, 2011 2:03 AM PDT

Hi again. I would like to respond to some of the points you made and finish with more questions if you don't mind. Firstly, I can connect 1st HD for recording into HDD USB port while my 2nd read-only HD to the USB port on the Samsung Blu-ray player which I've got as a bundle with the TV, which is quite a low model D6100 (but it allows for recording). Secondly, I just called Samsung UK support line and I learned that apparently for recording their TVs: 1) should support USB pen drives if their reading speed is at least 20 MB/sec and writing 34 MB/sec (my 16 MB-one failed probably being not fast enough); 2) external HD must be of the portable type (?! why? no answer) with a speed of 5400 rpm (prob. higher will work too, you mentioned your external omega 3.5" but you did not use it for recording, right?); 3) no original format nor current drawn limit is known to the person I talked to; 4)(Worse for me) only the antenna TV signal can be recorded (I would really like this to be the incorrect info)! My question to you: what signal did you record on your portable drive? Was it from the Freview channels/antenna or elsewhere? I get my signal from Virgin Cable. BTW, where did you find the info on the 500 mA current your drive draws, did you call WD? Thanks.

Collapse -
Samsung TV and time recording
by persistance-uk / August 31, 2011 10:24 AM PDT

My aim was to just use one HDD for TV recording and video/music/pictures,I dont have a blu-ray player so cant comment.
I think the usb pen drive is probable not the best option as you will find it extremley hard to find a pen drive to give you a sustained 34mb/sec Write speed if one even exists and why settle for a capacity of 16-32 gb plus the samsung manual states this speed is not the same as a PC reports so to me seems a useless spec. anyway.
I wanted like you to use a old hard disk and pen drive so bite the bullet and buy the hard disk about £60
against what you paid for the TV its nothing.
Why they said portable for as far as I know is that is the only way you will get a low current drive, its minium 5400 speed by the way.
My signal is via aerial/ freeview
There are 2 ways to record TV from EPG, good for when you are not at home or on holiday ,it then displays the name of the program for playback, that may be the reason it will only work from aerial signal so try it on aerial first then experiment
or press the record button which is good when phone rings it will record to the end of the program or you can change the recording time,
Bear in mind you can only watch what you are recording or switch tv to standby and watch it later, which for me is a big dissappointment as initally I thought I could watch 1 channel ard record another.
the spec. for the drive I think I found on the WD site but not easy its in a pdf doc on drive specs.

I hope this helps you

ps if you found my post helpful please tick the box

Collapse -
Recording to HDD with Samsung F450 and F8000 (2013 models)
by nemo750 / November 4, 2013 3:18 AM PST
F450 with single Freeview tuner
Using Seagate Expansion 2TB (separate power supply)
You can watch another channel but only by using 'channel list' rather than 'guide': available channels in the same group are not greyed out and can be selected e.g. the current HD channels can be alternatives, and so far recordings of 1 hour 45 minutes have succeeded. No titles are included, whether setup in advance or done 'live'. Recording carries on if you watch iplayer or go to standby.

F8000 with twin Freeview and Twin Freesat tuners
Using WD My Book AV-TV 2TB
Any other channel on Freeview can be viewed when recording a Freeview channel, or any other Freesat channel when recording Freesat. For some reason recordings have been limited to 1 hour 25 before they are spontaneously terminated or, unpredictably, even less. Freesat recording has not been tested to that extent but there were even more problems with recording on another example of this Tv, which was replaced because it also crashed with three other hard drives, including the one which works fine with the F450. Have not found this reported elsewhere but just hoping it will be cured by a firmware update in future....
Collapse -
recording improved
by nemo750 / November 4, 2013 8:01 AM PST

Re. F4500: titles are now being recorded, must have 'settled in'! Happy

Re. F8000: with firmware update v.1111 and using Freeview, recordings seem to be reliable at least up to 2 hrs so far. Guess it is just with Freesat or the previous example that things are not so good. Happy

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


Meet the drop-resistant Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is really thin, with a fast processor and great battery life. It can survive drops without shattering.