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The hard drive must be formatted in FAT 16 or 32 for the Alpine to recognise its there. It came pre-formatted in NTFS.This is an easy fix once you know the problem. Just save your data/music onto another drive.Then use a program like easeus partition master (free download) to reformat the external drive in FAT32. Move your music/data back onto the drive and the Alpine will now see the drive and all your music. As a matter of interest some people say you cant format a drive bigger than 32Gb in FAT32, but I had no problem with the above method on a seagate 500Gb drive. Also apparently some head units cant deliver enough power to spin up an external usb powered drive, but again I had no problems with the above combination
IT DOESNT SEEM LIKE A HARDWARE ISSUE BUT A SOFTWARE ONE .
TRY RELOADING THE "DRIVER" TO YOUR HARD DRIVE (AFTER CONNECTING IT TO YOUR COMPUTER OF COURSE)AND SEE THE DIFFERENCE.
DOES IT HAVE TOO MUCH OF DATA LOADED?GET SOME LOADED OFF.
Pioneer have factory set your DEH-P690UB to 0.2Mhz steps to match the American FM frequency allocations.
The fix is not casual as it requires complete disassembly of the head unit and repositioning of two surface mount resistors.
This will void any warrantee and unless you're good at microscopic soldering could also ruin the set.
I did however void my 2 year warrantee yesterday partly out of frustration and because I have the right SMT tools at work.
Now my tuner CPU thinks it's in the Austrailian/Asian model DEH-P7950UB and is also compatible with UK stations.
A previously hidden menu is also available where I can set either 0.1 or 0.05Mhz stepping for FM and 9 or 10KHz for AM BSM scanning.
The rotary control now steps in 0.05's instead of odd 0.2's on FM
Hope this helps.