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External hard drive says disc is not formatted, do you want to format now?

This is the most horrible thing, I have old movies, all types of music, pictures, and for some reason, when I go into the drive, I get a message saying disc is not formatted. What do I do? I have noooooo computer literacy so if you can give it to me in simple kindergarten terms...that would be great!!! :)

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I would go into your disc management and see if it is recognised there, if it is, see if it has a drive letter assigned to it. try plugging it into a different usb port and wait until it has run up before trying to access it. if you say no to the format request you should be able to do a disc scan that would repair the error.

Posted on Dec 31, 2017


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 80 GB external drive failed

Have you tried the windows troubleshooter on the drive yet? (from properties select the hardware tab and the troubleshooter is there). if no luck, but the troubleshooter gives you some info, please let us know. Also see if windows will let you defragment the drive. Run a virus check on the drive if you haven't recently and it lets you. If you have access to another computer, check the drive on that to see if you get anything different. (the OS version of the other machine shouldn't matter) If you open the unit up and remove the actual hard drive, then install it as an internal drive on a PC, you will bypass any possibility of the external drive extra bits being the problem. Run a disk diagnostics utility on the drive, if you need one, try (there are many more also); or use the built in windows one "chkdsk" which you can find in the folder C:\WINDOWS\system32. Just double click on the chkdsk.exe icon. If none of this gets you anywhere, chances are the drive has developed a fault in the location where the File allocation table is stored (this is usually the part most accessed). Formatting the drive again will probably solve this by saving the FAT elsewhere, but you would lose your data. For valuable data, there are data recovery companies that usually charge a fortune, but ask if you need this and we can try and source one near you for a quote. Ask again if you need more help or have more info from trying stuff out Hope this helps :)

Posted on Jul 02, 2007

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i think your Lexar is broke.. anyone can fix that is know about electronics circuit.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

SOURCE: 200 GB Seagate External Drive, Drive Not Formatted

Sometimes this kind of problem happens with internal hard disks and other removable medias like pen drive too. Your external hard disk's partition table got corrupted and that's why your system prompts you to format it. Don't ever attempt to format it as thinks will get more complicated to recover the files back from your external drive. You can recover the files from your disk using any ofo the data recovery softwares. Download any of the data recovery software from and run it. Before that learn the software user guide to know about how to use it to recover the files. Usually scanning process to recover files in such softwares will take long time. Let the software to run and at last it may show you the list of all recovered files. safely transfer them to any other external drives/ pen drives. Dont attempt to store the recovered files to the same external drive as it may replace the existing data and makes it not possible to recover files strored on to that particualr location. Be careful in the whole process. and use any of the good reputed recovery softwares. All the best
I hope this is helpful to you

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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Why won't it recognise external hard drive?

Your external hard drive is probably formatted in Microsoft's NTFS format. Older TVs do not recognize this file system.

Try to connect to the TV a Hard Drive formatted in the FAT32 file system. It is possible to convert NTFS drives to FAT32, using a computer.

Note: Even if the TV will recognize the Hard Drive, it may or may not play the files (videos, movies, music) stored on the drive. Check the TV's manual for the supported files.

Dec 23, 2015 | Panasonic VIERA Televison & Video

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When i try to play a movie off my harddrive i cannot my tv has a usb port but usb does not show up on the settings my tv is a samsung LCD model 46XV600A ?

The TV needs the drive to be formatted in a certain way before it can be recognised. Also, the file types the TV will play are specified in the User Manual.

The supported formatting for the USB port is FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32. It is FAT32 that you are able to format in from a Windows PC.

The video file format that the TV supports is DivX.

There's no specific mention of the TV having support for USB disc drives, but it does say it supports USB Mass Storage Class devices. This does include external hard drives. As a general recommendation, use an external power supply with the drive rather than relying on the 5V USB power rails.

Sep 09, 2014 | Televison & Video

1 Answer

How to play a movie from external drive

First things first; check that the drive is actually connected to the PS3 and the PS3 is on. Try different USB ports as well. If it's connected and all is working well, the drive should show up under the "Video" category. Browse through the folders like you would on a computer until you find the movie, then play it.


Not seeing the drive? Is your external drive the right format? PS3's only support hard drives that are in the FAT32 format. You can check it's format by connecting it to a computer.

On Windows:
1) Open My Computer
2) Right click on your external hard drive.
3) Select Properties.
4) It should say it's format (FAT32 or NTFS) somewhere in the Properties Window

Anyway, if the format turns out to be the issue you can convert your drive into FAT32. First be sure to backup anything important because you may lose some/all of it. Then you'll want to use a utility to convert the drive WITHOUT losing data.

On Windows:
Aoemi Ntfs2Fat32 - Haven't tried it myself, looks alright
EaseUS Partition Master - Should have NTFS to FAT32 w/o data loss conversion
Partition Magic - Awesome, but no longer supported by Norton. Also costs money :(

You can also use the built in Microsoft tools to convert it, but you will LOSE ALL DATA guaranteed (since you'll be formatting the whole thing). Linkage here.

Sorry I don't have Mac OSX instructions.


Confirm that the ports on the PS3 are working. Plug in different devices (PS3 controller, or a different hard drive/ usb thumb drive). If they're not you'll have to send it back to Sony. If it's under warranty it'll be free, otherwise you're looking at $100-ish service charge and a long waiting time. Here's their service center link.


Is the movie in the right format? The PS3 can't play every file type natively. Here's a list of what it does support. If your file is the wrong format, convert if it possible. Otherwise you won't be able to play it from your hard drive.


You could just stream the movie to the PS3. Make sure your PS3 and computer are on the same network (either directly with an Ethernet cable/wireless connection, or through the same router) and download this awesome program. Connect the hard drive to your computer, then run the program. It should automatically find the PS3 and you'll be able to browse the drive from the "Video" category (as if it were directly connected).

I consider this to be the best option. It's pretty easy to use, you also have access to anything else on your computer (not just external, and regardless of drive format), and it converts file formats on the fly (meaning that regardless of format it should be able to play on your PS3). If you have issues check out their forum.

Hope that helps!

Sep 27, 2011 | Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) Console

2 Answers

How to plug harddrive into USB and watch movies

What kind of hard drive do you have? If it doesn't have a USB end, then you need a special cable to do it. Depends on what kind of hard drive you have, SATA - USB or IDE - USB. And not all TV with USB slot supports movies through USB, some models supports only music/pictures. So make sure your TV supports movies through USB too.

Aug 25, 2011 | Televison & Video

1 Answer

I brought a 250gb hdd for the xbox 360. The xbox 360 says that it is a unformatted storage device, the only thing i can do is formatted the hdd. but nothing happend I have formatted the thing 5 times....

Trying to format a large external USB or Firewire hard drive to the FAT32 file system? Can't do it? Only see an option for formatting the drive using the NTFS file format? Well if you answered yes any of those questions, then you're at the right place.
I was recently trying to format my 1 TB MyBook external hard drive in Windows XP to FAT32 instead of the overly forced-upon NTFS format. Why? Well because I needed to connect it to a NAS device and the NTFS permissions were causing the NAS not to be able to access the drive. Simple solution is to use FAT32, no security, no problems. Though it's sometimes useful to format a USB drive in NTFS format.
Also, formatting a drive in FAT or FAT32 will allow it to be read by other operating systems, such as Mac, Linux, and older versions of Windows such as Windows 98.
Unfortunately, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 will only format a removable drive in FAT32 if it's less than 32GB! Hmmm...that pretty much cuts out ALL modern external hard drives!
However, Windows can format a drive that is larger than 32GB in FAT32, but you have to use the DOS command prompt. However, if you have a drive that is 1TB or larger, you may still get an error saying "The volume is too big for FAT32".
In that case, you can use a free program called SwissKnife that will allow you to format an external hard drive that is up to 2TB in size. Let's go through both methods. In case you are having problems getting your external hard drive to show up in Windows, read my article on how to change the drive letter for an external drive in Windows.
Format external drive in FAT32 using DOSOpen a command window by going to Start, then Run and typing in CMD.

Now type in the following command at the prompt:

format /FS:FAT32 X:
Replace the letter X with the letter of your external hard drive in Windows. Windows will go ahead and begin formatting the drive in FAT32!

Format external hard drive in FAT32 using SwissKnifeSwissKnife is a nifty little program that is completely free and that you can use to format many types of external drives such as USB, Firewire, PCMIA, SATA and SCSI. You can also use it to create partitions on an external hard drive and it formats faster than Windows.

So next time you want to format a hard drive in FAT32 and Windows only gives you an option for NTFS, make sure to follow one of the two method mentioned above. Enjoy!

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1 Answer


i haven't tried using a disc but if you format an external usb hard drive to fat 32 you can play divx movies through it

Nov 16, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

My samsung 500gb external hdd is niether copying nor being format

you can do one thing remove the hard drive from the casing and put on some other casing then check, if the problem is the same then its the problem of hard disk

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1 Answer

Watch movies and music off Wd harddrive conencted to PS3

If you want to hook up any kind of external HDD or flash drive via USB to your PS3, it needs to be formatted in FAT32.

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Transfer from Laptop to 250gb WD

you need to format the dirve to NTFS or FAT32
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thanks for rating

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