How to Play an External Hard Drive on a DVD Player

by C. Taylor
Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Your DVD player's USB port enables it to play movies directly from removable media, such as USB thumb drives and external hard drives. Not all players support this feature, but those that do offer video playback that is limited only by the capacity of the drive. With newer drives offering several terabytes of storage, using an external drive significantly exceeds the relatively meager storage space of DVD discs. For compatibility with most players, the drive should be formatted with the FAT32 system.

Step 1

Plug the external hard drive's power cable into a wall outlet or power strip after you position it close to the DVD player on a flat surface. Avoid moving the drive while it's powered on.

Step 2

Plug the drive's USB cable into the USB port of your compatible DVD player.

Step 3

Power on the DVD player.

Step 4

Press the "Menu" or "Source" button on the DVD player's remote control or front panel and select "USB." This may be unnecessary if the drive is the only playable medium inserted into or connected to the player, in which case the player automatically accesses the drive.

Use the navigational arrows to select the video you wish to play and press "Enter" or "OK."


  • Formatting the drive erases all data on the drive.


  • Try connecting and accessing the drive on your DVD player before formatting the drive to confirm whether or not you need to format it. If you get a drive error, back up all the data on the drive; right-click its drive letter in Windows 7 and select "Format." Choose "FAT32" from the File System menu and click "Start."


Photo Credits

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