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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Compatible USB Devices?



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      12-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
BanziBarn
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Compatible USB Devices?

Getting my E90 330d next week

I want to get a large capacity drive for the arm rest.

I know the below HDD is compatible but does anyone know of a 32GB memory stick that will work? A memory stick might be more practical and durable for use in the car.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/LaCie-Skwari...4231146&sr=8-3

Thanks
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      12-15-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/-/2144/14...archtype=genre

USB Sticks:
http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/130275...e/Product.html

http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/130276...e/Product.html

Worth a look, have a browse - they have plenty of options
Good luck
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      12-16-2009, 02:26 AM   #3
BanziBarn
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Thanks for that. So those links will work with the LCI Idrive system?

I just want to be sure becuase I know some devices won't work and I also thought only small capacity HDDs with slow spin speeds work?

Oh, and the other issues is whether the arm rest will close with a memory stick is connected.

Cheers
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      12-16-2009, 03:27 AM   #4
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If you've got the 6FL option why not use an ipod? There's loads of older ones on ebay going cheap:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Classic-Ipod-3...item27adbd77df

I've got a 40gb in the arm rest connected to the USB/Aux with the BMW "Y" cable & it works perfectly. Even if the battery is a bit old it will still power from the car.
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      12-16-2009, 05:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not a fan of Itunes really, just want a simple drag and drop solution.
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      12-16-2009, 06:09 AM   #6
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I bought a 16gb stick and it wouldn't work in the armrest so I bought a 8gb and that worked ok. I don't know why the bigger stick wouldn't work Also if you use a stick you have to make sure it isn't too long or the armrest wont close.
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      12-16-2009, 06:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BanziBarn View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not a fan of Itunes really, just want a simple drag and drop solution.
Each to their own I suppose but I find that ITunes is pretty much a drag & drop prog.

Manage your music files manually & don't set it to sync automatically when the Ipod is connected. As long as you've got your mp3's sorted & tagged on your PC you can just use ITunes to drop them onto the Ipod from explorer.

I use MP3 Tag (http://www.mp3tag.de/en/) to make sure the tags are right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve748 View Post
Also if you use a stick you have to make sure it isn't too long or the armrest wont close.
Just use a short USB ext. lead to connect it to the car, you can then tuck it up tidily in the armrest
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      12-16-2009, 06:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve748 View Post
I bought a 16gb stick and it wouldn't work in the armrest so I bought a 8gb and that worked ok. I don't know why the bigger stick wouldn't work Also if you use a stick you have to make sure it isn't too long or the armrest wont close.
Hmm, that's unusual, I currently use the 16GB Play.com stick without any troubles. What make was your stick?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BanziBarn View Post
Thanks for that. So those links will work with the LCI Idrive system?

I just want to be sure becuase I know some devices won't work and I also thought only small capacity HDDs with slow spin speeds work?

Oh, and the other issues is whether the arm rest will close with a memory stick is connected.

Cheers
Yeh, be careful with long USB sticks - my USB drive measures 6cm (without the cover), and it was a perfect fit in the arm rest of an LCI E90, so avoid anything longer. You can get around the issue with a small USB extension lead. I currently use one for the E60, because the horizontal insert is too difficult when in a rush.

http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/play...-boost-enabled
^That's my stick, play.com have since changed the design though.

With regards to compatibility, seems like some sticks do give trouble, so I can't give you a definitive answer.
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      12-16-2009, 06:38 AM   #9
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Just a complete shot in the dark .. those who have said they're larger USB sticks are not working ( of course i mean larger storage not physical size ). They are probably formatted in NTFS which is the prefered fomat for Windows operating system.

I have no way to test this myself but i bet BMW usb (like the playstation 3, and ironically the Xbox 360 despite being a MS product) can only read FAT32

You can refomat ant USB drive (less than 32gb ) to FAT32 in windows. The only problem is FAT32 is older and wont recognise single files larger than 4gb. Not a problem if you are only loading music files which will be 5-6Mb at most
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      12-16-2009, 06:47 AM   #10
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^ Could be a bulls-eye with that shot
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      12-16-2009, 06:50 AM   #11
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the 16gb stick is blue and just says 'INTEGRAL' on it, came from Currys, I know it was a bit dear bit I was after one fairly quickly.

Just had a look and it says FAT and FAT32
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      12-16-2009, 07:05 AM   #12
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OP

I use a 64gb kingston usb stick, works perfectly and its tiny and takes up no room. Just stays in the car till i want to put some more tracks on it. I don't think regular mini-hard drives would be too clever with the extremes of hot and cold and vibration etc, plus they take up valuable space.

Any usb stick that acts as a 'USB mass storage device' will do - which is all of them to be honest.

It does need to be formatted in FAT not NTFS, even if you buy a new sitck you should always re-format it before using as you don't know what crap is on it.

If you're not sure how to format it - Just plug it in to your pc, right click on it in my computer, select format, then pick 'FAT32', don't click 'quick format', then away you go.

This will delete everything, but you knew that of course
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      12-16-2009, 07:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDman View Post
You can refomat any USB drive (less than 32gb ) to FAT32 in windows.
Yup - needs to be FAT32 format.

You can format over 32gb in fat 32, my 64gb stick is FAT32, its just limited to 4GB max file size as you say...
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      12-16-2009, 07:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve748 View Post
I bought a 16gb stick and it wouldn't work in the armrest so I bought a 8gb and that worked ok. I don't know why the bigger stick wouldn't work Also if you use a stick you have to make sure it isn't too long or the armrest wont close.
Steve, you car should have come with a short black USB extension lead in a bag under the armrest - mine did!!
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      12-16-2009, 07:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
Yup - needs to be FAT32 format.

You can format over 32gb in fat 32, my 64gb stick is FAT32, its just limited to 4GB max file size as you say...

I am guessing you are a windows vista or 7 user ?

In my old tech ways i am still stuck on XP. Windows XP doesnt let you format a FAT32 drive more than 32gb. I can only guess they fixed this for Vista or windows 7

Even in XP you can get round this in DOS or through any number of non windows disk managment tools.
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      12-16-2009, 07:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
Steve, you car should have come with a short black USB extension lead in a bag under the armrest - mine did!!


It did but I'm using it on the lappy for the cordless mouse usb. I had the usb sender in the pc but I kept knocking it and eventually it broke so I repaired it and now it's on the end of the lead.
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      12-16-2009, 08:33 AM   #17
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I used a PEAK Xtreme2 32GB stick in my LCi E90 and it did my head in to be honest. I was using an 8GB Ipod nano before that was compromised because I could only fit a fraction of my music collection on it.

I decided to buy a USB stick as I thought it would be a cheaper option than a larger HDD based ipod. The problem I had was that everytime the car was started it took up to a minute for the car to read all the artist/album data of the stick before it would display it properly in idrive.

I know Doughboy will disagree as he uses one, but just beware of this potential flaw.

In the end I bought a 120GB HD based ipod classic off ebay. I will never fill it and it works flawlessly with the idrive. All information is available as soon as the car is started.
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      12-16-2009, 08:40 AM   #18
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Great info Guys, thanks.

So, a kingston 64 or 32GB might be the way to go then, and just use the extension lead if it's too tall.

I've got XP at home but know people with Vista so I can format it on their PCs.

Actually, sticks I've bought in the past have always been FAT out of the box, but maybe this is not the case with these big drives.

RE: what I said about IPOD and drag and drop, sorry, I wasn;t clear. What I meant was that I just wanted to be able to use windows explorer to copy files on and off the storage device. IPODs are too locked down for my liking and also can't play WMA so Itunes needs to convert a lot of my music....I just think, for this application (i.e. leave in car) a stick is best.
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      12-16-2009, 09:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BanziBarn View Post
Great info Guys, thanks.


RE: what I said about IPOD and drag and drop, sorry, I wasn;t clear. What I meant was that I just wanted to be able to use windows explorer to copy files on and off the storage device. IPODs are too locked down for my liking and also can't play WMA so Itunes needs to convert a lot of my music....I just think, for this application (i.e. leave in car) a stick is best.
Same reason I went with a stick,

If I'd already fallen for an ipod i'd stick with it, but I don't want to go that way just for the car.

BigDman, I have XP on all our machines and it does format FAT32 at 64gb. Maybe its the service pack or KB upgrades that have addressed it......??
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      12-16-2009, 11:14 AM   #20
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Mine definitely wont, i tried to reformat a 320gb western digital HDD last week to use with my 360. Windows XP wouldnt let me reformat as FAT32

I ended up getting a third party tool called swissknife which did the job. It was a small download and did the job in 30s.

I had a look in wikipedia about Fat32 - as you said maybe you've got some service pack update which overcomes this.

"The Windows 2000/XP installation program and filesystem creation tool imposes a limitation of 32 GB. However, both systems can read and write to FAT32 file systems of any size. This limitation is by design and according to Microsoft was imposed because many tasks on a very large FAT32 file system become slow and inefficient.
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      12-16-2009, 05:52 PM   #21
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microsoft limit the max FAT32 size to 32Gb essentially for marketing matter.
There is no technical reason. You can download several free tools to format even 500Gb in fat32.

Use the one in attachment here....


And for the USB HDD drive it works only if you use an Y USB cable and a 5v USB cigarette lighter adapter.
the disk is not recognized because it won't spin up. the e92 usb port power is too weak

I am using a 160Gb 2.5" HDD since 2 years now. it is sometimes slow to load the files, but I have all the music I want
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      12-16-2009, 06:09 PM   #22
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I was recently forced to upgrade my USB stick for the car as Media Player in Windows 7 has a bug which means it can't down sample Windows Media Lossless files

One thing I have learnt however is that the BMW system is slow to index files PLUS not all USB sticks are equal to the point that the best performing USB sticks can be as much as 50 times quicker on reads than some of the really cheap sticks. On the BMW system, speed matters

So I bought one of these

http://www.cclonline.com/product-inf...a-zmp-32gbma-r

Which is one of the quicker ones out there and I can confirm that once it has finished the initial index (which can take a while) at start up, things are pretty much instant.

PS

Be careful as Windows Vista and Windows 7 cannot format USB connected drives bigger than 4GB in size to FAT32. You will need a third party tool
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