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      11-17-2007, 02:42 PM   #1
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USB hard drives that work with 6FL

If you have a hard drive that works, please post the brand/model and anything special you did to get it to work (e.g. format FAT32, use an extra power cable, etc.).

So far I have tried a Western Digital Passport 160GB, formatted FAT32, and it didn't work. I returned it before I thought to try giving it some extra power. My local CompUSA carries the SmartDisk FireLite 120GB (4200 RPM -- some say this is important) so I'm thinking about trying that next.
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      11-17-2007, 09:45 PM   #2
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Tried a 5400 RPM Iomega with some success

Well, I went to CompUSA only to find that the 4200 RPM SmartDisk FireLite advertised on their site is actually 5400 RPM. They had no 4200 RPM drives in stock.

I decided to give the 160 GB Iomega drive a try since I remembered reading that someone got an Iomega to work. I also bought a cigarette lighter-to-USB jack adapter so that I could try giving the drive some more power. It did actually work like that, although there is one big problem. When you shut the car off, the drive needs some time to shut down. Unfortunately the cigarette lighter power goes away as soon as the ignition turns off. Then the drive sits there still sort-of on and unable to power itself off, making some sad little repetitive noise as it tries over and over to power down.

The weak USB power stays on for a good 30 seconds or so after you turn the car off. I'm thinking that the solution might be to tap into the USB power lead and drive a relay with that. Does anyone know how much current the USB jack delivers? This would probably work if we can find a relay that requires less than whatever it is. Of course, it would also require running a power wire to the fuse box.

I think this is starting to become more of a PITA than it's worth. I would just buy a 160 GB iPod, except that I've already had two of them and they both had more problems than I could deal with. I'm starting to think I may never have access to all of my tunes in my car.
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      11-18-2007, 11:05 AM   #3
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Iomega 80gb silver portable hard drive works

I originally used an Iomega 120gb hard drive (silver series) that Buy.com said was 4200 rpm. However, after checking Iomega's website, they made the 120gb drive in both 4200 and 5400 rpm. The box gives you no clue, but after trying it out and not getting enough power from the USB connection, I assume its 5400. I connected the second lead to a car usb adapter and it worked exactly as described in the previous post. Then I apparently fried it trying to tap into the 5v connection on the drive.

I then ordered (Ebay) an 80gb version (Model # 33222) of the same drive which only comes in 4200rpm, and it works great so far. It powers up when I unlock the car, so it is ready to go when I start the engine. It doesn't give that pathetic beeping sound described in the next post because it gets enough power from the USB port. It has a couple of times disappeared (stereo switched to FM) and it took a minute before the stereo would recognize it again. I don't know if that has anything to do with the hard drive, because I've occasionally had problems with the stero turning itself off and back on repeatedly for a minute or two after I start it, when I didn't even have anything connected to the USB port.

So far, I'm very happy with the 80gb drive. My entire music collection fits on there easily, and the sound quality is much better than when I connect my Ipod.
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      11-18-2007, 12:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpippolo View Post
Then I apparently fried it trying to tap into the 5v connection on the drive.
Can you give me some more details on what exactly you did when it fried? I'm going to run some tests later and would like to avoid frying mine.
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      11-18-2007, 12:39 PM   #5
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Well, let's start a list and add to it as we go. Personally, I am on a quest for a working bus-powered drive with a minimum capacity of 120 GB.

I'll create two categories for each drive. "Bus-powered" means you just plug it into the USB port and it works. "With supplemental power" means you have to provide the drive with additional power since its current draw is higher than what the car's USB port provides. If a drive works with supplemental power, I will qualify that with "not a feasible solution" since the most convenient power source (the cigarette lighter socket) is cut upon ignition turn-off. I believe any drive that needs supplemental power will need power for a few extra seconds to shut down properly.

To reiterate, a possible workaround for drives needing supplemental power would be to devise a switch that connects the drive's power lead to a constant +5V source whenever it sees +5V at the car's USB port. One member has done this with Radio Shack parts (see post #410).

With all that said, here's the list:

*** UPDATED 3/30/09 ***

CLIFFS NOTES:
So far there have been no 200+ GB drives that have a promising success rate. Some have said that our cars do not recognize more than 20,000 songs anyway, but one member reports being able to access around 30,000 songs on an externally-powered 160 GB drive (see post #433).

At this point, if you can find a big enough 1.8" drive for your needs, buy it. These drives generally consume less power than the 2.5" drives so they have the best odds of working. The disk-based iPods contain 1.8" drives.

The LaCie and Apricorn 1.8" drives are a pretty safe bet, as they have all worked for everyone who has tried them, with one exception.

If you have problems with playback freezing or slow startup, the following post might help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.myrr View Post
After doing some research, I removed all my ID3v2 tags from my .mp3s and deleted all the playlists. I'm left with just .mp3s now, a everything works great!

Moral of the story : keep your files simple without all the extra tags and such. No extra stuff to confuse the car with.
Working drives:

Apricorn Aegis Mini 1.8" 60 GB 4200 RPM (model A18-USB-60)
Works for 2 of 2 members.

Apricorn Aegis Mini 1.8" 80 GB 4200 RPM (model A18-USB-80)
Works for 2 of 2 members.

Apricorn Aegis Mini 1.8" 120 GB 4200 RPM (model A18-USB-120)
Works for 3 of 3 members.

Hitachi 40 GB 4200 RPM 2.5" drive in USB enclosure
Works for 1 of 1 members.

Hitachi 200 GB 5400 RPM (model H2200U)
Works for 1 of 1 members (see procedure in post #41).

I/OMagic 40 GB
Works for 2 of 2 members.

Iomega eGo 250 GB (model 33942)
Works for 1 of 1 members, sort of (see post #118).

Iomega 80 GB 4200 RPM (model 33222)
Works for 2 of 2 members, sort of (see post #75).

LaCie Little Disk 1.8" 60 GB 3600 RPM (model 301271)
Works for 8 of 8 members, mostly (see post #447). Also did not work for one person with an X5.

Toshiba 60 GB 1.8" (see post #291)
Works for 1 of 1 members.

Toshiba 80 GB 1.8" (model MK8009GAH) in an "Icy Box" USB enclosure
Works for 1 of 1 members. (see posts 257, 259)

Toshiba 120 GB 5400 RPM (model HDDR120E02X)
Works for 1 of 1 members, sort of (see posts #82, 86).

Samsung 60 GB 5400 RPM (model MP0603H) in a VAIO PATA to USB enclosure
Works for 1 of 1 members.

SmartDisk FireLite 40 GB
Works for 1 of 1 members, sort of (see post #90).


Non-working drives:
Note: "Supplemental power" means using a cable with two USB A connectors and plugging one of the A connectors into the car and the other into an adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket in the armrest. Unfortunately, in at least some of our cars, the socket powers on/off in sync with the ignition, whereas the USB port powers on earlier and off later. That often puts the drive in an underpowered state. The remedy would be to only plug in the drive when the car is running and to unplug it before stopping the engine. Clearly this is not a very convenient way to use the drive.

Buffalo MiniStation 250 GB 5400 RPM (model: HD-PS250U2)
Bus-powered: Does not work for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not tested.

Iomega 100 GB 4200 RPM
Bus-powered: Does not work for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Works for 1 of 1 members.

Iomega 120 GB Silver Series 5400 RPM
Bus-powered: Does not work for 3 of 3 members.
With supplemental power: Works for 3 of 3 members.

Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini 160 GB (model STM901603OTA3E1-RK)
Bus-powered: Does not work for 2 of 2 members.
With supplemental power: Works for 1 of 1 members.

Seagate FreeAgent Go 160 GB (model ST901603FGA1E1-RK)
Bus-powered: Does not work for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not tested.

Seagate FreeAgent Go 80 GB (model ST900803FGA1E1-RK)
Bus-powered: Does not work for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not tested.

SimpleTech 160 GB 5400 RPM
Bus-powered: Does not work for 2 of 2 members.
With supplemental power: Not tested.

Toshiba 160 GB 5400 RPM (model HDDR160E01X)
Bus-powered: Does not work for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not tested.

Western Digital Passport 250 GB 5400 RPM (model WDG1U2500N)
Bus-powered: Does not work for 2 of 2 members.
With supplemental power: Works for 1 of 1 members.

Western Digital Passport 320 GB (model WDXMS3200TN)
Bus-powered: Does not work for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not tested.


Drives that only work for some:

Buffalo 300 GB MiniStation 4200 RPM (model HD-PS300U2)
Works for 1 of 2 members (see post #219, 221).

Fujitsu 300 GB 4200 RPM (model RE25U300J)
Works for 3 of 6 members (see post #179, 189, 358).

Iomega 120 GB 4200 RPM (model 33356)
Works for 1 of 2 members.

Western Digital 60 GB 5400 RPM (model WD600U017-001)
Works for 2 of 3 members (see post #169, 368).

Western Digital Passport 80 GB 5400 RPM
Works for 1 of 3 members (shorter cable may be required; see post #105)

Western Digital Passport 160 GB 5400 RPM (model WDXMS1600TN)
Bus-powered: Works for 1 of 4 members.
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Last edited by jtmccabe; 03-30-2009 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Updated the list
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      11-18-2007, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtmccabe View Post
Can you give me some more details on what exactly you did when it fried? I'm going to run some tests later and would like to avoid frying mine.
I had a Targus car/airplane adapter that I have used with laptops that had a tip that fit the hard drive external power connection. The voltage looked like it would be OK, but , because I'm an idiot, I didn't check the amperage of the adapter. I connected it to that adapter in may car, it didn't work, and the hard drive never worked again.

The Iomega drive comes with a split USB so that you can plug it into two USB ports if it doesn't get enough power. When I used a car to usb adapter to power the extra usb connections on the cable, it worked fine. However, I couldn't use the adapter in the power port in the armrest and close the armrest, so was looking for a different solution. I had ordered a different adpater that would have worked OK, but my impatience cost me a hard drive. I guess all's well that ends well because now I have the one that can be powered from the USB alone, so I don't have the beeping from insufficeint power prior to the car power port powering up (the USB powers up when you unlock the car, but the cigarrete-type power port doesn't power up until you start that car, I think).
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      11-18-2007, 04:07 PM   #7
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Wouldn't USB flash drives work? They make them pretty big now.
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      11-18-2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpippolo View Post
I had a Targus car/airplane adapter that I have used with laptops that had a tip that fit the hard drive external power connection. The voltage looked like it would be OK, but , because I'm an idiot, I didn't check the amperage of the adapter. I connected it to that adapter in may car, it didn't work, and the hard drive never worked again.
If the voltage is correct, a higher amperage rating on the power supply shouldn't matter. I bet the voltage was a lot higher than 5V.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpippolo View Post
I guess all's well that ends well because now I have the one that can be powered from the USB alone, so I don't have the beeping from insufficeint power prior to the car power port powering up (the USB powers up when you unlock the car, but the cigarrete-type power port doesn't power up until you start that car, I think).
Yep, a bus-powered drive is really the way to go, as long as the capacity is high enough. Looks like 80 GB might be the max for those, so I'm probably stuck with the buggy iPod and its analog audio.

The power port in the console does indeed power on when you turn on the ignition and off when you turn it off. The problem is that the USB port powers on before and after that, making the drive attempt to power on/off with too little current. The only way it would really work would be if you manually plugged in the USB connector after starting the car and unplugged it before turning off the car.
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      11-18-2007, 04:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O-cha View Post
Wouldn't USB flash drives work? They make them pretty big now.
Yeah, most of those work fine but I need at least 120 GB. Haven't seen a flash drive nearly that big yet. If they made 'em, they'd cost a fortune.
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      11-19-2007, 12:02 AM   #10
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I'm using a Samsung 60GB 5400RPM drive in a PATA to USB enclosure and it works well.
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      11-19-2007, 12:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksnow View Post
I'm using a Samsung 60GB 5400RPM drive in a PATA to USB enclosure and it works well.
Interesting. So that's a 2.5" drive, right? Powered solely from the USB port?
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      11-19-2007, 08:35 AM   #12
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Any pics would be very nice also!
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      11-19-2007, 09:37 AM   #13
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2008 328xi  [0.00]
I also attempted to use the WD Passport 160GB drive bus powered and it did not work. My car is a 2008 328xi. I tried with the original format to FAT32 and using the format program suggested in the main thread.
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Last edited by Meats; 11-19-2007 at 02:53 PM.
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      11-19-2007, 10:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtmccabe View Post
Interesting. So that's a 2.5" drive, right? Powered solely from the USB port?
Yup, I got this 2.5" drive for my laptop but then I rarely used it. So I got a VAIO 2.5" enclosure for it and it worked. It's powered solely from the USB port and fit right into the iPod velcor holder. I'll see if I can take some pics once I'm back home from work.
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      11-19-2007, 12:09 PM   #15
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Western Digital 60GB 5400 (mdl: WD600U017-001) works.
Formatted FAT32, no auxillary power, only 4GB of songs for now.
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      11-20-2007, 12:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtmccabe View Post
Interesting. So that's a 2.5" drive, right? Powered solely from the USB port?
Info on the HD
Samsung MP0603H 60GB/5400rpm/8M/PATA

Attached are the pics. Enjoy
Attached Images
  
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      11-20-2007, 02:08 PM   #17
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BTW, Microcenter has a Black Friday ad with two self powered USB HDs, please is the info from the ad. If anyone has tried these, please post info.

Toshiba USB 2.0 2.5" 160GB External Hard Drive $89.99
Toshiba USB 2.0 2.5" 120GB External Hard Drive $79.99
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      11-20-2007, 03:16 PM   #18
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WD Passport 80gb 5400
works w/ USB only. FAT32 format.
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      11-21-2007, 08:20 PM   #19
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How do you format a USB Flash drive for it to be recognized and work properly in the iPod Adapter's USB port?
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      11-24-2007, 04:17 AM   #20
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Nice info, tagged for information
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      11-29-2007, 08:59 AM   #21
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.

I started thinking the other day why can't i use an external hard drive in my USB port. So I go out to the car and try it and it works. Then I jump on here and see all the threads about it.

Anyway here is what works for me.

Old laptop Hard drive in USB case, 40 GB Hitachi - 4200 rpm.

*Just tried a 40 gb fujitsu 4200 laptop hard drive and that worked as well

I had 2 old laptops and both of them have this drive

Last edited by lifo; 12-07-2007 at 03:21 PM.
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      11-29-2007, 07:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtmccabe View Post
The updated list:

Iomega 80 GB 4200 RPM (Model # 33222)
Bus-powered: Works for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not necessary.

Iomega 120 GB Silver Series 5400 RPM
Bus-powered: Does not work for 2 of 2 members.
With supplemental power: Works for 2 of 2 members, but not a feasible solution.

Samsung 60GB 5400RPM 2.5" drive in a VAIO PATA to USB enclosure
Bus-powered: Works for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not necessary.

Western Digital 60GB 5400 RPM (model: WD600U017-001)
Bus-powered: Works for 1 of 1 members.
With supplemental power: Not necessary.

Western Digital Passport 160 GB 5400 RPM
Bus-powered: Does not work for 2 of 2 members.
With supplemental power: Not tested.

Dr. Dirt mentions his Buffalo hard drive in this thread....

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...=80270&page=11

I believe he has put on nearly 300gb of MP3's with >54,000 songs and it works.
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