Monday, June 9, 2008

Make your WD Passport work with any USB DVD Player

When I first bought my Western Digital Passport drive I had all intentions of putting hundreds of movies on it and plugging it into my USB enabled DVD player that's hooked up to my TV. Unfortunately it didn't work :( The drive draws power through the USB cable, and the LG DVD player I have, doesn't supply enough. I thought that if I bought an external case with it's own power adapter, took the drive out of the Passport and put it in there, it might work. Nope didn't work either, it was still drawing power from the DVD player. Last night my brother said "All you need to do is find the pin in the USB cable that has power and disconnect it." Eureka!

As always you do this at your own risk and I will not be responsible for any damages to your drive, dvd player, or computer. Everything worked fine for me though.

If you'd rather see this at YouTube click here.

You'll need: A Western Digital USB Passport drive (or a drive that does not have it own power supply or does not work with your DVD player because of the power issue.)



A USB cable that plugs into the drive.


A 5v power adapter. The end won't matter because you'll be cutting it off but you have to be sure it's only 5v!! In the pictures I'm using one from an old D-Link USB hub. I ended up making two cords, the first one I used was a charger I had for an old LG cell phone, it had coloured wires inside, the USB hub did not.



The pins in the USB cable are:



Start out by cutting into the USB cable near the MINI end. Be careful not to cut any of the wires!! You'll see four wires inside (RED, BLACK, GREEN, WHITE) wrapped in aluminum foil and silver wires.




Carefully pry out the RED and BLACK wires and cut them. Strip the RED and BLACK wires coming from the MINI end.



Cut the plug off the 5v power adapter. There should be one RED and one BLACK wire, your's could be different. RED is power, BLACK is ground. I made a second cord and the wires were NOT coloured. I don't know if it makes a difference but I hooked them up and the Passport works fine. You might want to use a tester for this.



IMPORTANT: You will be connecting the wires together but only the wires coming from the MINI end of the USB cable. Connect the RED from the power adapter to the RED in the USB cable. Connect the BLACK from the power adapter to the BLACK in the USB cable. Remember it's the wires from the MINI end you will be connecting. You might not have coloured wires in your adapter such as I found out when I made a second cord. In this picture I did not. I don't think it matters which wires you hook up but I'm no expert when it comes to electrical stuff so you might want to test the wires.



Bend back the RED and BLACK wires that are going to the large end of the USB cable that you did NOT strip and make sure they don't touch any other wires, including the aluminum foil or silver wires!! Use small pieces of black tape to keep them by themselves. Use electrical tape and tape the whole works together ensuring no wires are touching anything else.

All taped up and ready to use.


The Passport drive must be in FAT32 format for the DVD player to see it and have a bunch of movies on it. You should now be able to run your Passport in your USB enabled DVD player :)

What you've done is cut the power that runs from the DVD player through the USB cable to the drive. You are now using power from a 5v power adapter you have plugged in. I would think that this would also work if you don't have enough power in your computer to run a Passport. I searched all over the net for a solution to this, or even a cable to buy, but found nothing. WD does sell a "Y" cable but this wouldn't work for me. It has two USB ends to draw more power to run the drive... my DVD player doesn't have two USB connections and I'm sure most don't. I've tested this in an LG DVD player and a Pioneer DVD player and both work great.

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Thanks! June 10th, YouTube video featured on: GetUSB.info

24 comments:

Sorka said...

I just yelled at you for using good fabric scissors on this job!! Did ya hear me? Of course around here I only own one pair of Gingher scissors and they are very new and if you touch them to cut anything that is not fiber or fabric related you will get a spanking!!
Denise

DaviMack said...

You know, you amaze me. Truly.

There's a product that you should know about: Heat Shrink. You slide it up your cable before you splice any wires, then slide it back down over the damage, apply a little bit of flame (a lighter works well), and it shrinks to cover the wires. Saves on electrical tape and it won't unravel. :)

yanamandra said...

Hi Kansasa, Glad that I have seen this link. I am in a similar situation where I need to connect my drive to my USB featured DVD.I have a Y cable with me, are you sure that using this along with 5V adapter doesn't work?..do I need to follow the above procedure to make it work. Also suggest me on good 5V usb power adapter.

Kansas A said...

Hi Yanamandra,
You have to be able to hook up the power from the 5v adapter. If you are using a western digital passport drive it has nowhere to hook up, that's why I had to splice into the cable. It also depends on the type of passport drive you have, I think some of the older ones had a hookup but I know the newer ones do not. As for the 5v adapter, I used an old LG cell phone charger, as long as it meets the specs it will work :)

yanamandra said...

Kansasa, thanks for the quick reply.Actually I am looking for some precise info. I have purchased Maxtor 250 GB USB disk,having no power slot,but provided with a USB Y. I connected this to my LG USB DVD player without using any external power source, but its not functioning properly. Then I learned through your blog that I might need to use external power adapter by following your procedure.The question I have is can I make use of Y cable with one end(data + power) going from disk-dvd and other (power only) going from external power source to DVD.Will this work?..or I need to follow your procedure to make it work?.Also what should be specifications of power adapter?..Please provide this info

Kansas A said...

yanamandra,
What you need to do is tap into one side of the y cable that you are going to plug into the dvd player. Rather than destroy a y cable I would use an old usb cable. You can't draw power from the dvd because it doesn't supply enough to run the drive, and if you don't cut the power (through the cable) the dvd takes over. You must supply power from an external adapter that plugs into the wall. The specs from the power adapter must be 5 volt direct current (DC). I used one from an old LG cell phone and also one from an old usb hub, both worked fine.

yanamandra said...

Thanks again for the reply.I was able to make it work without tampering Y cable.Used 5V DC and the Y cable(without breaking it) and it worked!!!.

Anonymous said...

The Western Digital Y-cable also works. You just need to buy a USB-to-socket adapter and you're done. From the Y cable, plug the one end to you DVD player (as usual) and the other end to your wall socket with the adapter.

Anonymous said...

I tried the DIY but unfortunately it did not work. Is it necesarry to preserve the aluminum wiring within the USB cable?

Kansas A said...

Can you tell me what didn't work exactly? Was there no power to the passport? Did the dvd not recognize it?
The aluminum is a protective coating and it shouldn't matter whether it's together or not, the passport should still work.

Anonymous said...

There was power but the passport was not triggering a read. It just gets stucked with the Pioneer DV 310s saying "USB Data" with no activity...

I tried a Y cable solution as well with a 5V plug on the other end but the same result happens...

any ideas?

Kansas A said...

By any chance did the passport light just slowly go on and off, on and off, a real slow blink? If that's the case then the dvd is still somehow sending power, cutting off the external power (this happened to me and that's why I created the cord cutting the power wires).
Also, and you've probably already done this but I have to ask, did you format the passport to FAT32? DVD players can't read NTSC.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kansas A,

I figured it out. The adapter I created still did not work but the y - usb cable + the 5V did work.

I had two partitions, with the NTFS being the primary and the FAT32 the logical drive. I switched the configs using Acronis Disk Suite and voila - it works now.

The adapter, I still need to figure out why but I am just glad it works now.

Maybe my contribution here is that dual drives in a WD works as long as the FAT32 is the primary.

Thanks again folks!

Kansas A said...

That's great! I too use Acronis and whenever I create partitions I make them all primary so I didn't even think about logical, thanks for pointing that out!

Cathal H said...

I did everything you said and it still won't work. My WD passport recieves power from the supply, but won't register on my DVD player. Any help would be appreciated?

Kansas A said...

Without seeing your setup Cathal I'm not sure what could be wrong. Bad cord? Odd cord, wires different than standard? Is the passport formatted as fat32 and the movies are .avi? Have you googled your brand of DVD player to see if other people say it doesn't work? Does the passport light blink or is it steady (steady is good, blink is bad).

prashanth said...

Hi, I brought a new WD passport Elite of 500GB, It came with FAT32.

And I have the same problem not playing in my Samsung_HT-Z310 DVD player.

I tried with USB Y cable giving 5V power from my iphone adapter.

And also tried the way you said by cutting the USB power and attaching the external 5V adapter.

All these cases WD light was stable and DVD player shows reading... for long time but nothing showed up (I copied Mp3, Avi (Xvid) files on it)

The WD is working fine on PC. And My DVD is working fine with other 8Gb Flash drive and with 1TB simpleTech Drive.

Could you please let me know I'm I missing any thing.

Thanks

prashanth said...

Hi, I brought a new WD passport Elite of 500GB, It came with FAT32.

And I have the same problem not playing in my Samsung_HT-Z310 DVD player.

I tried with USB Y cable giving 5V power from my iphone adapter.

And also tried the way you said by cutting the USB power and attaching the external 5V adapter.

All these cases WD light was stable and DVD player shows reading... for long time but nothing showed up (I copied Mp3, Avi (Xvid) files on it)

The WD is working fine on PC. And My DVD is working fine with other 8Gb Flash drive and with 1TB simpleTech Drive.

Could you please let me know I'm I missing any thing.

Thanks

Kansas A said...

Can you reformat the drive to make sure it's standard FAT32? Have you hooked up an external drive stand alone with power instead of the Passport? With the Passport can you partition it to make the FAT32 drive smaller? It's possible the Samsung can't read the large 500 GB drive? I'm just shooting out things here but anything is worth trying. :) Let me know how it works out for you.

prashanth said...

My HDD is new model of WD Elite (WD5000MLC)

> Can you reformat the drive to make sure it's standard FAT32?

Yes, I did it with Fat32Formatter and Paragon partition manager.

> Have you hooked up an external drive stand alone with power instead of the Passport?

Yes, I gave stand alone power the light on WD was stable. after I
plugged it to DVD it shows reading.. for long time and nothing happens

> With the Passport can you partition it to make the FAT32 drive smaller?

Yes, I partitioned it to smaller drive with 100GB, still not working.

> It's possible the Samsung can't read the large 500 GB drive? I'm just shooting

No, my DVD able to my friends SimpleTech external drive of 500GB
(without extra power) / 1TB (with power came with the disk)

> out things here but anything is worth trying. :) Let me know how it works out for you.

I tried all the above but failed to make it work ..:(

Kansas A said...

Sorry Prashanth, I don't know what else to suggest... you might want to try your passport in someone else's dvd player, preferably a different brand. Pop into Walmart or a similar store and try out their demo models if you don't know anyone with a usb dvd player. :) Let me know how it turns out for you.

Jeff said...

off topic but will a powered hard drive work in any dvd with a usb? Also where/how much is a another wd usb cord? I would like to keep one for the computer for downloads and one for the dvd. thanks in advance.

Kansas A said...

In the two dvd's I have (LG DVD player and a Pioneer DVD player), yes the independent powered harddrive I have worked, but they wouldn't work with a powered passport drive unless I cut the power in the usb cord.
I believe you can pick up a usb cord (any mini one will work) at any Futureshop (in Canada), Walmart, etc., for about 20 dollars.

Morix said...

Thank you very much. I've done what you did with a WD My Passport Essential and a nokia mobile phone charger (5v). I have it connected to an HD tuner/recorder (Storex Media Zapper). It works without problem with ntfs format. Great idea and great help.