How to use usb hard drive with car stereo


Apr 2, 2010
Maybe not, because the car might not be able to support the size of the hard drive. Secondly, it is dangerous to use a hard disk in the car because when the car is moving, when you drive on the road surely there is some degree of bumpiness. Even if it is little, it can damage your hard drive. Get a usb thumb stick or something and stick the mp3's on that


Mar 25, 2010
If your radio has a USB input, sure, if it supports it. Would help if you listed your head unit model.

edmond419 has a good point about using a hard drive in a car, flash drive would be better. Although my iPod Classic has a hard drive and it has not failed yet.


May 6, 2011
I've read that YES it totally possible. There are a number of things to watch for however. Head units can only recognize so many files or so many folders. The head unit that I'm looking at (Kenwood Excelon x995) supports up to 65,000 files... if you dig deeper into this you find that it supports a max of 250 folders with a max of 250 files per folder. So, you can't have 300 files in 2 folders (600 files). You would need to break them into 3 folders of 200 or so on.
Another thing to watch for is how you will power the HD. Apparently most HDs (mainly desktop HDs) require more power than is supplied by the usb. So you need have a cig lighter adapter or get a laptop HD.
Also, there is a lot of potential damage to the HD due to bumps in the road. What I read is that Desktop HDs aren't designed to handle that abuse, but Laptops HDs are.
Lastly, there is a concern with HD format. I dont fully understand this problem. Rather I think it should be a easy fix. Anyway, the concern is that you need to format to Fat32 or 16 and it depends on the head unit. Many people stated that when formatting thier HDs to fat 32 that they only got 32 useable gigs. However, I read that people used third party software that allowed them to format the entire HD in fat32.
I hope to get at least 1.5 terabytes of HD space. Still researching though.
Good luck, keep posting.


Jun 15, 2011
I am using a Kenwood DDX7019. To the VIDEO input is connected a MEDIA PLAYER with inside a HD 500 Gb.
Play music, movie, vidoes, podcast, pictures etc etc.
I use it mostly for video as for music I use the I-pod.

Easy to put every where (hide) in the car.
Easy to remove. 2 cables.
Easy navigation (safe while drive) by remote control
No limits on folders and files.

Some little noise from car electric system (acceptable)
Level audio lower if compare with I-pod
Power supply of media player (I want a small one) is 5.2 Volt. Using a power transf 12->5.2 V.
No random play for songs.

Market is full of media player can be use in car.
Stefano (Shanghai)



Apr 17, 2010
You'd probably have to partition the drive accordingly on the issues of bumpiness to say, and also have "zero-point" harness to say with it, this is what i had intially thought of of the issue against the partition, why that matters i dont know.

"zero-point" harnesses would be hard though at times but not so others, given its would have to cover many directions and its easily to just cover 4 in two directions.

And then on partitioning to say, would have to have a drive of interest within the issue, which barely stems just usable access of interest from having your hard drive be able to do more.

But of it, if you didnt need to say access the whole drive also, for part of drive even on spinning drives then it wouldnt be an issue as much, otherwise you are left with data access, which if you arent trying to access the awhole drive to sy at onetime but at a time then should be find. Just the powering of a large drive may vary and need power back-up, the two usb plug-in against just one. And alot of car stereos usually have the one.

The only issue i could think of there for that one. So working within the power requirements left in the built would have to be worked with and left with like and amp option which is probably away from the idea of "access" but by cable.

So extended cable might be of use but additional wiring might have a place of interest. Which probably isnt to bad a problem as long theres room to say. Which should be. Some floors and etc have little padding and console have little room, without drilling holes.

Wrong holes in the wrong spot are the issue. Far and few between, but time can be not so present for itself, who knows why.

But some amps i do think have USB for whatever reason, why i mention.

The type of hard drive would be key. "Flash" hard drive probably would be of interest, issue might vary with heat, im not sure. Cars get hot, so fans would have to be of use to say probably. And "Zero-Point" would be probably just under a "minilistic idea at times. And also keeping from screws and maybe even magnets would be hard placed. For your hard drive to attach at least.

Otherwise just sitting in a compartment might be of interest or just even in the hole for whatever pack cigs, even if you dont smoke or do. If you do well, place for sigs might be gone.

Otherwise yes again, in console would probably need a longer cable for interest of use. Maybe even glovebox to say as long as you dont really use it to much. would probably need a "place" to put it.

Drive side interest, think would just be more of "plug-n-play" interest. So a just drop slide and hook-in via usb probably would be more fitting, for some reason on this on, "Zero-Point" harness is almost about completely dumb in all sense, but still, cooling options would be still open without too many issues. Probably by the time you drop the drive in and go your issues are of little concern for the need, who knows.

Dashboard you could probably even say the extra heat could be used to play even more sometimes without getting carried away. But rather to bank on this one probably not. As for the others would be very variant of course, cause of what kind of hard drive it is.

But think most of this still has come from that fact of flash, right?

So, on spinning hard issues. Probably still about the same, but still need probably more power to spin, right? or less on the idea of access to what it is you need access to sometimes. Playlist get big yes i know, but they also probably load for the list to even play a song, right? So speed here at times is of little issue, yes? but still wanted or needed?

For some reason rather 10-20bytes of text for each song against maybe 5mbs a song taking longer to load is probably again variant. And of the even 5mbs taking 5minutes to load as the play, is probably even more variant.

Other then that i dont know. You are talking hard drive. which is probably going to be set with music in one form or another.

So a player that basically could read up to a thousand songs more less is the issue without a playlist. Here is anyones guess. Im not really a software expert.

All i know is when a bunch of files that are completely different from one another on how they are read, usually is a process and a half. But thats still gs of stuff that i usually dont access in the first place.

So, hmm....idk, im getting lost myslf but still of it, to say your player would be in an incline position for the issue would be probably of rather your player would support multi-formats and you have multi-formats.

If you can burn to disc and your player plays it, i would say it would work on your drive.

But remember searching through a huge playlist can be "blah" compeletely.

So making playlists would probably be the idea of it for use of the player in car should allow it to be of use in further. Sometimes no need to access so much, cause you still need to select the next play list, or play all and load a playlist at a time. Yes?

Idk, many ideas. Of them one would work. Or arrangement of them.

"Zero-Point" harness would/could maybe use click and/snap. But a "suncton" idea might not be as bad either on some. Kinda out there for the interest, indeed, but still. Of it might be more useful for the argument to say. Given anywhere from 10-14 point ideas to say. Think 4 come in on ideas of restraint more then anything.

Heres another one idea actually gone and lost, but can have of use.

But of it though, one should work though with what already works to say. Just of the interest is the expense or none expense to say of it.
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