Wd play elements

WD elements play HDD issue

Hello guys,

I recently ran into a problem. I got this new elements play 2TB, well because frankly it was awesome. Plays everything, and subtitles and directly connects to the tv. Anyhow, I realized immediately that there was this weird issue with “security” that made me have to allow myself (even though administrator) to access the file every time I plugged in the drive into the PC. You know, when you have to go to properties, security and fix it. This was no normal problem because it could not really be fixed and I had to do it every time. So I moved all my files to the PC, formatted the drive and moved the files back. I do not recall that something happened. But then one time when I plugged in the WD the autoplay did not trigger, I thought to myself “weird…” went to my computer, didn’t show… again i thought weird… I saw that the drive was recognized though because the safety removal had it adressed as “multimedia 0620” for some reason and not elements play anymore. And I am fairly cunning with computers so I come here as a last resort. So I enter diskmanagement, and My drive is listed, but not assigned a letter, and when I right click the only option that shows is “help”… no assign letter and so on… and when i scroll down, it says healthy (recovery partition) so everything seems fine. except that the white area under the blue bar is diagonally striped and says that the ENTIRE disk space is free, which i know is not true.

Anyhow this was possible to bypass by entering diskpart in commandprompt, there I listed the volumes and on my multimedia drive everything seemed fine except that the info was “hidden”. I assigned it a letter anyhow and viola the disk showed up in my computer. all the files where there and completely accessable with no problem. But as soon as I plug it out when I am done, and plug it in again, we have the same problem. The letter the drive had assigned to it becomes instead an empty “local disk” and I have to assign a new letter to my WD if I want it to show. I have no idea how this happened to be honest. And less of an idea of how to fix it. I have literally tried eveeything in my knowledge and no one in any forum or help site have had any similar problem.

I few things to know.

  1. Hard drive is fine as I mentioned, no corrupt files and they are all accessible after assigning them a letter using diskpart in commandprompt.

  2. Not only MY PC that has the problem, it is with every computer.

  3. I am not completely sure but I think the disk might return to normal if I format it. But I would like to avoid trying to find that out, I bought a 2TB HDD so that I do not have to store media on my computer, so I would lose A BUNCH of files if I would have to turn to that.

And I apologize for the long message, but I needed to make sure I explained myself so that I can avoid follow up questions as much as possible.

Thank you for any help


New Firmware Release - Version 1.01.10 for WD Elements Play (10/27/10)

Dee1707 2010-10-28 08:02:43 UTC #2


Lets hope this sorts the problems out. Big thanks WD for providing an update for WDEP at last. Thats a thanks in advance, i’ll let you know if it actually works once I have tested it 

creep89 2010-10-28 16:05:40 UTC #3

ecciethetechie 2010-10-29 06:49:50 UTC #4

I’ve downloaded this firmware on 3 different computers (2 PC’s and a MAC) from 2 different locations.


So much for new firmware, who knows if wd fixed issues.


crispao 2010-10-29 10:48:18 UTC #5

Thanks for the update WD.

But still no [email protected] support

Hope you can resolve this issue!


ecciethetechie 2010-10-29 11:16:06 UTC #6

Hey  crispao

did you get this firmware installed — how?

I tried from both the HDD and a USB stick, both failed after about 10 seconds.

Please tell me your secret.

LEANDROURU 2010-10-29 13:39:00 UTC #7

now SubVOb play ok. but i see more lag on movies and more slow in the menu

creep89 2010-10-29 13:43:04 UTC #8

I’ve installed it…but how can I put thumbnails for the videos? I’ve tried to paste the images with the same name of their video, but I can’t see them when I browse videos

TonyPh22345 2010-10-29 14:31:17 UTC #9

My guess is it only shows cover art if it’s imedded in the image (like an MP4 tag).    Hard to tell, because the documentation doesn’t say it supports external “Thumbnails.”

toodee 2010-10-30 15:45:19 UTC #10

I also own the 2TB version of WD Elements Play

I downloaded the WD_Elements_Play_v1_01_10.zip file, unpacked it and copied the

cabin.img to a USB stick.

When I plug it to the WD E-P I can see my USB-stick, I see the file but noting happens!

What do I have to do that the player recognizes the file as a firmware update?

Or can I manually execute the firmare update?



TonyPh22345 2010-10-30 15:51:33 UTC #11

What version is currently running on the EP?

toodee 2010-10-30 15:56:37 UTC #12

got it…

my old USB stick didn’t work.

Found a newer one and tried with it - the WD drive directly asks for the firmware upgrade.

I hope the glitches in DVD-VOB files are gone now!

Apart from this…great player!

TonyPh22345 2010-10-30 16:10:54 UTC #13

toodee wrote:

I hope the glitches in DVD-VOB files are gone now!

Please let us know.

ecciethetechie 2010-10-31 08:23:59 UTC #14

Hi Tony,

I can’t seem to get this firmware upgrade to work at all.

The firmware is recognized and I do get the  option to perform the upgrade but it FAILS after 10 seconds with a warning message telling me the upgrade failed.

I have the 2TB version, I’ve tried the following:

  • reformat the drive using the WDEP option

  • reformat the drive using Windows 7

  • different USB sticks

  • firmware directly on (my empty - newly formatted) the WDEP HDD

  • different HDMI cables.

result is always a failure after 10 seconds…

my model is  WDBACC0020HBK

Once again, I’d appreciate your help

Rolf_D 2010-11-07 15:14:28 UTC #15

Download+Install worked as designed. To those with problems: did you read the instructions and unzip the file? (Just an idea…).

But MY problem persists: Videos with AC3 sound are mute (tried 1 channel Center and 2 Channel L+R, did not try 5.1 sound). Example:

Audio ID                               : 1 Format                           : AC-3 Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3 Mode extension                   : CM (complete main) Codec ID                         : 2000 Duration                         : 43mn 28s Bit rate mode                    : Constant Bit rate                         : 192 Kbps Channel(s)                       : 2 channels Channel positions                : Front: L R Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz Bit depth                        : 16 bits Stream size                      : 59.7 MiB (9%) Alignment                        : Split accross interleaves Interleave, duration             : 40 ms (1.00 video frame)

Interleave, preload duration     : 500 ms

Serkan 2010-11-07 20:22:19 UTC #16

Hi ,

I have the same problem. Don’t get the firmware upgrade installed. If I stick the USB in the WD Player, it found the new version, but it interrupt after five to ten seconds with a failure. I have the 2 TB version !!! Help is really appreciated…

regards Serkan

johnaduk 2010-11-08 15:29:54 UTC #17

OK; got the new firmware installed after a bit of fannying about - I would advise just persevering. Once installed, the box rebooted and was up and running.  

The first thing I noticed was they have tidied up the settings button by grouping the settings together by type. You can now choose thumbnail mode for videos as well as list mode.  Only problem is that the EP still doesn’t pick up the jpegs  (with the same name as the video file) and use them as the icon for the video file (a la WDTV live).  I have a few MP4s with embedded thumbnails (from iTunes) but they didn’t seem to display either.  I will try a more scientific examination of this


There is a folder directory (on/off) option - not sure what this does yet.

DVD .iso files played fine, with full menu navigation.  I have mostly MKV files with AC3 soundtracks (created by Handbrake) and they all played through the TV without a hitch. Haven’t yet tested 5.1 sound via optical through my receiver.

So we’re nearly there; if only the box picked up the jpegs… 

ecciethetechie 2010-11-10 20:33:48 UTC #18

OK Guys,

I give in, what do you have to do to get this firmware installed…

I have tried the suggested installation so please do tell me to do the same thing again.

Please respond if you had the same problem as me (read my prior posts) and have fixed it.


TonyPh22345 2010-11-10 20:50:58 UTC #19

ecciethetechie:  What version is CURRENTLY on your EP?

ecciethetechie 2010-11-11 15:12:13 UTC #20

The original one, can’t remember the version number… not at home right now… but since the one I’m trying to put on is the only other one (am i wrong about that?) I don’t understand the reason for the question.

From what I understand there are there are 2 firmware versions.

  1. the original one

  2. the new one.

I’m still on the original one.

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WD Elements Play and Thumbnails

keidgeibef 2010-10-15 22:03:21 UTC #1

Hi there. I just purchased a new WD 2TB elements play. I thought I could display a nice arrangement of my movies through thumbnails. Was I wrong? Can it be done?

Thanks in advance!

RoofingGuy 2010-10-16 03:21:50 UTC #2

Page 42 of the manual discusses turning on Thumbnail mode.

keidgeibef 2010-10-16 11:05:33 UTC #3

It is turned on. But I don’t see it working… I want to create thumbnails with the movie posters for each folder, like WD TV Live does…

Dee1707 2010-10-16 11:19:25 UTC #4

I think this only works for the Pictures folders and not video. How are you finding the WD EP so far in comparrison to the WD TV? Have you tried using high def video on the WD TV & the WD EP as on the latter it really doesn’t work successfully and is a nightmare to convert and get the audio to work and then when the audio does work the image is really juddery. Real shame as its such a good idea to have the player and the HD in one unit.

TonyPh22345 2010-10-16 13:58:18 UTC #5

WDTV Live doesn’t support Movie Posters, unless you’re using the terms “Thumbnail” and “Movie Poster” interchangeably…

keidgeibef 2010-10-16 18:59:25 UTC #6

I’m sorry, but if I search for movies on youtube, I can see people using pictures os the movie posters to illustrate the folders in which they are in. I think the proccess is called Movie Sheets…

RoofingGuy 2010-10-16 19:07:07 UTC #7

Movie Sheets are not part of the stock firmwares from Western Digital.  They have been added to custom third-party firmwares.

I don’t know of any third-party firmwares for the Elements Play at this time.

billyhot 2010-10-18 14:30:48 UTC #8

That’s exactly what I wanted to know! I already own a WD TV Live which shows all my film/TV cover art as a thumbnail when I’m browsing. All my cover art is saved as ‘folder.jpg’. However when I switch to thumbnail mode on the browse setting on the ‘Play’ nothing seems to alter. I phoned WD direct about this and they couldn’t explain why this was. They seemed to think that my device had a fault and suggested that I sent it back.

Interesting then that you are experiencing exactly the same issue as me.

Anyone else out there actually had any success when trying to display covert art on films or music on the ‘Play’?

johnaduk 2010-10-19 14:33:09 UTC #9

I too have a WDTV Live and bought the Elements Play 2TB as a standalone complete solution. I have setup my MKV files with like-named jpegs so they show in thumbnail mode. Alas this doesn’t work in the EP unit.

I have spoken to the WD support and they confirm that the designers decided to standardise on the “movie preview” mode for video on the EP machine.  The thumbnails are for photos only.

Apart from this everything else seems ok, iso files play with full navigable menus.  I do not have any full HD files as yet so cannot comment on the 1080P 24 debate.

billyhot 2010-10-19 21:23:35 UTC #10

That’s very dissapointing then as I have 100’s of films and music folders stored on there which I wanted to be able to browse as thumbnails of cover art like I do with the TV Live. It also makes it a lot easier for the kids to scan their movies and decide what to watch. Why on earth would they do away with this feature, it just doesn’t make sense?

Come on WD, what are you playing at? My unit is going back!

Dee1707 2010-10-20 18:53:00 UTC #11

It really seems this whole unti hasn’t been thought through properly and there is no word from WD on any updates. Really dissapointing and regreting the purchase now

billyhot 2010-10-20 20:03:22 UTC #12

keidgeibef 2010-10-20 22:47:10 UTC #13

StormRider951 2010-10-21 00:18:36 UTC #14

Hi guys,

As you know already thumbnails are not supported with this unit and the current firmware 1.00.86.  My friend who has one took his apart already and said it Should support it with an update to the firmware.  I know WD has had multiple beta firmwares for the WDTV live and Live plus units in the last couple of weeks.  I would look for an update soon as this unit was just released.

TonyPh22345 2010-10-21 00:38:48 UTC #15

StormRider951 wrote:

Hi guys,

…  My friend who has one took his apart already and said it Should support it with an update to the firmware.

Uh, ok…  

RoofingGuy 2010-10-21 00:54:03 UTC #16

Uh…  before someone takes that seriously, I added the text as well as circling it… the Amlogic chips don’t really say that… just sarcasm.

Dee1707 2010-10-21 10:46:30 UTC #17

Lol, that would be quite funny if the chip did actually state that as shown.

Yeah WDTV seems to be getting a load of updates but the WDEP it seems has been forgotten about. If you can show me those updates you are refering to it would be helpful as I can’t seem to find any.

TonyPh22345 2010-10-21 12:49:37 UTC #18

I don’t know if it’s the same development team working on both, but what I can tell you is that the WDTV Live team has been trying like mad to get HDMI to work correctly.   They haven’t had any “New Releases” since June, which was before this product even came to market; they’ve only been releasing Betas, trying to fix the HDMI bug.

billyhot 2010-10-21 13:10:26 UTC #19

Like it!:smileyvery-happy:

Dee1707 2010-10-21 14:00:12 UTC #20

If they could only give us some news on anything that is going on it would be helpful as currently it feels like there is nobody on the other end responding to any of their issues and we are all in the dark. If i had at least an inclination that they are working on something or there is no possibillity that this product will work because of the chip etc etc I could then make a decision on what to do. Currently in limbo and just rtying different setting and compression formats to no avail.

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Western Digital Elements Play Multimedia Drive (2TB)

The Western Digital Elements Play media player has a built-in 2TB hard drive that allows you to store videos, photos and music, which you can then playback through your big-screen TV or home entertainment system.

It's very simple to use and it has an understated design that's devoid of bright LEDs. Apart from its very subtle blue power indicator, it will blend in almost seamlessly in a dark home entertainment cabinet when surrounded by other components. While it's running, the WD Elements Play is practically silent and it doesn't get very warm at all; it has a small vent that keeps the drive cool.

On the rear of the device are an HDMI port, composite video and analog audio ports and an optical digital output. That's not an extensive list of output options by any stretch of the imagination, and if you have an older TV without HDMI, you'll have to use the lower-quality composite connection. However, on a low resolution TV, videos and photos won't look too bad (although the menu will be hard to read).

A mini-USB port also resides on the back of the device, and this is the interface through which you can populate the internal hard drive with your files. It's a USB 2.0 connection, so it will take a very long time to fill the 2TB disk. At a transfer rate of 27 megabytes per second (MBps), which is typical for an external USB 2.0 drive, it could take over 40 hours to completely fill the drive. The chances are you won't be filling the entire drive in one hit, but even for transfers up to 100GB, a faster interface such as eSATA or USB 3.0 would be a welcomed addition — especially for those us with PCs that can handle the faster connections.

The WD Elements Play only has basic capabilities: it plays videos (including Full HD files) and music, and it can display photos. It doesn't have network streaming functionality, so it can't play files off a media server nor allow you to view Web content on your TV; it's strictly for locally stored content. For network connectivity, you'll have to look at a media streamer like the ASUS O!Play HDP-R1 or the A.C Ryan Playon!HD. The lack of network connectivity can be a problem if you regularly want to update the device; you'll either have to disconnect it and take it to your PC or attach an external hard drive to the USB port on the right side of the device. You can watch files directly off an external drive or you can copy files to the WD's internal drive. The latter method can be very slow, with transfer rates as low as 6MBps.

Media support is vast and the WD Elements Play will play back Xvid, DivX, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264-encoded files in the popular AVI, MP4, MKV or MOV containers. If you plan on ripping all your DVDs and storing them on the Elements Play, you don't even have to re-encode them: the player will recognise VOB files. If you rip a DVD as ISO an image, then you can take advantage of the DVD's menu system and play it as if it were a disc you just popped into your DVD player — deleted scenes, commentaries and all. However, it's not easy to access the menu system because there is no provision for it on the tiny remote that Western Digital supplies.

The remote control that ships with the WD is small and easy to misplace. It also doesn't let you do much apart from navigate and access the system's menus. We'd like it to be bigger and have a few more dedicated buttons — it could use a dedicated button for changing the aspect ratio, an info button, as well as a volume function.

The media player's interface is simplistic: the main menu shows icons for videos, music, photos and settings. When you click on videos or music you are greeted with lists of your files. We recommend using subfolders to store all your files (which you can simply drag and drop to the Elements Play when it's connected to your computer), because if you just plonk them all in the root folder of the hard drive, you will have to do a lot of scrolling to find the ones you want to play. Photos are not listed but instead displayed as thumbnails. You can press the play button to start a slideshow and the skip buttons can be used to move to the next or previous photo. One of the slideshow effects it supports is pan and zoom, which is similar to the Ken Burns effect.

File playback was smooth for the most part; standard-definition Xvid files played back without any problems. However, when the media player was connected over composite some H.264-encoded files stuttered consistently and ended up out of sync with the audio; ripped DVD files also skipped frames from time to time. We found that for some files (such as ripped Region 1 DVDs) we had to change from PAL to NTSC manually in order for them to play without skipping frames. When connected over HDMI, the player auto-selected the correct format and we didn't notice any problems with the playback.

Overall, the Western Digital Elements Play is a simple solution for playing ripped DVDs and downloaded videos on your big-screen (or even small-screen) TV. However it's also a little cumbersome, as you have to either hook up a laptop or external hard drive to transfer files to it, or take it to your PC to fill it up. Because it has a large storage capacity , you could even use it as a backup drive for your PC. We do wish it had a USB 3.0 or eSATA connection to facilitate faster file transfers. We also wish it had a better remote control. As far as file support is concerned, though, the Elements Play is superb and will play just about any file you throw at it.

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