When a media file does not play on smart TV, first thing you need to check is its file format compatibility with your smart TV. Read the manual and find out if your TV is able to play that specific type of file or not. Normally a TV will display the file even if the file format is not supported by the TV. It will however may not be able to play it. In case you copied files from computer to USB drive to play on TV, and your TV is not able to display those files, then there is a higher chance that USB is not being properly handled by the TV. For smart TV you will face this problem rarely but in a TV that is without smart capabilities, this problem is seen more often. If your TV is missing files from thumb drive then here is the simple solution.
You should check the thumb drive for file system errors and fix USB drive errors to avoid this issue. Sometimes, in a hurry we simply unplug thumb drive from PC after we are done with copying data. We do not eject the thumb drive before unplugging it. That causes this issue. We must always ‘remove thumb drive safely’ by ejecting it or by dismounting it. We can do so by going to ‘My Computer’ or ‘Computer’ and do right click on USB drive and finally ejecting it. We can also remove thumb drive safely from system tray by selecting ‘safely remove hardware’ icon in the system tray (in case of Microsoft Windows). In case of Linux or MAC we will have to eject it. We should always eject or safely remove thumb drives to avoid errors on USB drives.
If we do not care about ejecting external hardware, sometimes its file system becomes corrupt. Sometimes it even shows as RAW volume and becomes inaccessible. It does not mean that the files have been deleted from the thumb drive. It simply means that operating system can not figure out what to do with the corrupted file system on thumb drive. Here is an easy way to fix this.
Plug thumb drive to the PC. Explore the location of thumb drive and get properties of USB drive (Right Click > Properties). Click ‘tools’ tab and click ‘check now’ from ‘error checking’ section. Select ‘automatically fix file system errors’ from the options and click ‘start’. In case the errors are found, operating system will fix those errors and the thumb drive will be accessible again.
Same method can be applied to a USB drive that is not displaying recently copied files on TV. Check the USB drive for errors and fix those errors by using above method and plug the USB drive back to TV again and the missing files will be displayed again.
You can also use this method in case USB has corrupted and is inaccessible on computer. Do not proceed to format USB at once. This method will easily fix common issues on USB drive that is unrecognized, inaccessible or missing some recently copied files.
You can also fix USB drive from command line. Microsoft Windows DOS Command for checking and fixing errors on USB drive is below:
chkdsk D: /f
Assuming that ‘D’ is the letter assigned to the USB drive. In the image above, USB drive letter is ‘D’. If you are unable to run CHKDSK on USB drive, then restart computer in safe mode and run CHKDSK. After fixing USB drive errors, missing files from USB will be displayed on TV or USB will be accessible on computer again.
And if that fails, copy the files from USB to computer (take backup). Format the USB drive, and that should not be the quick format. Do a proper formatting with FAT32 or NTFS filesystem. NTFS is best if any or individual file (you are going to use in USB drive) is more than 4GB in size because of file size limit restriction for FAT32 filesystem. After format process is complete, copy files back from computer to USB drive and use the USB drive with TV. It should work now.
For me, checking and fixing the USB drive for errors has worked for few times but later on I had to use format method to resolve the problem as well. First option should be to check and fix the USB drive for errors. Second option is to properly format the USB drive and use again.