How to Add an External Hard Drive to Your Boxee Box

This guide will take you step by step through the process of adding an external USB hard drive to your Boxee Box. It will also show you how to index the contents of that drive so that you can easily play it all on your Boxee Box.

  1. Start out by powering off your Boxee Box. Plug your external USB hard drive (or thumb drive) into one of the two available USB ports on your Boxee box. If your USB hard drive is a ‘powered’ one, plug it in as well.
  2. the USB ports on the back of a Boxee Box
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  3. Power on your Boxee Box. Once you get to the dashboard, select the Files option from the upper-right corner.
  4. the Boxee UI with an arrow pointing at the Files app
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  5. Scroll down to the section titled Local folders and network shares. From here, you’ll see your USB hard drive listed. As illustrated in the image below, there can often be more than one “entry” for a single hard drive. Select the first one (in my case, the ‘drive’ is titled EFI).
  6. list of files and folders on a Boxee box
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  7. Again, as illustrated in the image below, this ‘drive’ contains no files. Navigate back to the main Files section.
  8. empty list of a folder
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  9. This time, select the other ‘drive’ listed in the Local folders and network shares section (if you had more than one).
  10. selecting a drive in the boxee ui
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  11. From here you should see a list of the files and folders on the USB hard drive. In some cases, a list of ‘hidden’ folders may be revealed. The hidden folders typically start with a period (.) – but can vary depending on how your USB hard drive is formatted.
  12. list of files and folders on an external drive in the boxee box ui
    click to enlarge

  13. Select one of the folders on your USB hard drive. In my example, I selected the TV Shows folder on my drive. From here, a list of all my sub-folders is displayed.
  14. list of folders on an external USB hard drive connected to a boxee box
    click to enlarge

  15. To index all of the files in a folder (in my example, the TV Shows folder), select the “action” button from the upper-left corner of your screen. It appears as a “plus sign” ( + ) inside of a box (see image below).
  16. indexing files on an external drive connected to a boxee box
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  17. From here you select all the options for indexing this folder (and all of its sub-folders). In the Share Name field, enter a name. Ideally one that’s fairly descriptive.

    Select the Media Type. Since I’m indexing a series of video files, I’ve selected Video from the list.

    Because I’ll be adding to this folder fairly frequently, I’ve set the Type of Scanning to daily. If you don’t plan on making changes to a specific folder, you can select Once so that it gets indexed, and then doesn’t need to be every day going forward.

  18. indexing video file options
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  19. When you’re done, click the Add on-screen button.
  20. an arrow pointing to an Add button

  21. A small “windshield wiper” icon will appear in the upper-right corner of your screen. This means the folder is currently being indexed by the Boxee software.
  22. a folder being indexed in boxee

  23. After a few minutes, you should be able to return to the main menu and select the Shows option (assuming like me, you indexed a series of TV shows). If you opted to index a different type of media (Movies, Music etc) – select that entry from the main menu.

    Don’t be surprised if all of the contents of the drive/folder haven’t been added yet. It can take quite a while to index a drive with lots of files.

  24. list of shows and movies on an external usb drive connected to a boxee box
    click to enlarge

  25. If you’re adding audio files (music, podcasts etc) – repeat the above process, but when asked for the Media Type, select Music.
  26. selecting music as the format to index
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  27. Again, Boxee will notify you that the folder is being indexed.
  28. indexing files on a boxee box
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  29. That’s it! Just keep repeating this process to add all of the files on your drive so that you can play them via your Boxee Box.

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