Media Storage Options for NVIDIA SHIELD

When running Plex Media Server on the NVIDIA SHIELD, you have multiple options for where content can be stored.

  • Internal Storage
  • Attached USB Drive or microSD card
  • Network Storage (via SMB connection)

Related Page: NVIDIA: Product Frequently Asked Questions
Related Page: Limitations When Running Plex Media Server on NVIDIA SHIELD

Internal Storage

The NVIDIA SHIELD comes with either 16GB or 500GB of storage, depending on the model. The 500GB model is obviously recommended if you plan to store media on the internal drive so that you have lots of space.

The Accessing Internal Storage article covers the several ways of accessing the internal storage to browse and create new folders, and access the logs.

Related Page: NVIDIA SHIELD > Accessing Internal Storage

USB Drives and microSD Cards

Attaching a USB Drive or microSD Card

The SHIELD has two USB 3.0 ports that can be used to attach standard USB drives (both self-powered and bus-powered drives are supported). The 2015 model NVIDIA SHIELD (regular and Pro) also has a microSD card slot that can be used.

The SHIELD supports and will automatically mount drives formatted with the following common filesystems:

  • exFAT (compatible with both Windows and OS X/macOS)
  • HFS+ (standard for OS X)
  • NTFS (common for Windows)

When you connect a drive to your NVIDIA SHIELD and turn it on, it should be detected within a few seconds and then the USB drive connected screen will appear. Here, you have two choices on how to use the drive:

  1. Removable Storage: This is how you're probably used to USB drives working with your computers and other devices. When mounted this way, the content on the drive is available to use for both Plex and other apps, but you cannot install Android apps on the drive.
  2. Internal Storage: This option allows you to basically replace the internal storage and instead use the attached USB drive for installing apps. Choosing this option will format the drive and you will lose any existing data on it! At that point, the drive can only be used with the NVIDIA SHIELD and will not be usable with other devices unless you format it again.

Tip!: We recommend you mount any drive used for content as "Removable Storage".

After choosing the mount method, you'll be taken to the Storage & reset area of the SHIELD's settings, where you can confirm that the drive was mounted properly.

At this point, you'll be able to create libraries on your Plex Media Server and point them to content on the drive. See the section further down.

Writing Files to the Drive/microSD Card

It's possible to write (save content) to attached USB drives and microSD cards when they're mounted as "Removable Storage". This means that it's now possible for Plex to store content on these drives in certain cases. For instance, this could be useful to use the drive to store optimized versions of files (from Media Optimizer), saving DVR recordings, Camera Upload, or more. Note that this does not let you move the Plex Media Server data directory itself.

When you attach a USB drive or microSD card as "Removable Storage", a new NVIDIA_SHIELD folder is automatically created on the drive (if that folder already exists, the content in the folder will be left alone and the folder will become writable). Only content in that folder (and its sub-folders) will be writable. All other content on the drive will still be read-only.

So, to be able to use the drive for saving optimized versions, DVR recordings, etc., you would need to create a sub-folder in the main NVIDIA_SHIELD folder and then point to that location since it will be writable.

Tip!: If you already have media content on your drive and would like to be able to add to that content (with Media Optimizer, DVR, etc.), then you could move the existing content inside the NVIDIA_SHIELD folder and edit your library to point to the new location.

Connecting to a Network Location (SMB)

If you have a NAS (network attached storage) device, a hard drive connected to your router, folders from your computer shared on the network or other storage locations available across your local network, you can connect to those from the NVIDIA SHIELD. That way, you'll be able to make use of media stored in those network locations for your Plex Media Server.

The SHIELD makes use of the "SMB" protocol to connect to network locations, so you will want to ensure that your network device supports that (nearly all do).

You may need to configure a username and password on your NAS or network share to access it across a network. Please consult your NAS or other device's documentation for details and to ensure access privileges are properly setup.

  1. Open the NVIDIA SHIELD device Settings.
  2. Choose Storage & reset then Network Storage.
  3. Under Available Network Storage, select your device and then choose Connect as a registered user.
  4. Enter the username and password for the network location.
  5. You can now verify that the location was mounted successfully: 1 mounted will appear under Network Storage in the list. You can select that for details.

The network location is now available for use with libraries on your Plex Media Server. See below for details.

Tip!: Starting with the "SHIELD Experience Update 5.2" firmware, it is possible to write content to network locations. They are no longer read-only.

Creating Libraries on the Plex Media Server

Once you have a USB or network storage location mounted or you're using the internal storage, you can create libraries in your Plex Media Server and point to your content stored in one (or more!) of those locations. You will manage your server using Plex Web App, just like you would if the server were running on a regular computer or NAS.

When you use Plex Web App, you can create or edit a library just like normal. The process for selecting a folder to add to a library on the NVIDIA SHIELD is the same as when the server is running on any other system.

Related Page: Using Plex Web App
Related Page: Plex Media Server > Libraries

When adding a folder to a library in your Plex Media Server, the NVIDIA SHIELD will separately list internal storage, attached USB drives, and mounted network locations. Choose your appropriate storage option and the contents of that drive will be displayed and available to select as the location for the library content.