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Windows 7: Why won't my PC get past the splash screen when USB HDD is connected?

23 May 2015   #1
itsmikerofl

Windows 7 x64, Windows 10 x64, OS X 10.10.2
 
 
Why won't my PC get past the splash screen when USB HDD is connected?

Please read the entire post thoroughly before suggesting a solution.

Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V LX, on the latest BIOS version. Eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports. Intel i5-2500K LGA1155 CPU. 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Graphics card is NVIDIA GTS 8800 512, and I have a GTX 960 FTW on the way. Corsair CSX500 PSU.

Problem Drive Model: WDBHML0040HAL-NESN

- I ordered this 4TB WD Studio drive off eBay for $109, used. The drive was previously used on OS X, and I had planned to use it between both Windows 7, 10, and OS X 10 via dual boot.
- The PC boots regularly without the drive plugged in, but it hangs at the splash screen if the drive is connected in any of my 10 USB ports.
- I am unable to get into the BIOS with the drive connected, and if I enter the BIOS without it connected, the BIOS freezes once I do connect it.
- I have went into the BIOS, (with the device disconnected), and moved external drives to the lowest boot priority. This had no effect.
- The PC recognizes the drive if it is connected after boot. I can copy files to and from the drive flawlessly.
- When received, the drive was formatted with a 200MB EFI System partition in front, (I have no background knowledge on this), with the rest ~3.5TB being free HFS+ space.
- I immediately formatted the HFS+ partition and separated it into exFAT and NTFS.
- Deleting the EFI partition at command line had no effect.

Someone online said that this is due to the ASUS P8Z68 trying to boot from the drive, and to disable "Legacy USB Support" from the BIOS, but that to my knowledge means all USB devices are disabled, including keyboards. I am currently doing a FULL format of the drive, and will update the post as I try these solutions.

I am really at a dead end here, guys. Any help at all is appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 May 2015   #2
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi itsmikerofl,

Welcome to Seven Forums.

IMO, you have some hard decisions to make.

1. I would never ever buy a used hard drive. It is more likely to be a defective drive and that is why the seller wants to find a gullible buyer to get rid of it.

2. I would never ever buy a hard drive with hardware encryption. It ( the hardware encryption) does not protect the data in anyway. It only locks out the user should the interface electronics with hardware encryption fails. In such an eventuality - which happens more often than not on WD drives - only WD authorised data recovery partners can recover the data with the decryption key provided exclusively to those partners by WD. And its going to cost a lot. Only if I am a millionaire, I wouldn't mind it.

Check whether you can return it to the seller and get back your money.

I shall not give any other solution. It is just not worth that effort.( I have made my research before writing this post)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2015   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

The 200 MB partition is causing the problem.

Please post a shot of Disk Management with this drive connected.

You`re just using it for storage, correct ?

The entire drive needs to be deleted down to unallocated space, then partitions made and formatted from your pc, it should not cause anymore issues.

Is this what you bought ?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/32501723?w...328952&veh=sem
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 May 2015   #4
itsmikerofl

Windows 7 x64, Windows 10 x64, OS X 10.10.2
 
 

First, let me thank you both for taking the time to assist me. Even if you do not get back to me in time I appreciate your effort.

@jumanji The seller had 100% feedback and did offer returns. So if there is a data problem I'm able to get my money back. But my problem is not data encryption, it is within the motherboard struggling to boot since it sees the drive as a boot drive, mistakenly.

@AddRAM I'm currently playing around with the BIOS options. With Legacy USB 3.0 Support turned off, the PC boots fine, but will not recognize the drive is connected post-boot. Same with general Legacy USB Boot (non-3.0). I need Legacy USB Support as I run other OS's off USB regularly.

I have attached a shot of Disk Management at the moment, with Legacy 3.0 support turned off, (so the drive will not be present). The top two drives are HFS+ drives used in OS X, that's why their info is not recognizable.

I will enable Legacy USB 3.0 Support and boot the PC with the drive disconnected, only connecting the drive post-boot. Give me two minutes.

EDIT: I am attaching a screenshot of Disk Management with the drive connected: it is G: Studio. And yes, to answer your question, that is what I'm using. I've already deleted all of the partitions, and booted it as unallocated space. From there, I created a single exFAT partition to be shared between OS's.


Attached Thumbnails
Why won't my PC get past the splash screen when USB HDD is connected?-disk1.png   Why won't my PC get past the splash screen when USB HDD is connected?-disk2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2015   #5
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Since there is no data on it now, do an experiment. Delete it again to unallocated space, leave it that way and see if windows will bootup ok, then get back to us.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #6
itsmikerofl

Windows 7 x64, Windows 10 x64, OS X 10.10.2
 
 

After deleting the exFAT partition, and leaving the drive as unallocated, I also updated the WD SES Driver as well as the drive's firmware version both to the latest.

To my surprise, it booted with the drive connected. Would you recommend creating a fresh partition again? Or should I mess with the BIOS while I can?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #7
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

I would leave the bios alone, one step at a time

Now is the drive setup as GPT or MBR, I would set it up as MBR and chop it up into 3 or 4 partitions, if you are only storing data you could make them Logical, if not then Primary.

I know Partition Wizard will let you setup Logical partitions.

Try that and see if it boots up ok.


Attached Thumbnails
Why won't my PC get past the splash screen when USB HDD is connected?-untitled.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #8
itsmikerofl

Windows 7 x64, Windows 10 x64, OS X 10.10.2
 
 

It is set up as GPT. Is there an easy difference between the two? If so, advantages?

I did a little more testing and completely forgot that exFAT can't handle drives over 2TB, (the drive being 4TB). When formatted as NTFS, the dive being connected does not interrupt the boot process. This narrows it down to exFAT being the culprit.

I have formatted it accordingly as shown in the screenshot, so that no partition is over 2TB in size and I have a little room to play. Again, I can't stress enough how much help it is having another brain to bounce thoughts back to.


Attached Thumbnails
Why won't my PC get past the splash screen when USB HDD is connected?-disk3.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #9
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Good job, just remember you can`t make a 5th Primary Parttion, it will turn the disk Dynamic.

You can have 4 Primaries or 3 Primaries and an extended partition with as many Logical partitions as there are letters.

What

The Differences Between MBR and GPT - Make Tech Easier
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #10
itsmikerofl

Windows 7 x64, Windows 10 x64, OS X 10.10.2
 
 

That's a lot more clear now. Thanks a million, you're a lifesaver. I can successfully go from Windows to OS X with this new drive, and transfer files to and from.

That marks this thread as closed.


Attached Thumbnails
Why won't my PC get past the splash screen when USB HDD is connected?-screenshot-2015-05-23-22.12.53.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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