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Windows 7: Can't boot if USB external drive attached


12 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 
Can't boot if USB external drive attached

We just bought a WD 2TB My Book Elite external hard drive. When we boot the computer into Windows 7 and plug in the USB cable, the drive is recognized and assigned a drive letter. Everything looks normal--we can access the drive, read files on it, copy files to it, etc. However, next time we power up the computer, if this drive is attached, the computer won't boot. The Dell BIOS splash screen comes up and sits there for a while, then the screen goes black--and absolutely nothing else happens. If we then disconnect the drive and start the computer again, it boots normally. The external drive has the latest firmware and software installed, and we have the most current BIOS installed. Has anyone else run across this problem?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Try disabling boot from USB in your BIOS. Perhaps then it will stop trying to read the driver during boot. Also make sure your OS drive is the first one in the boot list.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

I went into the BIOS and changed the boot order to show the OS drive first (it had been third), and disabled booting from any other drive besides the OS drive and the DVD drive. I then booted into Windows, and added the 2TB drive. Once again it was recognized and assigned a drive letter--seemed normal. Then I shut down the computer and started it fresh, with the 2TB drive still connected. It froze on the initial Dell splash screen, and also didn't light up one of my other external drives. (I have 5 1TB drives besides this one, and normally when I boot, all 5 of them have little lights that light up. One of them didn't this time.) So, bottom line, I guess it didn't end up helping to change those BIOS settings--even though it sure seems like it should have, if it's now not even supposed to be checking the drivers of any of my external drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate (32 bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jruppx View Post
I went into the BIOS and changed the boot order to show the OS drive first (it had been third), and disabled booting from any other drive besides the OS drive and the DVD drive. I then booted into Windows, and added the 2TB drive. Once again it was recognized and assigned a drive letter--seemed normal. Then I shut down the computer and started it fresh, with the 2TB drive still connected. It froze on the initial Dell splash screen, and also didn't light up one of my other external drives. (I have 5 1TB drives besides this one, and normally when I boot, all 5 of them have little lights that light up. One of them didn't this time.) So, bottom line, I guess it didn't end up helping to change those BIOS settings--even though it sure seems like it should have, if it's now not even supposed to be checking the drivers of any of my external drives.

So let me get this straight. You have five 1TB internal drives and one 2TB external drive for a total of 7TB. You have to be into video producing to need that much space.

Anyway good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Here's something to try: during the POST (the first screen to come up on a cold boot), press either F11 or F12. If neither bring up a popup boot menu, try going into the BIOS and see if it is enabled. In any case, try manually booting from the correct drive, with the USB drive attached.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2009   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

I tried that (it's F12 on my computer), but with the 2TB drive attached, the computer still freezes up and won't even give me any boot options or anything--it just sits there at the initial splash screen. It also isn't lighting up on of my 1TB external drives when the 2TB drive is attached (and all 5 of them normally have a light that goes on when I first boot). After I detach the 2TB drive and boot without it, all 5 of my 1TB external drives light up and things are fine. The weird thing is, the 2TB drive works just fine on our other computer which has Windows XP on it. That computer boots just fine with it attached. So I know the drive works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I've the same problem on my Uncle's XP machine - 1 1tb seagate (w/ separate power cable) and XP startup stalls when plugged in, and if I try to enter the bios to stop it booting from it it will freeze detecting the drive.

Anyone with a solution yet?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #8

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dancedar View Post
I've the same problem on my Uncle's XP machine - 1 1tb seagate (w/ separate power cable) and XP startup stalls when plugged in, and if I try to enter the bios to stop it booting from it it will freeze detecting the drive.

Anyone with a solution yet?
we could use your system specs. XP may not support it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Would have to check tomorrow - any specific hardware you'd need - assume ram and monitor make aren't important
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

are you using a hub or are all 6 drives connected to the PC's usb ports?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't boot if USB external drive attached




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