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External HDD not allowing PC to boot. Attempted solutions listed.


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8 replies to this topic

#1 beachfeet

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 10:44 PM

Greetings,

I am having an issue, when it comes to booting my PC, while the external HDD, is plugged in. The tower, is running Windows 7 Home Premium X86. The external drive, is a Western Digital 3TB My Book Studio. If the external drive is plugged in, the PC will not boot at all, and I am not able to access the BIOS settings.

Here is what I have tried, before deciding to post. I am not sure if some of these would have made a difference.

  • Changed the Boot Sequence, and made sure that the internal drive (C:) was at the top.
  • In the system BIOS, changed plug and play OS, to NO
  • Enabled USB Legacy Support (also tried with support disabled)
  • Converted the external drive, from MBR to GPT (Was not able to boot from either)
  • Formatted the external drive (Before and after setting new partitions)
  • Installed the Western Digital My Book SE5 Driver, X86 (Restarted the PC, after the driver was installed)
  • Created a single partition on the drive. (Erased the two previous partitions, including the MBR)
  • Tried alternative USB ports, and cables

The drive is recognized in windows Explorer, and I do not have any problems with it, if I plug the drive in after the PC has booted up. If anyone can please suggest some ways, of solving this issue, I would greatly appreciate it. I do not know what else to try. Thank you very much, for your time.

 Link to the WD driver, that was downloaded-

http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5419/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xMzQ5NTI5MzU2L3NpZC9uajY0TTE4bA%3D%3D

Western Digital External Storage Product Specs-

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=200#Tab3

Windows Disk Manager, showing the external drive, after partitioning, and formatting-(attachment)

 

Attached Files


Edited by beachfeet, 18 August 2015 - 10:53 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 07:32 AM

In BIOS make sure your HDD is before USB in boot order. If your USB is before the HDD and it is not bootable then that may be the problem.


Edited by JohnC_21, 19 August 2015 - 07:33 AM.


#3 YeahBleeping

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 08:41 AM

Hi there ~

 

Do you have the most updated version of your bios for your motherboard?

 

According to most posts around the web: The solution for them was to Disable USB Legacy Support.

 

Plug and Play OS should be SET to YES This allows the windows environment to manage interrupts instead of the bios.

 

So I am just wondering if you'd like to try that method again.  But lets first make sure you have an updated bios. 

In your boot order It should look like this for most cases:

 

Boot Internal Hard drive

 

Boot CdRom

 

disable any other boot devices or boot from other device

 

Another question I have is do you use a USB keyboard or a ps2 ?



#4 beachfeet

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 11:57 PM

Thank you, for the replies. I can check on that BIOS update, after I post this response. That is a good idea. My boot order, is in the same format that you suggested, YeahBleeping. This tower, has a PS/2 keyboard, and a USB mouse. I can try to disable USB legacy support, and change Plug and Play OS, to yes.I had USB Legacy Support enabled, because I tend to boot from flash drives sometimes. I believe that when this option is disabled, I had trouble booting alternative operating systems. However, I am not certain. Below, I will include the tower's specs, incase that will help this situation. Everything inside the tower is stock, except for the upgraded internal HDD, and the OS. I do need to give it a memory upgrade, and that has been on my to do list for some time, now.

Thank you again, and here is that link.

http://www.premiumgeeks.com/desktop/hp/hp-pavilion-a6248x-specs/

 

Update:

I am having trouble with the proper way of finding an update, for the BIOS. The information that I have, is from the Windows System information/Summary page. Bios Version-Phoenix Technologies LTD 5.16, 8/14/2007. Do you believe that a BIOS update, will do the trick? I am slightly hesitant, when it comes to an update, because of what Ive always been told about the BIOS, and how risky it is, to run updates. I can go on ahead, and try those BIOS settings, (Legacy/Plug and Play) and report my findings.

Thank you.

 

Second Update:

Okay, while in the BIOS, I disabled the Legacy USB Support, and I enabled the Plug and Play OS option. I then plugged in the external drive, and rebooted the Tower. Unfortunately, Windows could not load until the external HDD was unplugged, and the PC was rebooted again. This is strange. I have never had a problem, like this one. Not even with external drives. While I was looking up the specs, on this WD External Drive, I noticed that it was originally designed to work with a Mac, but could be formatted, for a Windows OS. I am able to connect the drive, and easily transfer files, to and from the HDD, but I am wondering if there is an alternative formatting procedure, specifically for the drive. Maybe that is what is causing all of this.


Edited by beachfeet, 20 August 2015 - 02:24 AM.


#5 YeahBleeping

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 11:28 AM

Hello again,

 

I agree updating the bios can be a risky procedure because some Bios' re-detect hard drives differently and could cause more issues than it is worth.  The only reason I asked is because if an update specifically resolves a problem than obviously an update would be warranted and in this case I am not sure.

 

So my next question is how does the drive show up under disk management.  Can you post a screen shot of the disk when loaded in windows? Do you intend to use the drive as a boot drive or just backup/access?

 

Windows 7 Disk management

 

How to post a screenshot



#6 beachfeet

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 08:19 PM

Thank you, for the reply. I posted a screenshot, showing the drive in disk management, in my first post. Yes, I am just going to use the drive as a storage device. This seems to be a tricky topic. I have read a few threads online, dealing with similar issues, and Western Digital External Drives. Unfortunately, they have all ended without the problem being resolved.  Since my last post, the only thing that I have done is perform a firmware update, and try different cable configurations. I have not transferred anything onto the drive yet, in case I would have had to reformat it again. The drive doesn’t have a power switch either, so it cannot be switched on, or off. WD customer support, weren’t too helpful.  I’ll just keep on looking for solutions, and maybe someone can throw some ideas my way, if they come across this thread in the future. This is the strangest thing. Thank you again. I really appreciate it, even though we couldn’t solve it. 


Edited by beachfeet, 26 August 2015 - 08:19 PM.


#7 Kilroy

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 05:48 AM

My experience has been that the only solution is not to have the drive plugged in or powered on.



#8 beachfeet

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 03:27 AM

Just an update:

 My tower can now boot, while the external drive is connected. The boot time, is slightly delayed, but there is no longer a problem. On two alternative systems, the drive did not have any issues, and they were able to boot up normally. Thank you, for the support. In case anyone reads this thread, with a similar problem, I installed the WD SES driver, a firmware update, and changed the BIOS settings to:
Legacy USB>Enabled

Plug and Play OS>Disabled

Primary HDD, is set to boot before the external

Thank you again.



#9 RockVacirca

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 06:01 AM

One other point to keep in mind is this:

 

Many external drives, particularly Western Digital, have a small portion of the HDD space partitioned as a hidden Virtual CD Drive. Reformatting the drive does not affect this, as only the main HDD partition is formatted, not the partition containing the VCD. If a CD drive is in the boot sequence try disabling that in BIOS as well as USB drives in the boot sequence, if this solves the problem then you will need a low-level HDD formatting program to clear the hidden VCD partition.






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