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Hard drive formatted using external USB connector causes computer to lock up.


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#1 Blacklight

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 11:59 PM

I have a 2TB hard drive that I plan to use as a third hard drive in my computer for extra redundant data storage.  I formatted it using an external USB drive encasement and gave it it's own drive letter and set it all up properly.  I then opened up my PC to plug the thing in. 

 

When I turn the PC on, it gets to the bios starting screen (The screen you see before Windows loads), and then it locks up.  I can't hit "DEL" to access bios or anything.  If I take the hard drive out, everything boots fine.  If I put the hard drive back on the USB enclosure, It runs fine and I can save stuff on it fine.  Everything runs perfect.

 

I even tried unplugging the computer's CD ROM and running the hard drive from that SATA cable and I got the same result.  It seems that the computer will only run now when this new drive is plugged into the external drive encasement that it was formatted in.  It won't even boot if it's plugged in internally.

 

Anyone have a clue as to what's going on here?

 

My only theory is that it's the exact same make and model and size as the boot drive  and maybe the computer is trying to boot off of it despite the drive being a totally different letter than the boot drive, but then again, the computer should still let me into the bios in such a case I would assume? And if that were true,

 

It's not the port or cable I'm using to plug the drive into.  I've narrowed the problem down to be the drive only.  I've plugged other drives into the port using the same SATA cable and everything functioned fine.

 

This hard drive functions perfectly when plugged into the USB port using my external enclosure.  It's only when I go to plug the thing into the computer internally that there's a problem.  I really have never had this problem before.


Edited by Blacklight, 31 October 2015 - 01:40 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 12:28 PM

What is the make and model of this computer?

 

You are using terminology which is conflicting.  You posted about plugging into a port using a SATA cable.  External hdds usually are plugged in via a USB port with a USB cable.  Sata connections are usually internal.

 

If you had to free up a SATA cable in order to connect this internally, how were you trying to connect the hdd without a SATA cable?

 

If you don't have another free SATA data plug on the motherboard you may not be able to add another SATA device.

 

I would suggest using a program like Darik's Boot and Nuke to overwrite the hdd.  Then I would install it and open the Disk Management and format the drive from there.  If you right click on the drive letter for this drive the option to format it should appear.


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#3 Blacklight

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 12:48 PM

This computer is a kit build.  It's running Windows 7.  It's a Sabertooth P67 motherboard.

I have two hard drives installed. 

One the exact make and model as the one I am trying to install.  This is my C: drive

The other one is a storage drive: E

 

The hard drive is a SATA hard drive.  I connected it externally using a SATA to USB  external converter kit that I have.  I often use this for taking old hard drives and using them as external USB hard drives.  I formatted the new hard drive using this cable and assigned it as drive J. 

 

Once the drive was formatted and I ensured that it was working properly, I unhooked it from the SATA to USB external converter kit and opened the computer up. 

 

I then took a regular SATA cable and plugged the drive into one of the internal SATA ports.  I made certain that I was plugging the drive into one of the proper speed ports as this motherboard has a couple of high speed SATA ports on it. 

 

When the computer boots, it just hangs on the motherboard's start screen and I can't even get into the bios.

 

I tried plugging the drive into many different SATA ports with different cables so the problem isn't the cable or the individual ports.

 

The computer will only actually boot if the drive is not plugged in or if the drive is plugged into the USB port with the SATA to USB cable.  I can get into the bios and everything if that drive is not plugged in internally.  It's like the computer will now ONLY accept that hard drive if it's plugged in through the USB port.

 

I hope this clears up my previous ramble.


Edited by Blacklight, 31 October 2015 - 12:50 PM.


#4 Havachat

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 06:44 PM

When you use USB to connect the drive all is fine , because the PC is booted and Running.

If you have issues with the drive installed and booting fails , then i would check the Bios settings as its not being recognised or a conflict occurs.



#5 Blacklight

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 11:58 PM

That's the problem. When it's installed internally. I can't even get into the bios.  The computer completely locks up.  It hangs at the screen that announces the motherboard brand that tells you to hit "DEL" to go to bios.  It freezes on this screen.  It won't go to bios when I hit DEL. 

 

I've checked my bios wiith the drive unplugged and with it plugged in through the USB port and the bios seems to be configured alright.  The only thing that makes me suspicious is that the bios uses the drive model number for the drive selection in the boot order list.  I'm wondering if this bios is just odd and having two drives of the same make and model number is somehow confusing this bios.

 

Or maybe this is just some kind of faulty hard drive that is just having some kind of error with being installed internally?  I'm beginning to lean heavily in this direction.


Edited by Blacklight, 01 November 2015 - 12:06 AM.


#6 Havachat

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 04:21 AM

2 drives the same is not the issue , either try another drive to prove it , or reformat the problem drive and try again , if still the same see if you can install it in another computer or a friends to prove it is a faulty drive.



#7 dc3

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 10:01 AM

How did you format this hdd?

 

When this hdd is connected via a USB cable externally can you write data to the drive and read it as well?  

 

A SATA hdd is hotswappable.  Install it but don't connect the power or data cables, turn on the computer, then connect the data cable first and then the power cable.


Edited by dc3, 01 November 2015 - 10:04 AM.

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#8 Blacklight

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 11:05 PM

Yes.  This hard drive has been formatted as I mentioned in my previous post.  I formatted it while it was outside the computer while it was hooked up to the SATA to USB converter.  It was plugged into the computer's USB port at the time.

 

After verifying that the drive worked properly, I then opened the computer and went to install the drive into the inside of the computer. 

I plugged the thing in using the SATA cable.

The computer just freezes on the motherboard screen and won't let me enter bios with the hard drive plugged in internally. 

 

 

Those steps you mentioned are the steps I went through



#9 jonuk76

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 11:57 PM

If this drive is the only one plugged in internally, does it still lock up?


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#10 Blacklight

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 10:42 PM

I just installed another hard drive on my computer.  Formatted it with this USB drive cable and this new drive is having this same problem that I posted about in this post back in October.  My solution back then was to return the drive and get a fresh one.

 

I'm now beginning to think that something more sinister is at work here.  Since this same exact thing has happened twice,

1. the new drive runs fine with the USB cable hooked up

2. the computer refuses to boot and just freezes at the bios screen when I hook the drive up internally not even allowing me to get into bios

 

I think that the drive enclosure cable is designed to make it so that the drives that are formatted using it ONLY run on it somehow.  If I format a drive using this USB drive cable, the drive cannot become an internal drive.  It permanently makes the thing an external USB drive. The computer itself will not accept it.  I have no idea why.  I don't know what this thing does.  But two times in a row of this happening is not a coincidence.


Edited by Blacklight, 22 August 2016 - 10:51 PM.


#11 dc3

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 08:23 AM

The only thing that makes me suspicious is that the bios uses the drive model number for the drive selection in the boot order list. 

Is the storage drive listed in the boot order of the BIOS?

 

Disconnect the storage drive, access the BIOS and check the boot order.  It should be set so that the hdd with the operating system is the first device in the boot order, the optical drive as the second device in the boot order.  The storage drive should not be listed in the boot order.

 

When you install the storage drive internally are you removing the SATA to USB adapter and connecting it with a SATA data cable and a SATA power cable?  Or are you connect the storage drive to a internal USB port?


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#12 Blacklight

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 02:36 PM

That was the problem.  I couldn't GET into the bios.  When I plug the drive in internally and start the computer, the computer starts up and freezes at the motherboard splash screen with the "Hit DEL to enter Bios" on the bottom.  Trust me.  I know enough about computers to want to check the boot order.  I would have if I could have.  But since the thing is frozen on that screen, there's no getting to the bios.

BUT... something happened last night.  Since my goal is to clone my main hard drive onto this drive, I had tried to clone the drive using the external USB enclosure.  I then found out that since the drive was formatted with the enclosure and that the enclosure formatted it with a different allocation unit size, that cloning was impossible.  So I reformatted the drive and in he middle of it, had a power failure.  I took advantage of this by shoving the drive onto the SATA cable in my computer and lo and behold, the computer booted to the "Windows suffered an unexpected shutdown screen, Boot Windows Normally?" screen!  I was never more happy to have had a power failure.

The computer now detects this new hard drive.  I can format and use it.  BUT.  I need to clone my main hard drive because it's failing.  My main hard drive is formatted using a 512 allocation unit size.  Apparently this is a problem for cloning because it needs to be formatted to a 512 allocation unit size to be compatible.  Well the drive apparently can now, since I originally formatted it using the drive enclosure, only be formatted to 4096, 8192, 16k, 32k or 64k.  It All of which are incompatible for cloning this drive that I need to clone.  It gave me the option to format for 512, but when I did, it said "Format failed" and then gave me those choices instead.  Now it's stuck on those choices without giving me the option to format for 512 at all.

 

I've tried just copying the disk and the computer just doesn't like that because Windows doesn't like it when you copy it to another drive on the same machine.  So I really need to clone this drive somehow as I want to preserve the OS, my settings, my software and everything.  Any suggestions?  Should I just return this drive and get a new one? 


Edited by Blacklight, 23 August 2016 - 02:42 PM.


#13 mjd420nova

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 03:11 PM

So many problems involved in moving blank drives from an external unit, as they have their own controller to interface to USB.  I find buying and using a legal version of all my systems.  With that disk I can change any hardware, add, subtract and even repair without worry. Cloning requires that the unit being cloned is an exact match(almost, drive types will change) and can be "seen" and prepared by the BIOS.  BIOS determines the maximum size drive and often have options to specify the parameters(heads, tracks, sectors, etc) to achieve proper control. Some options don't allow the full addressable space to be accessed.  The OS has limits too.



#14 voykimmer

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:16 AM

I know exactly what your talking about. I had a working 1 tb wd as my primary c: hard drive with operating system on it. No problems with it but my e: drive was sketchy and making noise so I brought a 500 go SSD as my operating system drive. Cloned the 1tb wd onto the SSD using the Samsung cloning software with no problems. Took the 1tb wd and hooked it up to the USB adapter and attempted to clone the e: drive with no luck. Hooked it up to a Sata cable inside the case and bios locked up. Tried everything with the same problem. Brought the exact same drive at Best Buy and hooked it up internally only and everything is fine, hooking a drive to a usb cable or enclosure ruins the drive for internal use.

#15 mjd420nova

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 10:10 AM

I've had similar experiences with all different kinds of drives and sizes.  Seems when a new drive is added as a secondary drive, the OS writes something on it that can't be undone and makes it inoperable as a first drive unless it gets wiped clean.  External drives on USB ports presents another problem with the USB being configured properly.  I always use an enclosure with its own power supply as the USB ports aren't meant for use as a power source.






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