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Can't Boot when External Harddrive is plugged in


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#1 trevzilla

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 11:08 AM

I have a "My Book" 4 TB external hard drive that I use for my media server. However I can't boot up my computer when this hard drive is plugged into the computer.

 

I don't know what's going on with my boot sequence, but when I press the power button, I see a black screen, and in the lower right hand corner a bunch of Hex codes pop up. I don't know the exact codes off hand, but it says something like "A2" then that disappears and "B6" takes its place then "F3" takes its place then blah blah blah until I see my Bios splash screen at which point I can press del to enter bios.

 

Well, when I have my external hard drive plugged in, my computer hangs at "B6." It never goes away. I never get to the bios splash screen, so I can't hit del to enter bios and make sure it's not trying to boot from the external hard drive. And if I unplug my hard drive to enter bios, then (obviously) the bios doesn't detect the drive, so I can't choose a "do not boot from this drive" option.

 

I'm assuming the issue has something to do with my motherboard/bios so here is that info. If you have any other ideas and need other info, just ask and I'll do my best to get it to you!

 

As reported by CPU-Z

Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55 (MS-7751)

Bios: American Megatrends Inc. V1.11 11/20/2013

 

And for what it's worth, I also have another external hard drive plugged in and the computer boots fine with that one.

 

Thanks for any help you can offer!



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 11:21 AM

I'm assuming this happens on any USB port. From a quick google B6 indicates a USB problem. Have you tried to reset your UEFI setting back to default. You should be able to set your HDD as first boot device and use the boot menu key for any bootable USB device.

 

There is a way to enter UEFI settings from Windows. You could attach the USB drive after boot then enter UEFI settings to disable boot on the USB drive but I can't say this will work.

 

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/5831-boot-uefi-firmware-settings-inside-windows-10-a.html



#3 trevzilla

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 11:38 AM

I tried following your instructions, and changing UEFI settings, but had no luck. (I wasn't aware of UEFI vs. BIOS before now). Anyway, digging a bit further it appears that my BIOS mode as reported by System Information is "Legacy" and not "UEFI." Therefore, unless I'm mistaken, I don't think your instructions will help in this case.

 

I'm pretty sure this problem happens no matter which USB port I plug the hard drive into, but I'll verify right now by trying other ports.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 11:43 AM

Yeah, having Legacy boot and not UEFI is not optimal on a Windows 10 OS install. Can you confirm something? Open Disk Management. Is there a EFI system partition listed as being formatted FAT32. That would indicate you were booting UEFI. In Disk Management Left click on the Disk0 Box to select. Select Properties. Under the Volumes tab look for Partition Style. Is is shown as MBR (Legacy) or GPT (UEFI)



#5 trevzilla

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 12:18 PM

You might be onto something here. All my file systems are listed as NTFS except for my troublesome external drive which is listed as exFAT. When I click properties on any of the drives they all say MBR under the volumes tab except for the troublesome external hard drive, which says GPT.

 

I tried plugging the drive into several other USB ports with no luck. Also, I apologize, but the Hex code it gets stuck on is "B4" and not "B6." That was my bad memory. But it does still seem like that code is a "USB hot plug" code. What's weird is there were a couple USB ports I tried where the hex codes didn't even show up at all but the computer still seemed to freeze. Then I unplugged the drive, restarted, and it booted directly into windows...never saw hex codes or a bios splash screen. First time that has happened to me (that I've noticed at least)



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 12:44 PM

Even though the drive is GPT any 64bit OS except XP should still be able to read the drive as a data drive unless there is some kind of boot files on the drive. If there is a boot partition you cannot boot a GPT disk in Legacy mode. Can you post an image of Disk Management with the GPT drive attached?

 

FYI. Any drive over 2TB needs to have a GPT partition table as MBR can only recognize up to 2TB. Also WD MYBook drives have a proprietary USB bridge card and if that fails you cannot recover your data as it encrypts the files on the drive. You could not remove the drive and place it in an enclosure. If you have irreplaceable data on the 4TB drive it's best to back it up to a second device. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 09 May 2018 - 01:00 PM.


#7 trevzilla

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 01:12 PM

My boot drive is MBR. Good to know about backing the data up on a second drive. I wouldn't say that the data on there is irreplacable, but it'd be a pain to remake it all. (All my DVD's are ripped to it. I still have the DVD's, so could always re-rip...but that was a HUGE undertaking in the first place.)

 

Attached are a couple screenshots of the disk manager. The first is just the disk manager itself. The second is the properties->volumes of every disk I have attached/inside the computer. I boot on an SSD, but have a couple internal HHD's for data storage. One of my external HHD's is a backup drive (mypassport) and the other external HHD is for my media server (mybook). I also just have a card reader plugged in right now, so that's what you'll see under H:\

 

uV1KbKE.jpg

 

LRj1Ajm.jpg



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 01:37 PM

I don't see anything out of the ordinary on the GPT disk other than what you mentioned being exFAT. Unless you are planning on attaching it to a MAC I would pull the data off if possible and reformat to NTFS. 

 

One thing that may work. Windows 10 enables Fast Startup by default which uses a hybrid type of shutdown and can cause issues. Do the following in order and with all your USB drives detached.

 

Disable Fast Startup

 

Open an elevated command prompt. Windows key +  X. Command prompt as admin. It could be called powershell and type:

powercfg.exe -h off
shutdown /s /f /t 0

Reboot

 

Shutdown normally and attempt a boot with the GPT drive attached.

 

Normally I never attach a USB drive during boot unless it's bootable and I don't like shutting down without first Ejecting the USB drive because of Windows 10's hybrid hibernation file.



#9 trevzilla

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:09 PM

Went through those steps with no luck. Still getting hung up on "B4."

 

Good call on reformatting to NTFS. I'll do that soon regardless on if we get this working. Unless you think that could be the issue? I could get to work on that now if you think it's the next step in troubleshooting.



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:31 PM

Other than formatting to NFTS that was my last idea and I can't gurantee it will solve the problem but NTFS is a more robust file system then exFAT. If you every decide to do a clean install of Windows 10 change your settings from Legacy to UEFI and follow the clean install guide here at BC.



#11 trevzilla

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 10:03 AM

Hey hey! I just finished reformatting my external drive, and getting all the data back onto it. Just attempted my first reboot since doing that, and I successfully booted into windows! It didn't freeze! I didn't see the hex codes at all, or the Bios splash screen, so I don't know what that is all about, but at least I was able to boot!

 

Thanks for your help! I hope this is considered solved! I'll report back though if I learn anything new in the next few days with a few more reboot attempts.



#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 10:46 AM

Your Welcome, and thanks for taking the time to post an update. BC does not normally mark threads as solved. 






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