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External hard drive and Boot-up problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by iputty, Jan 21, 2007.

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  1. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    Hey all, I installed a WD 500GB HD connected by USB and now it seems that Windows (XP SP2) will not start unless the HD is plugged in & on. I don't plan on keeping the drive on all the time so I'm wondering how to fix this. I went through the BIOS boot order and found nothing that looks suspicious but maybe I missed something. Any help is appreciated.

    TIA.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Did you install XP after connecting the drive? What exactly happens when you try to start it without the drive connected?
     
  3. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    No, the drive was installed long after Windows and no big changes were made after installation.

    The black screen message reads "Reboot and Select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key." In order to get it to bootup I need to turn the drive on and hit Ctl-Alt-Del.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Oh, I've seen that one! :D

    This is a problem in your BIOS.

    Turn off the drive.
    Reboot and enter the BIOS setup.
    Configure the disk boot options correctly.
    Exit and save changes.

    You are probably stuck with not being able to boot with the USB drive attached. The BIOS versions have gotten so "smart" that they get confused whenever any possible bootable device is changed.

    FWIW, I have the same issue with this system, if I try to boot with any USB mass storage device connected, it gets confused. If I enter the BIOS and fix things, it'll boot right up. However, if I then try to boot without that device, it gets unhappy again until I fix the boot parameters.
     
  5. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    So there's no real fix?

    I have the drive turned off. In the BIOS Boot > Boot Settings > Boot Device Priority is shows 1) Floppy drive (I have a floppy???), 2) SATA... (my internal HD), 3) DVDRW. It doesn't even show the external. Under Boot > Boot Settings > Hard Disk Drives it only shows a single drive. No 2nd internal HD nor external HD.

    I'm confused. The external HD is nowhere to be seen in the BIOS.

    thx.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Save those settings and see if it boots properly without the drive attached. :)
     
  7. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    Didn't. :(

    edit: trying without it even connected to the USB port didn't work either. I'm lost.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Reset the BIOS to factory defaults and take a fresh run at it.

    This is almost certain to be a BIOS configuration issue. The smarter they try to make the BIOS, the dumber they get. :rolleyes:
     
  9. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    Does it matter if I do that while the HD is plugged in or not? Is there anything that can happen if I reset to default that I need to know of?
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    The external drive should DEFINITELY be disconnected. :)
     
  11. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    Um, problem. It now says no HD detected. I can't boot at all and I can't find myinternal HD's in the BIOS.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    How about a make/model of the MB? How are the internal drives connected? Are you using RAID? How many internal drives? Are they connected SATA or IDE?
     
  13. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    I'm on my way out for the day, I'll need to get back to you later on.
     
  14. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    If the BIOS doesn't even recognize the internal drive, pretty much going to need to get that new problem resolved.

    Sometimes those SATA connections come loose pretty easily. Might take them off and put them back on again to make sure they are well connected.
     
  15. iputty

    iputty Thread Starter

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    I called my box maker and they fixed it all including my initial problem with the external drive, even though I'm pretty sure my warranty is expired.

    All hail Velocity Micro. I've had nothing but GREAT experiences with them.

    And thanks to you guys too for at least trying. ;)
     
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