External Usb Harddrive Blues

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jeffaa

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Feb 9, 2007
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I have connected by 500g WD usb drive to my computer, it sees the drive and I transfered 200g worth of files to it. The internal drive is formatted NTSC and the external is Fat32. When I go to reboot the computer it freezes at the bios page. If I unplug the external drive and reboot all is well. When I plug the external drive in once the computer is running it is detected and all is well. How can I solve this problem.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
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Seems to be a common problem.

Go into your BIOS and disable any references to "Legacy USB Support".

Drawback to this is if you have a USB KB/mouse, you won't have the ability to use them until the OS boots up (so you can't get back into the BIOS unless you get a PS/2 adapter.)
 

jeffaa

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Feb 9, 2007
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Thanks for your reply, I have tried your solution, I have disabled the legacy option on the usb network in the bios. I still have a failure to boot up with the hard drive connected. Do you have any other ideas? What a pain it is to have to unplug the hard drive usb every time I boot up. Thanks Jeff
 

alwrmc

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Jan 13, 2004
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May not be a solution for you but.....I have an external HD and it does not get recognized at boot up. I use it strictly as an extra drive. I keep it turned off until I need it. When I turn it on it immediately gets recognized and active. Don't know why it works that way, but when I contacted the drive maker that is how they explained it. Since I keep it turned off 95% of the time anyway, it has not been a problem. However you may not be happy with that solution if indeed it works for you. Have you contacted the drive maker to see if they have a solution? Some HD's require a sort of boot loader program in order for the OS of see and work with them. Did the drive come with a software disc? If so it may have a readme with info to help or possibly a driver that the HD needs, you did not indicate your OS and that can make a difference in hardware recognition.
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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I see the same problem with many systems, the solution is not to have the hard disk powered up when you boot. The "smart" BIOS versions on modern machines try to figure out what you want to do, instead of just doing what you tell them.
 
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As pointed out, there really is no good solution to this. Some external boxes are worse than others, and some systems will boot eventually if you wait long enough. But the only real solution short of trying externals until you find one that doesn't do it is to power up the external after boot as JohnWill suggested (and some even require being unplugged during boot altogether).
 

JohnWill

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I have a stack of three USB hard disks connected to this system. If any of them are powered on during the boot, the BIOS decides the boot configuration has changed and halts with an error. You have to go in and reconfigure to get it to boot from the proper drive. Then, to add insult to injury, the next time you boot with the drive powered off, you have to go through the same raindance! :)

I've learned to live with it.
 
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May 22, 2003
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I just bought a 250GB WD My Book. I don’t have it yet, but while reading reviews on the Dell Site, owners complained about having to reformat it from Fat32 to NTSC before using it - without warning prior to buying it. Other than that, they liked the drive.

Could this be part of the problem?
 

JohnWill

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Well, you can obviously use it with FAT32, but unless you need compatibility with ME/98, I'd reformat it NTFS anyway. It only takes a minute, because you can do the "quick format" on it.
 

jeffaa

Thread Starter
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
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3
Thanks for the replies, I found that when the computer freezes on boot up all I need to do is hit the reset on the case and it will boot up successfully.
 

JohnWill

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One issue is that depending on the specific disk and how it was partitioned and formatted, both 2K and XP have a bug in the conversion that will result in 512 byte clusters on the NTFS conversion, and that makes for a low performance disk. This is a well known issue with 2K, but I've seen it twice with XP also, so apparently they didn't fix it. :)
 
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