PC won't boot with external HDD attached

Discussion in 'DIY PC' started by MikeM, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. MikeM

    MikeM Guest

    Since I plugged in a MyBook external HDD when the computer is rebooted
    it freezes at the BIOS screen. If I disconnect the external HDD and
    reboot it boots ok. Is it likely to be a problem with the HDD or a
    compatibility problem?
    Thanks
    Mike
     
    MikeM, Oct 10, 2007
    #1
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  2. MikeM

    philo Guest

    "MikeM" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Since I plugged in a MyBook external HDD when the computer is rebooted
    > it freezes at the BIOS screen. If I disconnect the external HDD and
    > reboot it boots ok. Is it likely to be a problem with the HDD or a
    > compatibility problem?
    > Thanks
    > Mike



    Truth is I've seen that on quite a few machines even though the machine
    itself was OK
    and the external drive was OK.
    The solution was simply not to boot up with the device attached!
     
    philo, Oct 11, 2007
    #2
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  3. MikeM

    Guest

    On Oct 10, 10:40 pm, MikeM <> wrote:
    > Since I plugged in a MyBook external HDD when the computer is rebooted
    > it freezes at the BIOS screen. If I disconnect the external HDD and
    > reboot it boots ok. Is it likely to be a problem with the HDD or a
    > compatibility problem?
    > Thanks
    > Mike


    Sounds like the BIOS is looking for a bootable USB device BEFORE it
    looks at a bootable harddrive. Since your USB probably doesn't have
    an OS on it, it just freezes because the system doesn't know what to
    do.

    You can try to change the boot order in the BIOS and see if that fixes
    it. In case you don't know, you can access the BIOS at boot. Look for
    the prompt to get into setup. Depending on the BIOS, it's usually the
    DEL key, F1, F2, or something to that extent. Move around until you
    find the boot order option. Don't change anything else unless you are
    familiar with how the changes effect your system.

    I would suggest a boot order of Floppy first, if you have a floppy
    drive, then CD ROM, then hard drive. If you don't have a Floppy
    drive, move CD ROM to the top, then hard drive and if available, USB
    last. If USB not available, choose something safe like CD ROM again.

    If after you change the boot order and it still doesn't fix your
    problem, I'd just unplug it to boot each time. You don't say what
    kind of USB drive you have, but I know Firelite casuses this problem
    no matter what boot order is chosen.

    Hope this helps.
     
    , Oct 11, 2007
    #3
  4. MikeM

    Guest

    On Oct 10, 4:27 pm, "philo" <> wrote:
    > "MikeM" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > > Since I plugged in a MyBook external HDD when the computer is rebooted
    > > it freezes at the BIOS screen. If I disconnect the external HDD and
    > > reboot it boots ok. Is it likely to be a problem with the HDD or a
    > > compatibility problem?
    > > Thanks
    > > Mike

    >
    > Truth is I've seen that on quite a few machines even though the machine
    > itself was OK
    > and the external drive was OK.
    > The solution was simply not to boot up with the device attached!


    Certain older Bios' are set to boot from a USB device by default. If a
    USB device is plugged in then it looks to that drive for a Boot file.
    If it doesn't find one, it just hangs, instead of going to the next
    boot device (i.e. HDD, CD-Rom etc) This is not an incomparability or
    problem with the USB drive but just an issue with the Bios, You might
    be able to change the boot preference to not boot from "Other Devices"
    or "USB Device" or you could just unplug the USB cable from the
    computer end when booting the computer.
     
    , Oct 11, 2007
    #4
  5. MikeM

    trojanfoe Guest

    On 11 Oct, 00:40, wrote:
    > On Oct 10, 10:40 pm, MikeM <> wrote:
    >
    > > Since I plugged in a MyBook external HDD when the computer is rebooted
    > > it freezes at the BIOS screen. If I disconnect the external HDD and
    > > reboot it boots ok. Is it likely to be a problem with the HDD or a
    > > compatibility problem?
    > > Thanks
    > > Mike

    >
    > Sounds like the BIOS is looking for a bootableUSBdevice BEFORE it
    > looks at a bootable harddrive. Since yourUSBprobably doesn't have
    > an OS on it, it just freezes because the system doesn't know what to
    > do.
    >
    > You can try to change thebootorder in the BIOS and see if that fixes
    > it. In case you don't know, you can access the BIOS atboot. Look for
    > the prompt to get into setup. Depending on the BIOS, it's usually the
    > DEL key, F1, F2, or something to that extent. Move around until you
    > find thebootorder option. Don't change anything else unless you are
    > familiar with how the changes effect your system.
    >
    > I would suggest abootorder of Floppy first, if you have a floppydrive, then CD ROM, then harddrive. If you don't have a Floppydrive, move CD ROM to the top, then harddriveand if available,USB
    > last. IfUSBnot available, choose something safe like CD ROM again.
    >
    > If after you change thebootorder and it still doesn't fix your
    > problem, I'd just unplug it tobooteach time. You don't say what
    > kind ofUSBdriveyou have, but I know Firelite casuses this problem
    > no matter whatbootorder is chosen.
    >
    > Hope this helps.


    I have the same problem with an external usb hard disk attached as the
    OP. I am in the process of repartitioning it for reiserfs (linux) -
    is there any value is making a very small primary partition on the
    external hard disk and formatting it as FAT and leaving it empty?
    Will that solve the problem or make it worse?

    I really want to leave the drive attached all the time as I often
    access the machine remotely, rebuild kernels, and reboot so I'm not
    normally there to remove the drive. Not the end of the world, I know,
    but I do like the kit I own to do whatever I want it to do =)

    Cheers,
    Andy
     
    trojanfoe, Oct 17, 2007
    #5
  6. MikeM

    trojanfoe Guest

    On 17 Oct, 20:04, trojanfoe <> wrote:
    > On 11 Oct, 00:40, wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Oct 10, 10:40 pm, MikeM <> wrote:

    >
    > > > Since I plugged in a MyBook external HDD when the computer is rebooted
    > > > it freezes at the BIOS screen. If I disconnect the external HDD and
    > > > reboot it boots ok. Is it likely to be a problem with the HDD or a
    > > > compatibility problem?
    > > > Thanks
    > > > Mike

    >
    > > Sounds like the BIOS is looking for a bootableUSBdevice BEFORE it
    > > looks at a bootable harddrive. Since yourUSBprobably doesn't have
    > > an OS on it, it just freezes because the system doesn't know what to
    > > do.

    >
    > > You can try to change thebootorder in the BIOS and see if that fixes
    > > it. In case you don't know, you can access the BIOS atboot. Look for
    > > the prompt to get into setup. Depending on the BIOS, it's usually the
    > > DEL key, F1, F2, or something to that extent. Move around until you
    > > find thebootorder option. Don't change anything else unless you are
    > > familiar with how the changes effect your system.

    >
    > > I would suggest abootorder of Floppy first, if you have a floppydrive, then CD ROM, then harddrive. If you don't have a Floppydrive, move CD ROM to the top, then harddriveand if available,USB
    > > last. IfUSBnot available, choose something safe like CD ROM again.

    >
    > > If after you change thebootorder and it still doesn't fix your
    > > problem, I'd just unplug it tobooteach time. You don't say what
    > > kind ofUSBdriveyou have, but I know Firelite casuses this problem
    > > no matter whatbootorder is chosen.

    >
    > > Hope this helps.

    >
    > I have the same problem with an external usb hard disk attached as the
    > OP. I am in the process of repartitioning it for reiserfs (linux) -
    > is there any value is making a very small primary partition on the
    > external hard disk and formatting it as FAT and leaving it empty?
    > Will that solve the problem or make it worse?
    >
    > I really want to leave the drive attached all the time as I often
    > access the machine remotely, rebuild kernels, and reboot so I'm not
    > normally there to remove the drive. Not the end of the world, I know,
    > but I do like the kit I own to do whatever I want it to do =)
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Andy- Hide quoted text -
    >
    > - Show quoted text -


    Just to answer my own question; yes it works. I was unable to
    convince the BIOS to not look at the USB drive so I changed the first
    partition on the USB drive from a ext3 filesystem to a vfat filesystem
    and left it empty. The PC now boots with the USB drive connected.
    Much joy =)

    Andy
     
    trojanfoe, Oct 19, 2007
    #6
  7. MikeM

    Guest

    On Oct 11, 1:48 am, wrote:
    > On Oct 10, 4:27 pm, "philo" <> wrote:
    >
    > > "MikeM" <> wrote in message

    >
    > >news:...

    >
    > > > Since I plugged in a MyBook external HDD when the computer is rebooted
    > > > it freezes at the BIOS screen. If I disconnect the external HDD and
    > > > reboot it boots ok. Is it likely to be a problem with the HDD or a
    > > > compatibility problem?
    > > > Thanks
    > > > Mike

    >
    > > Truth is I've seen that on quite a few machines even though the machine
    > > itself was OK
    > > and the external drive was OK.
    > > The solution was simply not to boot up with the device attached!

    >
    > Certain older Bios' are set to boot from a USB device by default. If a
    > USB device is plugged in then it looks to that drive for a Boot file.
    > If it doesn't find one, it just hangs, instead of going to the next
    > boot device (i.e. HDD, CD-Rom etc) This is not an incomparability or
    > problem with the USB drive but just an issue with the Bios, You might
    > be able to change the boot preference to not boot from "Other Devices"
    > or "USB Device" or you could just unplug the USB cable from the
    > computer end when booting the computer.


    holy mackeral, that might explain it!

    I have seen a number of machines " crash " at the BIOS when any USB
    device is plugged in. (prob USB mouse and keyb too. I saw it with a
    printer and with a scanner)

    But it didn`t give the error that it cannot find a bootable device. It
    just crashed at the BIOS.

    So maybe that does not explain it.
     
    , Oct 21, 2007
    #7
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