Computer will not start when External USB hard drive is plugged in.

By rogers_kp ·
I have a BUFFALO external USB hard drive that I have used for over two years with no problems. I used it on my old laptop where there were no problems.

However, it would never work properly on my flatmate's computer... and now the same problem with my new PC. He has a Compaq Presario laptop and I have an HP PC. Here's the problem...

The Hard drive loads up fine when thecomputer is switched on... I have it plugged in and in the switched off mode. When Windows loads I can switch on and all is fine. However, if I forget to switch off and shut down the computer it also switches off (quite right) but when I switch the computer back on the computer does not get beyond the initial BIOS information screen, and the red and green lights on the HD are lit. I cannot get any further unless I switch off the HD and then the computer carries on as normal.

I have looked in the BIOS settings about boot orders, and the boot order is CD/DVD, then the internal HD.

My computer is Vista Home Basic and my flatmate's is XP home.

This is an annoying problem more than a life-death one!

Thanks for nay assistance.

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All Answers

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USB Power Issue

by maidens In reply to Computer will not start w ...

This is quite common and is caused by a the usb drive drawing to much power via the usb port. If you attach a usb 2.0 powered hub (a hub with it's own power supply) this will fix the problem.

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NOT a Power Issue

by alex.robar In reply to USB Power Issue

This is entirely incorrect. The PC is attempting to boot from the USB drive, even though your BIOS doesn't show you options for it. If it were a power issue, the PC wouldn't even show the POST screen at all. You can try to disable any options that reference other boot devices, such as "floppy drive seek" and "try other removable devices". Some motherboards simply will never boot with a USB drive plugged into the built in ports.

The way that my company has gotten around this (we've had certain servers that suffered a similar problem... Not something you would expect from a server mobo) is to install a PCI card that added 4 USB ports. The system will NOT try to boot from anything plugged into those ports, so you can leave the USB drive plugged in there without ever needing to shut it off.

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