PC hangs at BIOS when USB HDD is attached

By rhodyste2 ·
My Dell Inspiron desktop is about 8 years old, and is equipped with Legacy (non-UEFI) BIOS. The o/s (Win10) is loaded on the internal HDD. I have a newly-acquired USB-attached external HDD that is used for backup purposes.

The problem is, my machine hangs at BIOS if I boot it with the external HDD attached. If I disconnect the external HDD, the machine boots normally.

I'm trying to determine root cause. That is, is the hang something to do specifically with my brand/model of external HDD? Or is this more to do with a limitation of Legacy BIOS?

To put it another way, because I run Legacy BIOS would I have the same kind of trouble with any brand of external HDD?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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Probably to do with the BIOS

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to PC hangs at BIOS when USB ...

And any type of External Drive will cause this issue. The correct way to deal with a external Backup Drive is to only have it connected when it is needed and to use the Safely Remove Option on the Bar near the Clock to remove the drive when it is not being used.

All External Drives are destroyed by Heat and Vibration even a Solid State Drive and leaving them constantly connected generates a lot of heat not to mention when the computer is shut down it may occur that a write is happening to the HDD as the system turns off corrupting he Partition Tables, Master Boot Record or whatever you wish to call it rendering all Data on the drive lost.

I remember a case where someone plugged a external drive into a Server that was left running 24/7 and when I touched the casing I got a 3rd Deg Burn the case was so hot. The drive was failing and took the server along for the trip meaning that no one in that Surgery could access Patient Records. Not sure how long that drive was plugged in or what it was there for but it did cause quite a few issues when I discovered it as it wasn’t supposed to be there. It also wasn’t actively cooled so the heat kept building up till it destroyed the drive.

If you must have any external drive constantly connected you have to use a Actively Cooled Case like the Antec MX1 where you buy the enclosure and fit a SATA Drive to it. Can be connected with either a USB or ESATA Lead and the fan in the bottom of the case draws air over the installed HDD and keeps it cool. Ideally you should have it connected by the ESATA Lead not the USB lead if you are leaving it running all of the time.

If you buy a pre-made external drive which are considerably cheaper you need to understand that these are Temporary Usage and never designed for Full Time Usage and any Data stored on them can at best be considered as Temporary as the drive is going to die very quickly and quite likely in the time it is used loose all of the Data on it several Times before the drive dies.

These type of cases also have a On Off Switch which allows you to leave the drive constantly connected but only working when it’s needed so Booting problems do not arise.

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Agree with prior post just additonal thought

by markp24 In reply to PC hangs at BIOS when USB ...


Also check you bios boot options, Make sure the USB devices are not selected as the first boot choice, ensure the HDD with the OS isyour first boot device.
Also you can check for a bios update.

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by Jordan Morris In reply to PC hangs at BIOS when USB ...

This happens with old machines but its not an issue is just mating of old and new tech if you dont want the hassle you can simply connect the HDD after booting up the machine. The other way is to update the bios but there us a risk of completely ruining your machine and then getting it fixed

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