USB Hard Drive Crash

By mike ·
Whenever I plug in my external USB Hard drive Windows XP does the blue screen of death. Have tried the drive on another machine with same result. I am happy to format it but don't know how. Any suggestions?

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Formatting your USB Drive

by the_webninja In reply to USB Hard Drive Crash

Search out Articles on Tech Republic for this, they just did an Article last week about it.

Here's a link to one article:

I hope this helps,


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External USB Hard Drive

by the_webninja In reply to Formatting your USB Drive

I'm not sure if you are talking about a Flash Drive or a Spinning External USB Hard Drive, but I will throw an answer out here anyway just in case.

If you are going to format an External Hard Drive, your Main Hardrive must see the Drive as a Slave First.
If you can turn on your Computer and see the External USB Drive, then you can Format it.
Just click once to select it, then right Click and you should see FORMAT in the List.
Just Click on the Format and do a Full Format then reinstall whatever you had on there.
But if you are planning to install an Operating System on there you have to make that the Main Drive before you install the operating System on it, or you will confuse the Computer, because it will not understand which Drive you want to boot from. (Which could be the Source of your Crashes in the first Place) If you have a Main Drive on your Computer, you have to make sure that your External Drive is set up as your Slave.
If you run two Drives with XP on both Drives for example, it may run just fine for the first couple of Boots, then one of these days it is going to start detecting the XP on the other Drive and get all messed up. (I know, because I've done it. And that's what happens.)
If you are trying to install XP on a Slave Drive, during the Setup Xp Reboots then Tries to Setup on your Master instead of your Slave, this can also Screw things up.

You can run Two different Operating Systems on the Same PC, but you have to have a Software Program that can manage the Programs for you First.
This tells the Computer which one to ignore, and which one to use.

I Hope this answers your Question a little bit anyway.


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OK as you seem to have a repeatable problem

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to USB Hard Drive Crash

That stops XP running you'll need to try a different OS.

I would suggest that you get a copy of a Live Linux and Boot off the Optical Drive and allow the version of Linux that you have got to load itself and then when you enter the GUI plug in the USB Drive and see what if anything happens.

As I take it that External Drive will be either a FAT 32 or NTFS Partition I would suggest Knoppix for this as it can read Window drives/partitions. If this works all you need do is wipe the contents off the USB Drive and then shut down remove the Live Linux CD and allow the system to start normally.

If you don't have a copy of Knoppix you can download or buy one from here


Lets know how you get on.


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by ozi Eagle In reply to USB Hard Drive Crash


I'm assuming that your computer boots OK without the USB drive plugged in and then crashes when you plug in the USB drive. This also happens with another computer.

I suspect that you have a hardware problem with your USB drive/caddy.

A couple of points to check.

Does the USB caddy have external power or are you attempting to run it exclusively from the USB port? It won't as USB ports have limited current output, usually hard drives require more than a USB port can supply.

Try removing the HDD from the caddy and connect it directly to an IDE cable. If its a 2 1/2" drive you will need an adaptor. The default jumpering on 2 1/2" drives is as master (no jumpers).


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