External HDD and windows startup hang

Posted on 2007-03-22
Last Modified: 2008-10-05
I am using an external Western Digital HDD with my laptop. My problem is that when I boot my computer(restart/power on) while the HDD is connected and on, the windows does not come up. It hangs in the step of "Windows is startingup". So everytime, I need to disconnect the cable, turn on my computer and then connect it when windows has loaded completely and I am logged in.

Any ideas on what the cause of the problem is and how to fix it?


P.S I tried it on another computer and it worked quite fine.

Question by:supernova58
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Expert Comment

ID: 18770928
Hi! Check the USB/Firewire drivers (depending on the interface of the disk) on your system and try updating them if they are old.
Do you have several units on the same usb root hub? (In device manager, if you right click the usb root hubs under universal serial bus controllers, there is a tab named power where you can check power consumption. The total power available per port is 500ma so if you for instance have daisy chained several devices that gets power from the usb port you could potentially get into trouble. Usually power problems only results in one or more units failing, not a complete system hang.

Expert Comment

ID: 18770957
First I would suggest checking the laptop manufacturers website for bios and usb drivers updates. It could be a known issue with your laptop. Do you have a thumb drive or other usb peripheral that you can plug in instead of the hdd? If so, try that and see if the problem persists. If not check western digital's website for drivers &/or a possible fix.

Good luck

Author Comment

ID: 18776736
The only USB device connected is my mouse. Also I am not sure if the power consumption could be the problem as it works quite well when I connect it after the windows has come up and everything works fine.
I thought maybe there is something wrong with mounting the drive , i.e related to hdd like partition format and etc.
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Author Comment

ID: 18776749

Under universal serial bus controllers I have these versions installed :

USB root hub is 5.1.2600.2180  (7/1/2001)
Usb mass storage : 5.1.2600.0 (7/1/2001)
Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 family) USB universal serial host controller xxxx :  (5/23/2005)

any ideas?
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 18778340
i would check in the bios if it does not want to boot from usb (in boot priority).
if still problems, you should know some (older) boards do not boot with usb device connected

Expert Comment

ID: 18778733
What is the content on the external HDD?

Go into bios when your external HDD is connected and check you boot-up drives order.

I've had this problem with  HDD's that "look" like real disks to the bios. You need to force the HDD to be 1st when the ext-HDD is connected and shows up in the boot order list...

Good luck

Author Comment

ID: 18778741
I have checked the boot order in Bios. Also actually I flashed the bios with the latest version two days ago. But still have the problem. My laptop model is Toshiba A105-S4014, if any one is familiar with that.


Expert Comment

ID: 18779868
Do you have a windows partition on the external drive? Do you have sonic DLA installed? I found this artiticle on toshibas page, it says that only the tecra models are affected but who knows?

Accepted Solution

groetting earned 125 total points
ID: 18779913
Here is another article regarding the same problem on alot of other models,. yours is not mentioned but my guess is that one of the last two articles will solve your problem,. (remove sonic dla if you dont use it)

Author Comment

ID: 18780337
Wow, thanks man , that was it! I uninstalled Sonic DLA and it is quite fine now.

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