cannot boot into Windows XP when a USB drive is connected to my computer

I assembled my own PC and since the day I had it, whenever there was a USB drive or external harddrive connected to the USB port (no matter which one, I've tried all 8 of them in fact) the computer will not go pass the BIOS screen. I have an ASUS motherboard. Any help or suggestions please? I've looked into BIOS and I didn't see anything related to that. My startup sequense are CD-ROM, then my internal hard drive.
vip2000Asked:
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
This is a fairly common issue => is a USB MSC (mass storage class) device is detected at boot time, the BIOS will "hang" attempting to boot from it if USB boot is enabled.

Disable USB boot in the BIOS ... look VERY carefully in the BIOS; there is almost certainly a setting related to this.  

If you can't find a USB boot setting, list everything you can find related to USB.
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SLFuquaCommented:
Have you tried updating the BIOS? Maybe something is corrupted. Otherwise, it sounds like a bad board.

Best,
sl
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vip2000Author Commented:
I'll do that when I get home, thanks.
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nobusCommented:
what mobo model do you have ?
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willcompConnect With a Mentor Commented:
garycase is most likely correct for a recent vintage motherboard.

I have seen some older motherboards that did not have any BIOS USB boot settings hang when a flash drive was installed. The flash drive apparently becomes the first "hard drive" recognized and PC tries to boot from it instead of hard disk.
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vip2000Author Commented:
I actually tried to plug in the USB while I'm turning on, the POST message shows the USB drive is found, but for some reason it gets stuck there and proceed no further. I waited for whole 5 minutes and nothing amazing happened.

However, for some reason I could not update my BIOS, in another word, we can also say that I don't know how to update it. I have the AFUDOS226 and ASUS P4C800E-Deluxe and dual system (XP SP2 & Vista 32bit installed) can I get some light plz?
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
The Asus web site has fairly detailed instructions on how to do this ... and it also has some strong caveats about being sure you use the right version of their update tool for your specific BIOS.

Note your current BIOS version ... and then read the Asus BIOS update notes carefully.   Be sure to click on "How to Upgrade Your BIOS" on their support page ... and then read the instructions for doing this with AFUDOS.   However, if you follow the instructions carefully, you can do this directly from the BIOS EZ-Flash utility without the need for AFUDOS => basically you simply rename the BIOS file to P4C800E.ROM, put it on a floppy, and then reboot ... pressing Alt-F2 to run EZ-Flash.   But READ the instructions carefully => a bad BIOS flash can make a motherboard useless.

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nobusCommented:
some more info : many Asus boards support usb sticks, and disks to put the bios file on - if they are formatted FAT (more trustworthy than a floppy)
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vip2000Author Commented:
finally got time to reply.

I made some changes to the BIOS (ended up I had the latest version without even updating my BIOS), toggled some changes and it worked mysteriously.......

well. the credit goes to whoever asked me to look carefully in BIOS and bios-related issue
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vip2000Author Commented:
This is one of the mysteries...... of computer science
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pcoatsCommented:
If you have a selection to either disable USB boot devices or can move the USB drive to a lower level than the desired boot device then make that selection.

If not then, In the BIOS see if you have the cabability to disable USB Legacy support.  With Legacy support the USB devices are active during the boot cycle and are seen as active drives.  To see that this the case, on the boot screen, if the USB drive shows as a drive then it will be considered for booting.  
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