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HP Server and USB Drive Boot Issue

Posted on 2013-01-20
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Last Modified: 2016-06-26
Hello.

I'm working with an HP Proliant DL160 G6.  It has an HP SAS RAID controller with two internal hard drives  - SAS 450GB mirrored.

It's running Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard and Exchange 2010.

Attached to the USB port is a Western Digital "My Book" 3TB drive.

The USB drive is configured as a backup drive for Backup Assist.

A backup is run each night as a Windows drive image backup with the Exchange Server option.

The issue I'm having is that when the machine reboots, it tries to boot from the USB.  when I go into the BIOS, I set the boot order as follows - Hard Drive, DVD/CD, USB, NIC.

If the USB drive is plugged in, the boot up will stop after all devices are scanned, then it stops with a black screen and a blinking cursor.

I tried to set the USB drive in different emulation modes in the BIOS, but that didn't help either.  The odd thing is that there two drives recognized during POST, the "My Book" and a "Western Digital SES" drive.

If I unplug the drive from the USB port (I tried all ports to no avail) it boots up just fine.

This situation makes it impossible to remotely manage the server and restart it after applying fixes.

Has anyone seen this odd behavior with HP DL 160 servers and the WD USB external drives?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

-Ted
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Question by:tedwill
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Expert Comment

by:JAN PAKULA
ID: 38799267
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Author Comment

by:tedwill
ID: 38799532
Thanks, but the article seems to refrence an internal 3TB drive.  The 3TB drive im working with is an external USB drive.
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by:pgm554
ID: 38799570
I have the same problem with an Intel branded motherboard.
Appears to be a bug in the BIOS.
My fix was to use a 3rd party USB card.

The SES is not your straightforward external drive either,in that it's got some emulation firmware that identifies it to the OS.
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Author Comment

by:tedwill
ID: 38799604
Ok. I'll try another brand drive with a lower capacity.
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Expert Comment

by:JAN PAKULA
ID: 38800035
@tedwill - that doesn't matter - it is still getting detected by same bios on boot (like internal hard drive - just connection is not sas but usb host)- have you tried bios update/ hard drive firmware update.
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fear-otaku earned 500 total points
ID: 38800270
Have you checked for BIOS updates for the server giving you the issue?
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by:JAN PAKULA
ID: 38800287
@fear-otaku please do not duplicate posts

by: janpakula  "have you tried bios update/ hard drive firmware update."
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38800288
In BIOS disable USB Boot. Then it should pass the USB and go directly to the internal drive in order to search for boot device.
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Author Comment

by:tedwill
ID: 38801076
I tried disabling USB boot and the problem persists.   I will try a BIOS update today.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38801315
Updating BIOS won't help. At least in my case it didn't.
You can try different USB disk. And the capacity is not important as well.
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 38801877
Looks like a firmware update for that drive is available that addresses issues with HP USB products.

http://support.wdc.com/download/notes/Win_Univ_FW_Updater_Release_Notes_v3.2.0.8B.pdf
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Author Comment

by:tedwill
ID: 38801975
I'll install that tonight when I can get to the server and let you know if it works.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tedwill
ID: 38824160
It turned out to be the BIOS.  I updated the firmware driver of the USB drive and that didn't solve the problem.  I updated the BIOS, set the boot order for the USB to be last (which didn't help), then I set the USB emulation to FDD and that did it.
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