One of my customers purchased a Seagate Free Agent external USB hard
drive and has been using it to backup their valuable data. The only
problem is when the USB drive is plugged into the computer when the
computer is off, it stops the computer from booting. The system freezes
on the POST screen as its checking the USB connections. If you
disconnect the drive and reboot the computer, the system boots fine.
You can then attach the the external hard drive after the system has
finished the power on self test and the system will boot up with the
Of course the simple solution to this issue is
to just plug the drive into the computer after the system has fully
booted. However, many times you may forget the drive was plugged into
the computer and you restart Windows. Then the computer hangs again on
Is There a Way Around This Issue?
I would tend to jump to the
conclusion that there must be a firmware upgrade for the drive that
solves this particularly annoying issue. However, in this case, no such
fix exists. So what's the next best thing to do?
don't have any other USB devices that you want to boot the computer
from, and under normal circumstances you would not. Then you can remove
the ability to boot from USB in the BIOS Setup of the computer. If the
computer does not know it can boot from USB, it won't and the computer
will boot normally even if the drive is connected. Many times disabling
USB Legacy support in the BIOS will solve this problem with booting.
Where Can I Find This Option in My BIOS
there are a variety of BIOS's on the market, its difficult to tell you
exactly where you will find this option since it all depends on which
BIOS and version you have on your computer. However, in many cases look
for a Boot Order section that will list USB as an option. Simply don't
allow the USB in the boot order, CDROM, floppy, hard drive, etc. Just
dont allow the USB. In other cases, there might be a setting for
Onboard Devices with USB listed.
Change the setting in the
BIOS, reboot the computer and TEST EVERYTHING including the USB drive.
If everything works, great. If not, reboot and go back into the BIOS
and switch the option back again. In most cases, disallowing the
computer to boot from USB will solve the problem. However, it may
introduce another problem that you were not aware of at the time. In
these cases, having the drive unplugged upon booting would be the only
option to stop it from hanging the system on boot.
Hopefully, in your case, changing the BIOS setting will do the trick.