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External HD Causes Win 7 Bootup To Hang

This is a discussion on External HD Causes Win 7 Bootup To Hang within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I just installed a new MyBook 3 Tb External HD for backups--but now my Windows 7 bootup stalls in consequence.


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Old 01-24-2020, 01:18 PM   #1
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I just installed a new MyBook 3 Tb External HD for backups--but now my Windows 7 bootup stalls in consequence.

It uses the ExFAT file system. My other HDs have NTFS.

When I unplug the MyBook, my system boots up normally.

When I plug in the MyBook after bootup, my OS recognizes it.

But when I examine the MyBook in Computer, it doesn't list the drive partitions,
just an install program for HD Discovery for Windows--which I installed--but had no effect on MyBook hanging up my bootup.

I boot up from an internal HD.

I also updated my USB Hub to a 3.0 version during all this.

My Specs:

OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, Service Pack 1, 64 bit
Processor: AMD FX(tm)-8350 Eight-Core Processor, AMD64 Family 21 Model 2 Stepping 0
Processor Count: 8
RAM: 16353 Mb
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, -1 Mb
Hard Drives: C: 255 GB (76 GB Free); D: 0 GB (0 GB Free); E: 48 GB (43 GB Free); F: 1784 GB (1234 GB Free); H: 289 GB (207 GB Free);
Motherboard: ASRock, 970A-G/3.1
Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials, Enabled and Updated
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:13 PM   #2
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Are you connecting it to the new hub, along with the other external drives? Is the new hub independently powered? Is the MyBook also independently powered? Try booting while the MyBook is the ONLY external drive connected directly to a rear USB port, then Try it while it's the ONLY one connected via the hub to a rear port. You're probably overloading the internal USB hub to which the drive is connected.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:19 AM   #3
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No other external drives are hooked to the hub, which is independently powered.

The MyBook is also independently powered.

My previous Hitachi external HD performed flawlessly for almost ten years, too.
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:42 AM   #4
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USB Mass Storage Devices like your External USB HDD have mixed results depending on the power the hub provides.
It's best to plug the Hub's power supply directly into the Wall Socket and not a power strip as this could vary the power. Also, plug the Hub's USB cable into the Back USB port not the front as the front ports are weaker.
If you can, plug the MyBook directly to the Back USB port of the computer and plug lower powered devices (ie) Mice, Keyboards, Printers etc into the Hub
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:35 AM   #5
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Thanks!

Good advice on using the PC's back USB port, not the front.

Unfortunately, only have one more USB port available (now for the USB hub) in the PC's back.

And all nearby wall sockets are taken, too.

And I returned the MyBook for a Seagate Expansion 3 TB External HD USB 3.0 (not set up yet).

I found too many horror stories about MyBooks stalling Windows bootups.

I never had any problems with my old USB hub; had it for ten years.
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:52 PM   #6
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Hubs diminish the power. USB Mass Storage Devices require extra power from the USB port. All low powered devices, Keyboards, Mice, Printers, any USB device that does not hold Mass Storage (ie) HDD, Flash Drive etc should be plugged into the Hub, or in the Front USB ports. Any other available ports should have your USB HDD plugged in to it.
Also, Though this defeats the purpose, if you have a USB 2.0 Port (black) Try putting the Hub into that. Many devices that are 3.0 still have a problem with 3.0 ports on a computer unless the Mass Storage Device is plugged Directly into the port.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:17 PM   #7
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Thanks!

Also, now I can't fault the MyBook for balking at bootup, when the newer External HDs use GUID, and problems DO arise with those HDs over 2 TB in Win 7.

But USB configurations are part of the puzzle, as you point out.

So, back to 1 TB Xternal HD. For that part of the puzzle(s).
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:34 PM   #8
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I hit that problem a few years ago on my Windows PC too. Got a new WD My Book, plugged it in, used it. Next day my PC would NOT boot? Disconnected the drive and it did.


Eventually found out the 'culprit'. Yes, it was the ExFat, combined with a Dell XPS. The Dell BIOS has to read the USB devices in case one is a bootable device. The BIOS can't read ExFat so it hung.


Re-format fixed the problem. Possible if I removed in the BIOS the need to read a USB drive so it could be booted it would have worked too, but that was something I didn't want to do.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:33 PM   #9
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It sounds like in BIOS your boot order is set to USB first. You simply need to set HDD0 or HDD1 first then USB so it doesn't try to boot from the external device. Let me know.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:58 AM   #10
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What @Jeebus said.. ^^
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeebus_ View Post
It sounds like in BIOS your boot order is set to USB first. You simply need to set HDD0 or HDD1 first then USB so it doesn't try to boot from the external device. Let me know.
This was a few years ago when the multi-use (PC and Mac) My Book's first came out. Before that WD stated if you wanted to use the drive on a Mac you had to re-format it.

I think I did try turning off USB boot but it might have also failed. The BIOS also reads ALL the drives connected to it?

Just checked my WDC forum entry, 3 years ago... and it appears that the Dell XPS BIOS reads all devices so they can determine if they are bootable for the F12 boot menu.

See thread here, https://community.wd.com/t/wd-my-boo...-boot/184511/5

It isn't clear if I disabled USB boot or not. But when connected to the PC it wouldn't boot.

Since the drive was NEW and basically empty (other than a few WDC files) I copied the data to another drive, formatted the USB drive and put the files back. No big deal. Note that was an OLD computer at the time, maybe 2 years old? Newer models might not have the same problem.

I just offered it up as a possible cause.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ispalten View Post
I think I did try turning off USB boot but it might have also failed. The BIOS also reads ALL the drives connected to it?
Yes if it's identified as drive/storage, then the device is automatically displayed in your Boot Menu.

Interesting, never knew ExFat specifically could cause a boot issue, although I usually format all External drives as NTFS, so never ran into this one..
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:11 AM   #13
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Did you check for BIOS updates? I bet Dell would have fixed that.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeebus_ View Post
Did you check for BIOS updates? I bet Dell would have fixed that.
Would not know... that PC is quite old now. There were BIOS updates, but I never went back and tried with newer BIOS versions.

Newest model I think is now a 9100, and it might work well with those drives? OP has W7, so I'd suspect if it was a Dell it could be the root cause of not booting.

In our situation, since there is another older Dell here, and it is a portable drive and does get moved to the other PC occasionally and even the Router too, it was just easier to format to NTFS and be done with it.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:10 PM   #15
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I purchased a Seagate Expansion 2 TB external HD--and it works fine with my Win 7 OS.

No issues at bootup. OS recognizes it.

File system is NTFS.
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