Boot problem/question

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Joe J., Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    I purchased a 300G USB drive. After hibernating, if I don't disconnect the
    USB, the computer won't boot. Once I reboot, it sits there with a flashing
    cursor in the top left corner. My boot options are set to this, in this
    Onboard or USB CD-Rom
    Onboard or USB Floppy
    Onboard SATA.
    USB Device not present. I tried toggling between on and off for this and
    leaving it off but it still hangs on the boot-up.

    Any thoughts because it's a pain to have to keep plugging and unplugging the
    USB. The tower sits on the floor and the USB connector is at the bottom of
    the tower.
    Joe J., Dec 16, 2009
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  2. Joe J.

    JD Guest

    Hi Joe

    Does your PC have the same issue when you do a standard shutdown and
    restart?, I've sen some USB devices that cause the POST to hang, for
    instance I had the same issue with a Razer Copperhead USB mouse, to fix
    it I had to flash my Board with the latest Firmware (BIOS)

    Check whether or not your PC does the same thing on a normal shutdown if
    it does, try Disabling Boot from other devices, also check your
    Motherboard manufacturer's website for an update (WARNING flashing your
    mainboard can be hazardous for its health, if you do it wrong!!)

    Its also helpful to know the make of your USB device, type of mainboard
    and the operating system.

    JD, Dec 16, 2009
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  3. You need to change the boot priority to boot from the HDD first, or the CD
    first and the HDD second. If these sources are not bootable, then look to
    the USB. You do not need the floppy drive in the mix at all because as a
    practical matter, there is no such thing as a bootable floppy anymore. In
    theory, there could be a few people out there running a very old OS that can
    boot from a floppy, but if you have a machine that supports a SATA drive,
    then booting from a floop isn't realisticaly going to happen.

    First Boot -- CD
    Second Boot -- HDD
    Third Boot -- USB

    If the USB is a boot device ahead of the HDD, but hasn't got a boot sector,
    then the machine will hang looking for something it will never be able to
    find. I'm not certain, but if the CD is not bootable and is in front of the
    HDD, you might have trouble waking the machine from Hibernation too -- if
    the CD is occupied but the disc is not bootable. You can eject the CD tray
    if the machine is trying to boot from it, and then it will go to the HDD for
    boot information.

    My machine is set to boot in the following order, CD, HDD, USB. You can drop
    the USB device from the boot order if you haven't got any bootable USB
    devices -- which covers the majority of the populatiion. The vast majority
    of users will only boot to the HDD, unless the HDD goes into failure mode.
    If this happens, we will boot to a CD so that we can make repairs to the OS.
    It is a specialty user that will boot to a USB drive.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 16, 2009
  4. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    My USB is not enabled on boot. I don't see how having the floppy in the
    sequence would make a difference since there is no disk in it.

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  5. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    Tried a full shutdown and get the same thing, it hangs.
    USB is a Simpletech 320G
    Where would I find disable boot from other devices? It's not an option in
    the boot sequence language.
    It's a Dell 4700, running XP. Bios is AO5 I have no idea where to find
    type of mainboard.

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  6. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    One more thing, I bought a pair of these and have the other installed on a
    Dell 8300, which is a year older and it works fine keeping it plugged in and

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  7. It probably doesn't make a difference having the floppy in the mix, but
    there's no benefit of having it there.

    But the USB is there, but it's not bootable, you need to move it down the
    list so the bootable devices come first. MY BAD, I did not read that

    You said, "onboard or USB <device>" where you listed two different USB
    devices that are not the USB external drive, but are USB drives --
    potentially. If you have an option for the two drives to be onboard only,
    then you should see if selecting that option (onboard only) fixes the

    We had a discussion a few days ago about a guy that had USB external drives
    that he didn't want to unplug because the cable was in the back of the tower
    and difficult to get to. My suggestion was to leave the cable in the back of
    the PC and unplug it from the external drive when not in use.

    I can't help but think you could do this also.

    My wife uses an external 500G Maxtor that has it's own power supply, and she
    leaves it plugged in all of the time and never has a problem with the boot
    sequence or the wake-up sequence that comes from moving the mouse or hitting
    the keyboard. She also has a FreeAgent (250G Seagate drive) that runs off of
    the USB power. I don't recall her complaining that it causes her any
    problems with coming out of hibernation or boot problems.

    From what you've said here, I think you have USB included in the boot order
    ahead of the actual bootable device, and this is causing you problems
    because the USB drive is present but not a bootable device. My wife runs,
    more or less, the same stuff you are running, but does not have the trouble
    you are having. She's using XP Pro, SP3, and has a pretty new motherboard
    that allows USB to boot. I set that option off or put it after the HDD so it
    doesn't get in the way.

    The Mrs. uses a USB extension cord from the back of her machine to her
    desktop, then plugs in the device she wants -- camera, external drive, iPod,
    etc. -- when she wants them. She does not have to pull her machine out to
    unplug anything from the back because she moved one of the ports from the
    back of the PC up to her desk. The machine doesn't care that the cord is
    connected at the back if the load on the other end of the cable is taken
    away then the port is unused and the machine is happy. A friend of mine
    bought a 7-port USB hub last week. She plugs it into her laptop that she
    uses as a desktop machine -- external monitor and keyboard -- that she can
    separate from everything and take to school. The hub lets her plug her stuff
    into the laptop at a single port, which makes disconnecting the laptop quick
    and easy.

    It sounds as if you could use such a device so that your USB devices can be
    added and taken away more easily than you can do this now.

    The hub my friend bought has it's own power supply so the power draw on the
    machine isn't an issue.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 17, 2009
  8. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    There is no way to remove the USB from the boot sequence. My two options
    are to enable it, or disable it. It is disabled and fourth in the sequence
    list. The list is numbered. Items 1-3 are the devices I listed. If I
    enable the USB it is automatically assigned #4 and becomes 4th in the boot
    sequence. If I disable it, the assigned number goes away but it still
    remains in the list. I can move the devices up and down in the list and the
    numbers change accordingly. If I disable it and also move it up in the
    list, the list numbering just skips it.

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  9. Then you have to remove the USB device that the machine is finding.

    The external drive is not the problem. The machine is looking to it for
    bootable information that does not exist. You have to either make the
    machine stop looking, or remove what it finds so that it looks elsewhere for
    what it needs.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 17, 2009
  10. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    There are no other USB devices.

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  11. The machine is looking to the USB drive for bootable information. You must
    physically remove that drive, or prevent the machine from looking for it.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 17, 2009
  12. Joe J.

    Paul Guest

    This is just a curiosity question. Does the external USB happen to
    have the boot flag set on a data only partition ?

    You can use this tool, to check the partition table on your drives.
    I think it works on USB drives, so while you're in Windows, run
    this and see whether the boot flag is set. Maybe the BIOS is
    "more interested", if it checks the partition and finds a
    boot flag.

    PTEDIT32 for Windows

    PTEDIT32 screenshot

    Paul, Dec 17, 2009
  13. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    Were getting a bit over my head now but running PTEDIT it shows
    Type Boot
    1. 07 00
    2. 00 00
    3. 00 00
    4. 00 00

    The drive is not partitioned.

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  14. Joe J.

    JD Guest

    Hi again Joe

    Did a quick search on the dell website there is a BIOS update for your
    computer, Dimension 4700 and on the info it does mention improved USB

    You mentioned that your older computer does not have the same problem,
    its one of those strange hardware configuration things I suspect, with
    the example I gave The usb mouse; it worked fine on every other computer
    except my main machine, which was a bios issue.

    if you decide to upgrade your BIOS read the documentation properly
    before you start, as you can turn your pc into a brick if you do it wrong.

    JD, Dec 17, 2009
  15. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    Thank you very much JD!!

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  16. Joe J.

    Joe J. Guest

    Big shout out to JD! Did the Bios update and everything is now working.

    Joe J., Dec 17, 2009
  17. Joe J.

    JD Guest

    No Problem.

    JD, Dec 17, 2009
  18. Joe J.

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