Windows 10: External harddisk won't boot anymore Solved

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
  1.    12 May 2018 #1

    External harddisk won't boot anymore


    I have an external harddrive with 2 partitions:

    • one for mass storage and backup (4 tb)
    • one for booting windows installations, macrium reflect and other media that needs to run from boot (8 gb)

    The bootable partition I reused for various tasks, everytime I needed to use bootable media, I deleted the old files (not format, just delete) and extracted the new boot media to the root folder, but it doesn't work anymore. It won't boot anymore, it goes straight into windows.

    I have no idea what I have done differently this time, but it bypasses boot on all my systems. I must have changed something, but I don't know what. How can I fix it?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,398
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       12 May 2018 #2

    How is the 4TB formatted, maybe NTFS? My year-old WDC 4TB came formatted as exFAT.

    The 8GB probably should be formatted as FAT32, at least that's what the MCT/Media Creation Tool does using an 8GB or larger USB thumb drive, wiping everything off during formatting.

    A possible issue in the booting to external drives is the BIOS usually doesn't directly support USB 3 ports/drives while it does have built-in support for USB 2. Maybe the very latest motherboard/BIOS has support for USB 3 but it's usually the drivers are not provided until the Operating System loads.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    13 May 2018 #3

    It was working yesterday, on multiple systems. Then I ran Macrium off the external hard drive (in Windows) and a bit later I found out that the disk didn't boot anymore. Then I did what I always do: delete all files and extract one of my backups of a previous bootable disk. But still, no booting. So then I reformatted the 4gb partition with FAT32 and tried again. But still nothing.

    I don't know is it of any help, but here is a picture of how it looks in the windows disk management. Disk 2 is the troublemaker.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	diskmgr.png 
Views:	60 
Size:	30.6 KB 
ID:	188527
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,839
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       13 May 2018 #4

    A simple reason for skipping a boot from external media like a usb is that Windows had Fast Startup turned on when you shut it down.

    Either turn it off, or when in Windows don't use Shut down, use Restart instead (which performs a full start up from cold).
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    13 May 2018 #5

    Nope not it. I have tried fastboot on and off, and restart and shutdown both. But it is all the same. Also F12 on boot, specifically pointing to the external hard drive to boot from, is still going straight to windows. The problem is the hard disk layout, not bios or windows.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,839
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       13 May 2018 #6

    OK, had to eliminate the possibility.

    Legacy bios or uefi? The Fat32 boot partition needs to be set as Active for a legacy boot. I note your Macrium (Q:) isn't active.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    13 May 2018 #7

    UEFI and I also just turned off secure boot, just to make sure.

    But I am telling you, it worked before, nothing on the laptops' config has changed, the only thing that could have changed is the hard disk.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    13 May 2018 #8

    I tried to mark Q as active, but in the disk manager the option is greyed out. And through the command line and diskpart says it is not possible and gives me the following message: "The ACTIVE command can only be used on fixed MBR disks"
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,839
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       13 May 2018 #9

    MightyMauz said: View Post
    ... it worked before, nothing on the laptops' config has changed, the only thing that could have changed is the hard disk.
    Then the finger of suspicion points to the files on the Fat32 partition. You said in the first post that...
    MightyMauz said: View Post
    ...I deleted the old files ... and extracted the new boot media to the root folder, but it doesn't work anymore.
    ...so logically the only thing that has just been changed are the files on the boot partition.

    As an experiment, lets see if it will boot from a usb recovery drive on a memory stick. If you don't have one, you can make one. Untick the option to include system files, they're not needed for this test.
    Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    If it boots from that, try copying all the files and folder from the recovery drive to your HDD's Fat32 partition. Can you boot from that?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,839
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       13 May 2018 #10

    MightyMauz said: View Post
    I tried to mark Q as active, but in the disk manager the option is greyed out...
    ...as it is for my external bootable HDD. That's normal in Disk Management.

    ...And through the command line and diskpart says it is not possible and gives me the following message: "The ACTIVE command can only be used on fixed MBR disks"
    ...that's odd. I've just changed mine using Diskpart's INACTIVE command, than back again with the ACTIVE command. Mine's only a 1TB drive though, so it's using a standard MBR layout. I'm not sure if that applies in the case of your 4TB one.

    I know that @NavyLCDR also uses a bootable external HDD, perhaps he has some ideas on what your problem is...
    Last edited by Bree; 13 May 2018 at 12:07.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Related Threads
Hi, I have this WD 3707a external HDD that I use as a third backup for my Synology NAS. In the NAS I use a feature called Hyper Backup to back up pictures to the WD HDD. Hyper Backup and the NAS can easily read the contents of the NAS, however...
Win 10 won't boot up anymore in Backup and Restore
I used to have dual boot separate hard drives the win 10 on SSD and the Win 7 on a 500gb. Yesterday I started getting some freezing and when I looked at ctrl alt delete I saw Acresso Soft Manager front and center so I went in win 7 erased some files...
I've had both windows in all my computers since the beginning of w10. On this computer win7 was on B drive win10 was on C drive. It is one drive partioned in half Have all my docs, mail, pics, music on external drive. I was using them on both os....
Hello, my laptop just doesnt want to detect my external screen anymore, i used it just a few hours ago but it just doesnt detect it anymore. only thing happened was i disconnected the screen and by mistake chose pc screen only on the "project"...
My pc specs * asus z97-p motherboard * intel i7 4790 cpu * bequiet 630w psu * 8gig corsair vengeance ram * samsung 850evo 250gig ssd (win 7pro 64bit drive) * sandisk ultra II ssd 128gig ssd (win 10 drive) * 2x crucial 500gig bx100 ssd (data drives)...

Tags for this Thread

Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:52.
Find Us