System won't boot with Ext HDDs connected - started in January

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  1. Posts : 79
    Windows 10

    System won't boot with Ext HDDs connected - started in January

    For as long as I can remember getting my hands on External HDDs Ive had them connected as media drives (movies, music, images, etc.). Ive never had to disconnect them, whether I wanted to put the PC to sleep and wake up, turn it off and back on, restart, or an update was included in any of those processes.

    Well suddenly, back in January, my system freezes at the processor/motherboard screen (see attached) when it's restarted or turned off then on (Sleep and wake are fine), when External HDDs are connected. I don't even have enough time to access the bios or boot list. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but Microsoft pushes it's updates whether I want it or not, and my PC is in an inconvenient spot. I have two HDDs connected, and I've tried it with either of them connected by themselves, alternating USB ports, it's the same regardless.

    The system/PC-Build has been the same for years. I don't believe I did any firmware updates to the motherboard or processor during that time.

    Does anyone have any Ideas on this issue?

    System won't boot with Ext HDDs connected - started in January-20190830_080321.jpg
    Last edited by varxtis; 18 Sep 2019 at 15:22.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 6,977
    windows 10

    It could be BIOS battery gone so it's not sure what to boot or is the external drive set as active?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 79
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    @Samuria - I appreciate any suggestions, but wouldn't a dead/half-dead battery affect other system processes?
    What would setting the Ext HDD to active do? how do I do that?
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 39,996
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    1) There are log collectors used in another forum room.
    Please run each V2 and DM and upload results into this thread:
    BSOD - Posting Instructions

    2) Check to see whether the problem is with both cold and warm boots:
    administrative command prompt:
    shutdown /s versus shutdown /r

    3) Open the BIOS > post an image of the BIOS boot order

    4) Test the external HD:

    Run HD Tune (free version) (all drives)
    HD Tune website
    Post images into the thread for results on these tabs:
    a) Health
    b) Benchmark
    c) Full error scan

    Run Sea Tools for Windows
    long generic test
    Post an image of the test result into the thread
    SeaTools for Windows |

    How to use SeaTools for Windows | Seagate Support US

    5) Open administrative command prompt and type or copy and paste:
    6) bcdedit /enum all
    7) sfc /scannow
    8) dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
    9) dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
    10) sfc /scannow
    11) chkdsk /scan

    12) When these have completed > right click on the top bar or title bar of the administrative command prompt box > left click on edit then select all > right click on the top bar again > left click on edit then copy > paste into the thread
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 3,865
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10

    What would setting the Ext HDD to active do?
    In the case of legacy (CSM - MBR) support the Bios would see the drive as a Boot Drive..
    Same if at one point you cloned the drive.. Due to Matching GUID's
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 6,977
    windows 10

    The bios battery dead would only effect the bios setting ie what to boot from speed hardware etc
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 7,127
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Run bcdedit from an admin command prompt to confirm your boot drive is C: If so then use MiniTool Partition Wizard to check the partitions on external drives. Delete any active partitions which are active to inactive since having multiple active partitions can confuse the boot process.
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 79
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    So sry for late response all. Will work on getting the requested info/logs first thing tomorrow. Thank you all for your feedback and support!!
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 11,210
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Samuria said:
    The bios battery dead would only effect the bios setting ie what to boot from speed hardware etc

    Hi there

    Only partially true -- the RTC (Real time clock) would fail and other processes dependent on that could behave unpredictably. If the battery is dead an easy way is to check the time / date in the Bios at boot (no good doing that test after boot if Windows is using a real time clock setting from the Internet).

    However this should in no way effect the access or lack of access to HDD's at boot.
    Depending though on the USB3 driver there have been problems known where people have had to remove an external device to get the computer to boot -- check that the USB 3 driver is correct and current.

    If it's genuinely a W10 problem see if you can find a W7 / W8 / W8.1 iso somewhere and see if computer will boot with the device plugged in -- you don't need to INSTALL --just test the boot process.

    Try also the stand alone version of Macrium and see if it detects the USB device. If computer fails to boot with these systems then either device is faulty, port is faulty or mobo is broken.

    Note also some external HDD's need a powered USB port or a powered hub to operate and will cause a problem at boot if there's no power to the device.

      My Computer

  10. Posts : 4,091
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu

    Is your Win 10 installed as UEFI on a GPT disk?

    As your External HDDs are only for data they shouldn't be set as active (boot able).
    Open Disk Management (C:\Windows\System32\diskmgmt.msc) and look if one of those External HDDs is set as active.
    If you have one, set it as non active.
      My Computers


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