Windows 10: can not boot with extra hdds connected ?

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  1. Posts : 117
    Win 10 Pro 64bit - Build
       06 Nov 2017 #1

    can not boot with extra hdds connected ?

    My system has been stable for years.....but recently - with no hardware changes - my system will not boot with certain SSDs HDDs attached inside the box. What happens is startup freezes at press F2 or Del to enter bios and boot device error red led light blinking on the board

    Have three drives now that if attached...will cause above error...and inability to boot to Windows 10....two of them are internal - one ssd and one ide - and one external USB drive.

    If I unplug these internal/external system boots but can not obviously access any of these drives ?

    Can I unplug these drives and then replug them in after successful boot...I guess this would be a 'hot' connection of the system power lines to the various drive(s) once windows loads and starts

    Hard to believe that all three of these drive failed at the same time ?

    All three drives pass both Windows Seatools tests and boot to dos Seatools tests ??

    Any ideas....have lots and lots of data files on these auxiliary drives I would hate to loose if possible to solve this

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,733
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       06 Nov 2017 #2

    Hi Tim.

    When you enter your bios what is the boot order or priority. Please confirm it is the order you want. If BIOS is forgetting then time for a new coin battery, usually a 2032.

    Rather than hot connecting, place your device in sleep and then connect. If the drives are find then the data should be fine.

    Before doing this please confirm you don't have any raids set up with these drives.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    07 Nov 2017 #3

    Install MiniTool Partition Wizard Free to review the partitions on those drives. Look for any partitions marked active on those drives and set them to inactive. Having other active partitions in addition to the main one needed on your system drive can cause boot problems.

    You'll need a bootable Partition Wizard disk if you can't boot your PC. It's hard to find the free version but I located it here
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 117
    Win 10 Pro 64bit - Build
    Thread Starter
       09 Nov 2017 #4

    Thanks guys...noticed one important quirk....I added a new external dvd/usb 3.0 drive recently...plugged into a usb 3 port. Have discovered if I boot with that usb external attached...I either can't get past the del/F2 screen....or I get a total black screen when/if Win 10 loads

    Seems if External usb is boot or black screen boot...if I unplug the drive prior to startup...then every thing seems to work fine ( drive is supposed to be 'hot swap between USB3 and USB2 slot' compliant )

    (USB drive tho doesn't appear in bios screen at boot as an option other 2nd internal DVD "Sata" does)

    Any ideas on why the usb drive can not be plugged into a usb 3 port (tried various ports both 3 and 2 usb versions) if starting from a cold start or even restart/reboot from a working session ?

    Have Minitool Partition and will check in further on that (previous replay) later this week

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,733
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       09 Nov 2017 #5

    Could be just as Steve C says with a mix of my suggestion to check boot order.

    Your boot priority is set to look at USB ports first and it sees a partition marked active.

    When you got this drive did you clone something on to it. Did it come with special software for recovery?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 117
    Win 10 Pro 64bit - Build
    Thread Starter
       13 Nov 2017 #6

    OK guys....things back to normal and running fine.....did a little more searching and found info on bios settings/USB issues
    Apparently similar issues appear on systems with any usb external device and bios boot settings. Went into my bios and found advanced USB settings...not sure exactly what I changed but after removing any usb devices from boot settings or boot order...everything works fine again. Apparently this bios gets confused or looks for boot systems on all drives and for some reason it froze when it found the usb external drive connected but not having any boot settings ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,733
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       13 Nov 2017 #7


    It would be worth it to go back into BIOS and note settings. This way if you have to reset BIOS to fix a different issue, (maybe even a dead CMOS battery) you won't be in this jam.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Posts : 117
    Win 10 Pro 64bit - Build
    Thread Starter
       13 Nov 2017 #8

    Well guys this really had me going....solved the problem of the external dvd player freezeing my system at the bios screen - issue was apparently that with default bios settings....the system looked at both the boot ssd drive...and also the attached usb drive/port that was causing the problems. Changed a few settings in bios to NOT look at any usb boot devices and voila...system now boots fine with usb DVD drive plugged into Sata 3 port on back of box. Now I have just one last older Sata internal HDD that is causing the same problem (never use to). If I boot with this older prior issue HDD, system freezes at Press F2/Delete to enter bios. If I detache the power to this one drive....system boots bios screen freeze. If I reconnect the power cable to the drive after successful boot...system and drive are fine ?What would cause this one sata HDD drive to freeze the boot process (like the USB external drive)...but when disconnected and then reconnected, to work flawlessly when reconnected after system boot up past the F2/Delete screen ? Had this drive for a couple years and no previous issues like this with this or any of the HDDs in box ?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 9,733
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       14 Nov 2017 #9

    Could you please enter your BIOS and look at the boot order. Is your primary boot disk the first one in the list?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Posts : 117
    Win 10 Pro 64bit - Build
    Thread Starter
       14 Nov 2017 #10

    Thanks Ken...not at my home system now but the only drive listed in bios boot is the main Sara ssd...cleared all other drives during this process...but u reminded me to reactivate the DVD drive....Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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