Can't boot w/eSATA drive plugged in

April 15, 2009 at 11:46:49
Specs: Windows XP SP3
New Computer with:
Intel e8500 core 2 duo 3.16ghz, 4gb ram, Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R mobo, ATI Radeon HD 4350 512mb video, WD 640gb SATA drive (32mb cache), external 320gb Samsung SATA drive in Rocketfish enclosure with eSATA connection.

Everything was working fine until I plugged in the external drive and tried to reboot. Nothing. System hangs and reboots over and over, but never even gets close to starting Windows. However, if I turn off the power on the eSATA drive during boot up, then power it on after Windows is up and running, it works beautifully. I have the internal SATA drive set up on the "first chip" (the one with 6 SATA ports) and the eSATA connected to the southbridge chip (with two SATA connections). Both chips were configured for RAID during install with the appropriate drivers (even though I'm not currently using it that way). Any idea what setting I need to tweak in order to get the system to boot up with the external drive connected? Thanks.


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#1
April 15, 2009 at 11:59:01
Sounds like the BIOS is trying to boot to the external SATA drive. Either by itself or as part of a RAID array. Go through the BIOS settings and the boot order. Pay attention to which SATA hard drive is set as the first boot device.

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#2
April 15, 2009 at 16:38:30
Having 2 different brands and sizes makes it easy to determine which one you need to place first in the boot order.
Move the WD to first boot and save the settings.
You may have a drive priority menu and a boot priority menu, it's the boot priority menu you need to change.

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#3
April 15, 2009 at 18:07:51
Only one problem...
When the eSATA drive is connected and powered on, I can't access the BIOS! Not sure why, but it hangs up and reboots over and over before I get to that point. If I try powering up the drive while I'm in the BIOS, the system just freezes (but will work again the second I turn the drive off!)

Therefore, I can't change the boot order or the drive priority because there's no second drive to recognize! (I'm not sure why the boot priority would matter since the only option it gives me is "hard drive" whereas the drive priority gives me a list of the actual drives.

I guess I could try connecting the external drive to an SATA port on the "other" chip, but my understanding is that part of the purpose of having two separate chips is that it speeds things up. I like speed...

Any further suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I'm fairly stumped right now.


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Related Solutions

#4
April 15, 2009 at 19:16:24
If you have the drives set as a RAID array you should be able to see that in the BIOS settings without the eSATA drive connected.

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#5
April 15, 2009 at 20:30:48
There is no RAID array. But I figured out the problem...

The Rocketfish Drive enclosure has both eSATA and USB connections. If both are connected, the HDD uses the eSATA automatically, but there are two front USB ports and 2 card readers that use the USB connection. Turns out, when I have my Ipod Shuffle (2nd gen) plugged into the USB port, the system hangs. Weird. Not sure why that would be the case, but at least it's a simple solution. Hopefully I can plug it directly into a USB port on my tower without the same issue (Not a fan of having to plug stuff in every time I reboot!) At any rate, everything seems to be working just fine now.


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#6
April 16, 2009 at 05:36:22
Why are you using both eSATA and USB at the same time? It is an either or situation. eSATA is much faster than USB so use the eSATA by itself.

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