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  • Doesn’t like external FAT32 HDD

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Windows 10 version 2004 – May 2020 Update Doesn’t like external FAT32 HDD

    Viewing 9 reply threads
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      • #2335546
        DaveH52
        AskWoody Plus

        I have a FAT32 HDD that I occasionally use to transfer files between machines. I left it plugged in to a USB2 port and rebooted my computer. Unfortunately it never booted. I unplugged the drive, and tried again and it booted. So I went into the BIOS/EUFI and disabled boot from everything except the system HDD. Re-Booted normally. I reconnected the FAT32 drive and rebooted, but it didn’t boot – again. Other USB drives don’t have an issue, but they’re NTFS drives. I reformatted the FAT32 drive to NTFS and it boots just fine.

        What is it about USB FAT32 HDDs that cause Windoze to not boot?

      • #2335661
        powerbiz
        AskWoody MVP

        Is it possible that you have your BIOS set to boot from USB before booting from the hard drive?

        Boon Tee
        PowerBiz Solutions

      • #2335679
        DaveH52
        AskWoody Plus

        BIOS is set to ignore everything except the HDD. Ignore USB, Ignore optical drive, ignore LAN boot.

        There’s something about having a USB external HDD formatted as FAT32 connected that messes things up. The same drive formatted as NTFS is fine.

      • #2335680
        powerbiz
        AskWoody MVP

        Have you tried this with another USB HDD, or just the one you mentioned?

        What about USB flash drives plugged in (which are usually formatted as FAT32)?

        From an old thread, https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-hardware/cant-boot-with-external-hard-drive-connected/4aadad52-6519-4c1c-89a4-a1d88c7ed84b?messageId=a4dd8c4c-1809-4e92-a583-79de9ddf003a&page=2

        • Method 4 – Delete Hidden Files
        • Method 5 – Format External HD

        Boon Tee
        PowerBiz Solutions

      • #2335753
        DaveH52
        AskWoody Plus

        That link you provided describes my problem accurately, except I have a Dell Optiplex 9010 with the latest BIOS A30.

        Now that you mention it, yes it also happens with a flash drive if it’s not formatted as NTFS, although I haven’t used one for a while. NTFS destroys any hope of true portability.

      • #2335780
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        USB devices preventing boot is an old problem I suspect is just down to bad USB design. All you can do is remove the device to boot or replace the problematic device.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2336228
        EP
        AskWoody_MVP

        what kind of external FAT32 HDD drive do you have, DaveH52?

      • #2336240
        DaveH52
        AskWoody Plus

        It was a WD 6T drive, but now it’s NTFS and works normally.

      • #2336339
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Your PC was reading the disk and being confused by it.
        Change back to FAT32 format to see if it’s still an issue. If not, the disk may have been created to be bootable last time.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2336376
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        USB devices preventing boot is an old problem I suspect is just down to bad USB design.

        Or otherwise broken USB parts.

        I’ve got one USB mouse that seems to prevent a sizable percentage of computers from booting if it’s attached… and causes crashes and the like in others.

        To be more specific, it’s in my electronics disposal bin, which is currently about half full.

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