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Old 02-13-2012, 01:51 AM   #1
ranpkri55
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Unhappy How to ensure USB HDD is detectable at boot time ?


Hello,

I have a Lenovo T61 with XP and Ubuntu as a WUBI install.
I just got a Seagate USB HDD, 500 GB, USB 3.0/2.0 and have installed Fedora on it, have made it bootable and I am able to boot from it at times. I have the USB Hdd as the first device to be checked for boot records in BIOS.

Problem is:
The USB hdd is not detected everytime I boot. ( if i keep my palm on the usb hdd, I can make out the disk isnt spinning.)
But say once in 10 times it does detect the USB hdd and then boots from it.

I want my laptop to detect the usb hdd whenever it is connected and boot from it.
How do I ensure this ?

Please help.
 
Old 02-13-2012, 02:26 AM   #2
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranpkri55 View Post
I just got a Seagate USB HDD, 500 GB, USB 3.0/2.0 and have installed Fedora on it, have made it bootable and I am able to boot from it at times. I have the USB Hdd as the first device to be checked for boot records in BIOS.

Problem is:
The USB hdd is not detected everytime I boot. ( if i keep my palm on the usb hdd, I can make out the disk isnt spinning.)
But say once in 10 times it does detect the USB hdd and then boots from it.
I see your point, though it's a bit strange.

Sure, an external HDD needs some seconds to spin up. But usually, the controller inside the external enclosure is ready in less than a second after power-up, and should report to the host: "Wait, I'm with you in like no time!" - However, your BIOS doesn't seem to wait long enough to detect the external drive reliably.

Check your BIOS settings: Some BIOSes have an option to enable a few seconds' delay before checking HDDs. This is primarily aimed at SCSI disks that perform a thourough self-test and/or need a lot of time for spinning up. But of course, the effect works for other disks as well.

If you don't have that option, all you can do is probably switch on your HDD a few seconds before the notebook, so that it has time to initialize and spin up until being requested by the host.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 02-13-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
jefro
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Sometimes when you power down a system even with the usb attached and a cold power up it fails. I suspect it is not really doing a full cold boot. To test it each time you power off, remove ac plug, press power button a few times, be sure usb is powered up and attached then boot system.
 
Old 02-13-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
ranpkri55
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@Doc CPU: I went through all my BIOS settings, could not find any mention of the 'boot delay' you mentioned.

And I did not understand how to try out your other suggestion.
You mention "switch on your HDD a few seconds before the notebook". -- How do I do this ? My USB Hdd is turned on when I turn on my laptop. How do I switch it on 'before' ?

@jefro: You say "press power button a few times, be sure usb is powered up and attached then boot system".
I did remove the power chord, let it idle for a 10-15 seconds and then when I press power button the first time, my laptop powers up. How do I ensure "usb is powered up and attached, then boot system" ?

Sometimes this cold reboot method seemed to work though.

Also found another method, involves pressing the PAUSE key at boot time. This effectively stalls the booting till I resume it by pressing SPACEBAR couple of times. But even this did not help since when the booting stalls, even the hdd is not started!

Issue still open guys
 
Old 02-14-2012, 06:11 AM   #5
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranpkri55 View Post
@Doc CPU: I went through all my BIOS settings, could not find any mention of the 'boot delay' you mentioned.
too bad - but it was worth looking anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranpkri55 View Post
And I did not understand how to try out your other suggestion.
You mention "switch on your HDD a few seconds before the notebook". -- How do I do this ? My USB Hdd is turned on when I turn on my laptop. How do I switch it on 'before' ?
Aargh, you've got one of these nasty bus-powered disks? Then I agree, you can't turn it on before the PC.
I'm running out of ideas then ...

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 02-14-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
jefro
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Then you need to remove the battery also (didn't know it was a laptop). I was trying to diag it using this cold power off idea.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 01:34 AM   #7
ranpkri55
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I tried that, with not much success. Its as if my laptop has a mind of its own! It detects maybe once in 5 times, and ignores the usb hdd otherwise (though the usb drive is spinning)

Solved it with another method.
My BIOS has a option to exclude devices from Boot. Excluded my HDD0 from the boot list. Now it has only the USB to boot from.

Only thing is, i need to keep entering BIOS everytime I want to use this USB drive; which I can live by now.

Thanks for your help guys.
 
Old 02-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
jefro
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Must be a powerup timing with the usb controller.
 
  


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