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Windows Xp Will Only Boot From USB cd drive

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 24, 2004 1:29:05 AM

Hello All, really strange problem occuring. It all started when i was trying to get windows xp to boot from a usb hard disk. I had no succes in doing so it would get pass the copying files point from the cd and the proceed to the reboot then i would get a blue screen.

After removing the usb drive and booting with my regular hard disk attached to the motherboard. I noticed that when I took the windows xp cd from my usb drive the hard disk would not boot into windows. I then put the windows xp cd back in to watch it boot all files and data were not harmed.

I then proceeded to load the bios defaults and to my suprise the bios would still access my usb cd drive even when not listed in the boot order (I do not have and IDE cd-rom drive only usb 2.0)

Then during the bios setup when the windows xp cd is not inside the drive a message will appear looking to boot from my onboard network card. I also recieve a message at the start up of the bios "Initializing MBA press ctrl+alt+B to enter" I googled searched this to find out that it is software from my onboard network card manufactured by 3com.

I tried the fix MBR after running a repair with the windows xp cd.

I put in another hard disk formated and installed windows xp removed the cd and the same problem occured. Which is the hard drive will not boot with out windows xp cd inside of the usb drive. And if there is no windows xp cd inside the usb drive it will try to boot from the network.

I also tried re-flashing the bio's with the same version still no go"I never had a problem with the bio's version"

I just dont know what the problem is. I also never recieved the "Initializing the MBA record press ctrl+alt+B"
thats when things got really weird. Please would like to go back to normal and start windows with out my cd in the drive. I also know my boot order is correct which is the default" Floppy/CD-Rom/Hard Disk 0 " its all ways been that way with no problem. Its like the bios will not boot from my hard disk.

Any Help Greatly appreciated

More about : windows boot usb drive

August 24, 2004 7:47:38 PM

What happens when you disconnect the USB drive and then reinstall Windows? I wonder. Not only that, but it's strange not to have a regular CD-ROM drive in a system. Oh, well.

I'd try that first. Put that HD without your files on it into the system, Boot from the XP CD and use it to repartition the drive and then reformat it. Then reinstall Windows and see what happens.

It's true that there are some old systems that don't support USB well and that may be complicating matters, but the above should result in a clean system.

If all else fails, you may be out one motherboard. Let us know what happens...


<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
August 25, 2004 2:07:56 PM

Thanx for the response. But I tried a clean install with windows xp. My motherboard is a Albatron KX600pro Phoenix Bios version 1.60 (latest) fairly new motherboard supports usb. If I unplug the usb cd drive It will then look to boot from the network or some type of 3com Network adapter message. So something happened when I hit control+alt+B its like software from 3com called MBA. I changed the settings inside the MBA and it had no affect. I thought I restored the settings back to the default but still no go.

I am going to try to format once again. But my bios is capable of using usb devices. I am out of ideas. But I dont think my motherboard is broken
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August 25, 2004 4:29:42 PM

Well, it's up to you, but the places to pint a finger at are limited. I can't think of anything in XP that will do what you describe and you say you have the BIOS set right, so it kind of leaves you with a hardware problem.

Have you tried plugging that drive into another system and booting?


<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
August 25, 2004 7:56:03 PM

Can u take the usb out of the boot order in the bios. Also, use a IDE CDrom to install XP not USB, even if you have to borrow one from a friend for a few mins :D  makes life easyier

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August 26, 2004 12:08:54 AM

Hey peartree thanx for you trouble shooting help. I guess the problem was the IDE cable I switched the IDE cable and the and it booted right into windows xp. I took the IDE cable that was causing trouble and plugged it into another machine and it caused problems with that systems bios really wierd. Nevertheless everything is working now from the bios to the booting of windows xp thanx for the help...
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