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System won't boot with USB hub

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December 1, 2009 2:02:10 PM

I bought this USB hub (http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-DomeHub-ports-Weighted...), and connected it to my PC. I moved my mouse and external HDD (WD 1 TB MyBook) to the hub from the computer's USB ports.

I'm having a weird problem. My PC won't boot with the hub connected to the comptuer. If I disconnect the hub at the time of booting up, and then connect it after boot-up, everything works fine but with the hub plugged in, the system refuses to boot.

I've tried this with Win 7 64 bit, Win Vista 32 bit. The system won't even boot from with of the OS's setup discs with the hub plugged in.

Most of my system specs are in my signature. I did not have this problem before I had the USb hub (i.e. when the external HDD was connected directly to the system).

More about : system boot usb hub

a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2009 3:14:34 PM

I had a similar problem with one of my machines whenever I tried to boot up with a USB drive or iPod plugged in. Turned out the system was treating them as "bootable devices" and trying to do funny things like boot from the J: drive. Of course, since there was no operating system on them, the system would just churn around and drive itself crazy.

Hard to say why this would happen with the USB hub but not with the external HDD plugged directly into the computer ... except that in my experience, USB hubs can just do funny things sometimes. Most of the time it has to do with not recognizing devices properly, or power issues. I suppose if the external HDD is getting recognized as some generic device and the system is trying to boot from it by default, that could be causing the problem.

I'm assuming you don't want to boot from a USB device normally, so the easiest way to solve this is probably just to disable your system's USB boot capability in your BIOS. It may be listed as "Boot from USB" or "Boot from external device" depending on your motherboard ... but whichever it is, if it's set to "enable", try disabling it and see if that solves the problem. You may also want to check your boot device priority in the BIOS -- make sure Hard Drive is set to first, CD/DVD to second, and anything else either third or not at all.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2009 4:26:18 PM

I was about to say the same thing.

I had that happen when I had my sansa clip plugged in and I tried to boot. I was a bit surprised that it tried to boot from it, and it wouldn't be an issue, but instead of doing like a Optical drive does and seeing that nothings there and moving down the boot order (like it should do) it just freezes up when it notices there's nothing to use to boot on that device.
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December 1, 2009 6:20:37 PM

@capt_taco and false_dmitry: in my boot sequence, the last option reads 'External device'. I will try turning it off and checking once I get back from work. However, I'm not sure that will solve the problem since my computer hangs/freezes, after booting has started, indicating it found the right device to boot from. it gives me the 'Starting Windows' screen and then hangs there.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2009 6:29:35 PM

Well that changes things. That means it's an issue that windows has with the hub rather than just a bootup, pre-OS event. It's probably not following all the standard communication stuff that it should be doing.

Personally I wouldn't want to add the latency to a mouse by using a hub for that anyway.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2009 7:00:01 PM

xbonez said:
@capt_taco and false_dmitry: in my boot sequence, the last option reads 'External device'. I will try turning it off and checking once I get back from work. However, I'm not sure that will solve the problem since my computer hangs/freezes, after booting has started, indicating it found the right device to boot from. it gives me the 'Starting Windows' screen and then hangs there.


You're right in the respect that if it was actively trying to boot FROM a device with nothing resembling Windows on it, it ought not to even start loading. So that could be a problem. Couldn't hurt to try disabling external boot, but now if that doesn't fix it, I wouldn't be surprised.

Come to think of it, when I had this problem on one machine, I used to get as far as a Windows load screen, and in tiny letters it would say "reading I:" or something to that effect. What it was doing was trying to perform some kind of disk check on my iPod. My guess is that could be caused when it's trying to recognize an "unknown" device -- which might be explained by the hub. Plugged in directly, the system recognizes it. With the hub in the way, it doesn't.

There is also an option in the BIOS called "Legacy USB support" that you can disable ... sometimes this has been known to be a root cause of USB-related boot problems at startup. Perhaps the hub is causing a conflict with the legacy USB option. Be warned: Turning legacy USB off will most likely disable any USB mice or keyboards, so unless you have a PS2 keyboard handy if you need it to get back into the BIOS, I wouldn't recommend it.

Also, if you have the external HDD powered off at boot, do you get the same issue? I would think you wouldn't have the problem with no power, period.
March 22, 2010 1:58:48 PM

Hey xbonez, did you ever get this figured out? The EXACT same thing is happening to me. The computer makes it through to the boot sequence and then the second it hits the "Starting Windows" screen it freezes.
I've got a brand new ECS Black Series A785GM-M motherboard within if that helps at all. I'd really appreciate hearing back from ya if you have the time. Thanks much

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2010 12:47:02 AM

Outside of a keyboard and mouse, some motherboards just do not like USB devices plugged in during boot.
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