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Cant boot to USB HDD but CAN boot to USB FLASH (same config/boot)

Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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April 2, 2010 11:43:18 PM

Hello,

I have recently purchased a new laptop and so far am very pleased with the purchase, except I cannot for the life of me get this bloody USB HDD to BOOT!!!! I am however able to get the USB HDD to boot from 2 other system !?!?!?!?!
Issue:

Unable to boot to USB HDD (A-Data SH93 320GB) from Toshiba A500-01X

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Laptop: Toshiba Satellite A500-01X
Bios: 1.50 (Latest as I could tell)

_________________________________

USB HDD Vendor/Model/Capacity: A-Data / SH93 / 320GB

Drive Config: 3 Partitions

1) unencrypted ext3 boot partition (active)
2) linux swap partition
3) encrypted linux ext3 logical partition

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USB Flash Stick Vendor: Dane-Elec 8GB

Drive Config: 3 Partitions

1) unencrypted ext3 boot partition (active)
2) linux swap partition
3) encrypted linux ext3 logical partition

-------------------------------------------------------
Bios:

- USB Legacy support is ON
- Intel Turbo Boost is ON

___________________________________

Misc: Tried on A/C and Battery

___________________________________


Symptoms:

- Laptop will boot to 8GB USB Flash stick!
- Laptop will NOT boot to USB HDD? ("Error: Hard Drive Failed" or sits at black screen with blinking cursor and HDD light going crazy)

-USB HDD will boot on other systems (PC- Intel DQ965 Motherboard & Toshiba Satellite L350D-03F)!
-ofcourse the USB FLASH 8GB will boot on the other systems as well!


Note on A500-01X: USB Sleep and charge function is supported (Can this be the issue?? Tried it enabled & disabled?!?) Also is it possible Turbo boost is playing a role?

Note on SH93: The drive is powered through the USB cable. There is NO a/c adapter for this drive.

Note on HDD configuration: I have configured the drive using this tutorial (http://www.infosecramblings.com/backtrack/backtrack-4-b...)
I realise this is for a Flash drive however figured this would apply to the HDD aswell. And considering the drive DOES work on other computers (just not the A500), it seems there wasn't much if any impact on the configuration. Note( I made the logical partition 300G NOT 7.3G as indicated in the tut.)

I have tried each of the 3 usb ports on the laptop, each produce the errors.

I might be missing something but that pretty much covers it. I have contacted Toshiba but honestly I'm not holding my breath.

I know this is pretty specific but if anyone has came across this scenario EVER or with other USB devices, any input would be appreciated.

I don't know but possibly could it be that the drive and the laptop just aren't compatible?? I would find that very very hard to believe ......

Fatalyjust
a b D Laptop
April 3, 2010 12:30:22 PM

What exactly are you trying to boot from the HDD? If you are trying to boot up Windows from it, it isn't going to work, as Windows requires an internal HDD to boot from. If it is Linux, hopefully someone with some knowledge of it can chime in, as I have no clue about it.
April 3, 2010 7:16:20 PM

Quote:
If you are trying to boot up Windows from it, it isn't going to work, as Windows requires an internal HDD to boot from.


Not true actually, you can load a boot loader on a USB Memory and have it load windows.

And if you google it you will find alot of threads showing you how to do it for windows.

Besides the point I am not trying to boot windows from external HDD. The logical partition of the USB HDD is formatted to ext3 filesystem. Which is a Linuxfilesystem. Windows does not recognize this filesystem. Therefore I am booting into a Linux/Unix Distro. Which is in this case, BT4 which is running Ubuntu essentially.

So Yes, I am trying to boot into the USB HDD.
And, Yes you can boot to windows from a USB device.

Regards,

Fatalyjust
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