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Hi everyone,


I have an Elite 8300 ultra-slim that runs fine on its own, runs fine if I connect my USB3 hard drive after it's running, but will not boot if the USB drive is already connected. It goes through the BIOS startup screen, the "starting windows" message flashes on for about one second, and then it restarts and goes into the "windows failed to start" screen.



The 8300 is the base model, with core-i5, 4gb RAM, 320gb internal drive. (QV997AV)

OS is Windows 7 Pro 32-bit.

The external drive is a Seagate Backup Plus 3TB drive. It has its own power supply.

Other things connected: ethernet, Logitech USB wireless keyboard/mouse, tv or monitor via display port.


Things that have not helped:

BIOS settings. In the "boot order" menu, I have disabled everything but the SATA internal hard drive AND in "storage options" I have disabled removable media boot.

BIOS upgrades. The PC came with BIOS v2.05. I tried 2.57, then 2.90. Same behavior.

Moving the drive from a USB3 port to a USB2 port.

Reformatting the external drive with the existing partition.

Deleting the partition from the external drive, creating a new one (GPT), and (quick) formatting it.

Going through the startup repair routine that windows offers, with the external drive connected. This resulted in the system not booting ever, and I had to fix that with the recovery routine from the windows install media.


I think the external drive only powers up when there is something on the USB line, but even if I do a warm boot from the windows shut-down menu, it still hangs.


Based on how many other posts I have seen online, I'm guessing this is not a defect in my particular computer. My question is whether this computer just won't do this (which makes it pretty useless for me), or if there's something I can do to fix it.


Thanks in advance!





HP Recommended

Update on this. I connected some other drives ... a Seagate GoFlex, which is powered through the USB line, and also a couple of flash drives. Those devices do NOT prevent the system from booting. Only the larger drive does.


I would love to know if I have to avoid all drives that have external power, or if it's really just this particular one that I have to avoid. Any thoughts?


HP Recommended

Just tried a different drive with external power, a Toshiba Canvio. It did trigger the boot problem. So the score so far is USB-powered 3, external powered 0. So I guess I have to fall back to the biggest USB-powered drive I can get, which looks like 2 TB.



HP Recommended

yes, windows 7 have this problem,  you cannot boot up windows if there is a usb flash drive conected to the pc.

HP Recommended
Im having a similar issue and this is *NOT* a problem with windows 7.
HP 8300 elite sff with maxtor one touch 4 plus will freeze on hp splash screen when connected. Upon removal, machine resumes booting.
If plugged in after OS is up and running the results will vary between lockup or detecting the hard drive in device manager but not showing up in disk management.

This same drive works fine while connected to several other windows devices I tested it with... including dc7900's, 8000's, and 8200's running windows 7.

In a little while I will try with another 8300 and let you know if that one worked and/or if I find a solution to this problem... I would appreciate if Bright 3 would edit the above post as it is completely unfounded and in no way related to OS.

HP Recommended

Well not sure if its solar flares, planetary alignment or what, but after testing on a few other 8300's, the original one that was problematic is now booting fine with the external drive attached...

Only thing I can think of is I may have a flaky usb or power cable that has since decided to 'de-flake'???

Regardless I hope that the OP got resolved as mine is working fine now :smileyhappy:


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Same issue. Elite 8300 & Seagate Backup Plus 4Tb. Any update?

HP Recommended



I have exactly the same problem - trying to boot Linux. If the Seagate 3TB drives are plugged in, it hangs during the  boot. The exact same configuration works on a dc7900 but not on the 8300. I have two Seagate 1TB drives plugged in as well and they cause no problems.


I have disabled everything except the SATA drive. So why is it even looking at the USB3 drives (it is!)? I think this is a BIOS bug.





I've reset the BIOS to defaults and tried everything I can think of. I have SATA drives with GRUB2 (Debian) configured to boot from /dev/sda and it works fine with my Seagate Expansion (USB powered) drives plugged into two of the USB3 ports. As soon as one of the Seagate Expansion Desktop (external power) drives is plugged in, it hangs on the boot at a blank screen. If I boot with F10 and examine the settings, everything looks fine. I have just the SATA drives listed in the Legacy Boot options (UEFI disabled) and Removable USB boot disabled. There are no other settings I can see to affect this. PLEASE HP will you fix this. This machine needs to be rebooted remotely WITH all the USB drives attached.


HP Recommended



I have made progress. It seems that the issue probably happens if you are booting in Legacy (non-UEFI) mode and have a USB drive >2.2TB connected.


I inititally tried swapping my SATA drive to a UEFI boot Windows system and booted it with the 3TB drives OK, so I have spent the morning converting my Debian system to use grub-efi and created the necessary partitions etc. It now UEFI boots into Debian with the 3TB USB drives connected. Success.


However it suggests that the Legacy BIOS is failing if it detects a >2.2TB USB drive even if you have told it not to access Removable Media and disabled USB devices in the list. I think that this must be a BIOS bug.



HP Recommended

I have the exact same problem as Andy described above.


Just bought an Elite 8300 sff and a 4Tb Seagate USB3 hard drive; When Windows 7 is running on my Elite 8300, plugging in the Seagate drive works fine, until I try to restart.  When the machine attempts to restart, it cannot find a bootable OS.  And unlike some other posters' experiences, unplugging the USB drive does *not* resolve the issue. The only way I've found to recover from this condition is to perform a complete factory restore using the HP recovery software that's on the 😧 partition -- and then refrain henceforth from plugging in the USB3 drive! 😞


Here is the sequence of events:


1. While Windows 7 is running, I plug in a USB3 drive and confirm that it is working correctly. Then reboot.

2. The bootup sequence loops a couple times before displaying a message indicating that it can not find a bootable OS. I quickly unplug my USB3 drive, then power off/on again. It still cannot boot.

3. If I power off then on again while rapidly hit Esc during the boot sequence, it displays some recovery/utils menu (can't remember the exact name). I select some Windows recovery option.

4. Windows boots in its recovery mode, and then displays a startup repair option, which claims it cannot find any OS to repair, and gives me the option of specifying drivers for my hard drive (???). If I select the bottom radio box (again can't remember what the option is called at the moment) and then hit the Next button, it then displays an error message saying that it can't save the profile (???).

5. If I try running System Restore, everything ostensibly completed successfully then promts to restart. But then on reboot it ends up in a state where the OS still won't boot and now the Recovery menu no longer appears when I hit Esc!


Beyond this, the only option is to hit F11 (forced recovery mode) and then use the HP recovery tools to restore completely from the recovery partition. Luckily that still works.


Other notes:


- In addition Seagate drive, I've also tried with a similar WD 4Tb drive, both externally powered. Same problem.

- I've made sure to set the Boot Order in the BIOS so that my internal 128Gb Sata is first. This doesn't resolve the problem.

- I've tried disabling the Boot from USB option in the Bios. This didn't help.

- In Windows recovery mode, I can go to the Command Prompt. While there, I happened to notice that all 128Gb on the internal SATA was being used! Not sure how it filled up like that, but it explains why none of Windows recovery utilities seem to work.


Please if anyone has any other clues on this one, please post.  In the mean time I've been doing some Googling, and here is a list of the next steps I'll attempt tonight:


1. Restore to a fresh SATA, and then check how much drive space is used Before and then After an external USB3 drive is connected.

2. In Windows, look for and disable any "Disable USB 3.0 power management functions" options. According to another post, this was an option in a USB hard drive configuration util that come with USB3 drive. Not sure what the Seagate drive offers in terms of utils, but I know the WD Elements desktop drive had nothing in the way of software.

3. In the BIOS, try disabling USB Legacy Support, and also Boot From USB. (This will also disable the wireless keyboard -- be sure to have a wired one handy)

4. Delete autorun.inf from the USB3 drive prior to any reboots.

5. Update the BIOS, and then select Load Defaults (or whatever the setting is called) in the bios.

6. Finally as a last result, consider exchanging the USB3 drive for a USB-powered 2TB one, since it appears that external power is the culprit here.


Will update with my results.

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