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External USB Hard Drive Locks Up PC at HP Splash Screen

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HP-Pavilion FK792AA-ABA a6600f
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

I’m running Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) Service Pack 1 on a hand-me-down refurbished HP-Pavilion FK792AA-ABA a6600f with 2.20 gigahertz Intel Pentium Dual E2200CPU.

 

I recently bought an external Western Digital 2 TB easystore plug and play USB drive.  But when it's plugged into my PC,  the PC locks up at boot-up on the HP splash screen and the PC becomes completely unresponsive. The only way I can boot up my PC is to first unplug the drive from the USB port, boot up the PC, and only then once Windows 7 is up and running, plug the drive back into the USB port. That’s not exactly what I had in mind when I bought a “plug and play” drive.

 

A contributor to a Seattle area BBS has suggested that the solution might be to update the BIOS of the PC .  But when I searched the web for instructions on how to update the BIOS I found lots of warnings that attempting it would be risky and might "brick" my PC.

 

I'd be grateful for some advice on how to proceed in troubleshooting this problem.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
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@CluelessInSeatl, welcome to the forum.

 

Since there is no BIOS update for the computer, you may have to try to update the Firmware on the USB drive.  I have had problems similar in the past and a Firmware updated solved the problem.  Also, if you haven't done so, contacting WD's Tech Support would be a good option.  They are the experts on their drives.

 

Please click the Thumbs up + button if I have helped you and click Accept as Solution if your problem is solved.


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**Click the Thumbs Up+ to say 'Thanks' and the 'Accept as Solution' if I have solved your problem.**

Intelligence is God given; Wisdom is the sum of our mistakes!

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Thanks for the speedy response, old_geekster!

 

I'm an old guy too, but I'm afraid I'm more of a noob than a geek. Even after all these decades of using computers I still use mine the same way I use a DVD player or a kitchen appliance:  I push the buttons and hope the darned things work.

 

Thanks for prodding me to contact WD Tech Support.  I tried twice earlier today and both times, after typing a lengthy message, I got an error message; something about an internal server error.

 

But just now I tried again, and this time I saved a text copy of my message before I clicked the submit button just in case. But this time the message supposedly went through, because I got a ticket number.

 

Also, a couple of days ago I posted in the WD Community External Drives for Windows PC forum.  But haven't received any responses yet.

 

As for updating the firmware, I'm hesitant to try that out of fear that it might void the warranty in case I want to return the drive to Best Buy for a refund.

 

I'll let you know what I hear back from the WD support folks.

 

Thanks again for checking in with me.  It helps to know that I'm not trying to figure this out all on my own.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Hi Mate,

 

Updating your BIOS is nothing to worry about as long as you follow the on-screen instructions. Here's the link for your BIOS: https://support.hp.com/au-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-pavilion-a6600-desktop-pc-series/3793920/model/3...

 

As for the HDD, I've seen it before, and it's because the BIOS is having trouble polling the device. Perhaps it doesn't recognise it at the BIOS level as the PC is quite old, and the WD (presumably) quite new. The BIOS update *may* fix this issue. I have gotten around it in the past by either leaving the external drive unplgged until Windows has booted up OR by changing the boot order in BIOS. You can do this by tapping F10 as soon as you turn the PC on, then using the arrow keys, scroll over to 'Boot Options' (or words to that effect) then change the WD to well below the internal HDD or disable the WD from the boot order altogether (you'll need the WD plugged in at the time). If you stuff something up, just go into BIOS and select 'Load Setup Defaults and Exit'.

 

Also, as you will have a Windows 7 COA sticker on the unit, you still qualify for Windows 10 for free. I recommend you install it on this PC as Windows 7 SP1 is super old and will have many security vunerabilities. You can always roll back to Win7 uf you don't like Win10.

This is the link to Wijndows 10: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/software-download/windows10

 

Hope this helps 🙂

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Thanks for those suggestions, Hibb.

 

Earlier today I typed a long response to your message, but when I clicked the "Post" button my monitor screen went blank and my message vanished into the electronic ether. 

 

So this time I'm just going to try posting a test message to see if it goes through.

 

===========================================================

Edit:  Well, this time it looks like my message got posted, so I'll try to recap briefly what I typed earlier today:

 

Thanks for that link to the BIOS update for my PC.  I found an HP web page with instructions for updating the BIOS, but the link to the tutorial video on that page is marked "This video is no longer available."  :indifferent:

 

I've put in a support request to WD, and also posted a help request on their forum. So, before attempting the BIOS update, I'm going to wait to see if the WD support folks can come up with a less risky solution.

 

I'd already tried the F10 at bootup trick and it didn't work because when the WD drive is plugged into a USB port, it seems to completely disable the keyboard.  I tried the trick again this morning just to be sure.  As soon as I pressed the power button the HP PC, I began repeatedly pressing the F10 key.  But it had no effect whatever.

 

When (or if) I hear back from WD I'll post an update here.

 

Thanks again for helping me out with this.

 

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
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