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Author Topic: Hang at BIOS initializing when external USB disk attached (K8T NEO MS-6702)  (Read 9691 times)

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gurkburk

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Hi!

Yesterday I bought a "standard" Lacie Desktop Hard Disk 1TB. http://www.lacie.com/se/products/product.htm?pid=11164

The problem is that the computer hangs at bios start up and the LEDS shows "Initializing Floppy Drive Controller" (After "Initializing Hard Drive Controller").
If i boot without external USB disk attached everything works find and the external disk works if i connects it later.
I have searched "the internet" and have found the same problems with Dell computers and Asus motherboard for example.
I have tried many different settings in BIOS but nothing works (enable/disable USB legacy support, PnP aware OS yes/no,enable/disable Floppy etc.)

Help!

Best Regards Peter

P.S I don't like the "Then disconnect it when you boot!" solution....     :wall:

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Turn off USB lagacy support in the BIOS.
then it doesn't init it at boot time.
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gurkburk

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Is I wrote I tried it but it was disabled from the beginning.
I today noticed that the USB disk starts to spin up when the BIOS hangs so BIOS is trying to do something with USB (Legacy Support still Disabled).
I guess BIOS somehow always initialize USB controller, how would keyboard else working when you press DEL for BIOS setup?
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Ex Forum User 3

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Is the drive connected to a powered hub or has it's own external power?
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gurkburk

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Own external
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Fredrik

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In boot sequence only have what you actually boot from. You might have to double check the harddisk booting options, so the external disk isn't in there a "General disk"/"Allmän disk", or something like that.

And, handball-lover, USB things are attached and detached while Windows is running.  ;-))
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gurkburk

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No there is only one row (Promise Raid) in boot sequence and "No" at "Try other boot devices".

It looks impossible to get the damn BIOS not to tuch the USB controller at startup. I guess that's impossible to get a BIOS fix for this old motherboard?

I guess the main problem is that the external disk (or partition) is too large. Could there be a chance that splitting the disk into two smaller partitions would fix the problem?

What's handball :-) Bengan rules!
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Well try again with a smaller disk, see what happens....it could be the caddy instead of the size.
As with Legacy turned off, the BIOS does not read the harddisk as a bootable device, so it can't be the size of the harddisk.
Have you tested the harddisk on some other computer to see if it works?
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gurkburk

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"Warranty void if seal is broken". It's not possible for me to change the disk inside. Caddy and disk is sold as together.
The drive works perfect with my Lenovo T60 (Laptop) even though bios startup takes some seconds extra and disk external disk spins up.
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Where do you connect the drive?
At the back ports on the motherboard or some wired port like front or via a back-plate?
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gurkburk

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I have tried them all.
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Fredrik

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  • There's always a risk.

Just to finish my little thinking, gö'kbö'k, hit F11 during boot-up, to see if the Promise or Via disk controller tries to check the external hard disk, too.

This is a little lazy, but you might ask Lacie, to. Something is detecting a floppy controller, which shouldn't be there. Someone else must have had the problem, too.

You know there are three places to disable floppy in BIOS? Standard, FDC, and boot order.
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Ex Forum User 3

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Can you disconnect all USB cables from the motherboard! and test only on the backports?
It's a longshot, but maybe one of the wires is wrong or a 9th pin is connected while there should be only 8.
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gurkburk

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BAS: I'll try that, but as you said it's a VERY longshot.

Fredrik: The BIOS hangs before eather Promise OR VIA controller are initialized, so I guess that's not the problem.

I just saw that there is a 7.1 bios for this mainboard, and i have 2.2. LiveUpdate says nothing about a newer BIOS. Should i upgrade?
My CPU is supported: http://global.msi.eu/index.php?func=prodcpusupport&maincat_no=1&cat2_no=&cat3_no=&prod_no=565#menu
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Fredrik

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  • There's always a risk.

Yes, I agree it shouldn't affect POST. But it does, doesn't it.  :smile:
POST problems has to do with a little part of the BIOS chip and the processor, where that part orders the processor to send testing signals to all the vital parts of the motherboard.
POST problems can come from processor failure or a short on the motherboard.
Don't remember now, did you test the Lacie in another computer?
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gurkburk

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Yes I did test with my Lenovo T60 Laptop without any problem.
Yesterday sent an "Issue" to Online Customer Service and today I received a solution! Upgrade BIOS to 2.34.
I have not done it yet but I will do it later today or tomorrow.

I'm very surprised that I got this help from MSI tech support that fast! Great work MSI Tech support team!

I'll hope that we will see some "gurkburk" at the Croatia-Sweden game later today... (World Championship Handball)  :worship:
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-Athlon 64 3400+ (ClawHammer)
-Corsair XMS TWINX PRO3200LL (2x512)
-MSI NX6800GT
-Antec TrueBlue 480W
-XP SP3 (32bit)

gurkburk

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After some tweaking with the "Forum USB flashtool" utility i finally flashed with BIOS 2.3b4, but the initial problem remains.
I'll guess I have tested all yours and MSI supports suggestions without success.

It's never to late to give up!

And about handball:  :wall:
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-XP SP3 (32bit)

irritated user

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Hi!

Yesterday I bought a "standard" Lacie Desktop Hard Disk 1TB. http://www.lacie.com/se/products/product.htm?pid=11164

The problem is that the computer hangs at bios start up and the LEDS shows "Initializing Floppy Drive Controller" (After "Initializing Hard Drive Controller").
If i boot without external USB disk attached everything works find and the external disk works if i connects it later.
I have searched "the internet" and have found the same problems with Dell computers and Asus motherboard for example.
I have tried many different settings in BIOS but nothing works (enable/disable USB legacy support, PnP aware OS yes/no,enable/disable Floppy etc.)

Help!

Best Regards Peter

P.S I don't like the "Then disconnect it when you boot!" solution....     :wall:





The problem is with the initialization of the USB port during the BIOS start-up (this is different to when you add it after start-up).  During initialization, the BIOS queries the USB port to see if a device is attached or not.  With the USB drive present and taking too long to respond, the BIOS USB initialization routine runs out of time.

The large drive is not only mechanical--much slower than electronic devices--but also its large capacity increases initialization time thus compounding the problem.  Initialization is not only a software check but it also involves checking the electrical status of the port hardware.

No external USB device attached also means NO response, but the BIOS in fact confirms this by checking the electrical [interface] state--this differs depending on whether a USB device is present or not.  If in fact no USB device is present, then the start-up routine will move onto the next subsystem.  Here, the problem is the USB device is known to be present but not responding within the time limit allowed by the BIOS.

Bad BIOS programming combined with brain-dead USB hardware circuity that won't wait sufficient time for a response, or decouple itself from the rest of the hardware in case of a genuine fault, essentially leads to PC equivalent of a Mexican Standoff, hence the lock-up you are experiencing.

1.   To confirm this just insert a small 1 or 2GB USB memory stick or USB mouse etc. into the USB socket and the PC should pass BIOS start-up initialization tests (note, there's always a rare possibility that the USB port is actually faulty--as opposed to a design fault--but it's unlikely).

2.   PCs I've tested seem to differ considerably in how the different BIOSes handles large USB drives.   I'd suggest you check the Lacie drive with a variety of other machines.  Also test with different sized USB HDs if you have them (200, 500GB etc.).

3.   You'll probably confirm that the PC BIOS is incompatible with the Lacie drive and you should inform both the PC's manufacturer and also Lacie (but I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a fix). For each test ensure that 'legacy support is disabled'.

4.   As this problem is essentially a design fault, you'll probably have to replace either the drive or the PC.  As most 1TB drives are slow to initialize, it might be worth looking at a replacement PC, purchasing it on condition that it works with the 1TB drive (you'll probably find that Maxtor and Seagate 1TBs will also fail (as in my case), so just replacing the Lacie will probably not fix it).  Note: this issue is such a problem that most of my PCs that are older than say a year or so fail to initialize my 1TB drives, irrespective of drive or the brand of USB-hub[1] (big brand name hubs fail just as easily as cheap ones.

[1]  Electronics in the USB drive case.

5.   Below, is one of my earlier posts on the same subject.  Note the warning about potential data loss from using large USB hard drives especially when they get near 1TB in size.  When you eventually resolve the USB interface issues it still doesn’t mean that you've solved the potential data loss problems mentioned therein.

<Quote>
" In my case, the problem was partially resolved by killing USB 1.1.legacy support. In the BIOS under peripherals/USB or such [hopefully] you'll find 'USB 1.1 Legacy Support: Enable/Disable' (or similar). Normally this setting is 'Enabled' so just disable it.

Right, you now have no USB 1.1 legacy support, but this ought not be a major problem as most devices are now version 2. Suggestion: if you have any v1.1 USB devices (or simply as a reminder), put a note on your PC with words to the effect 'To run USB 1.1 devices re-enable USB 1.1 Support in BIOS etc. etc.'

There's little or no excuse for this s@#$ programming/hardware implementation, it's just shoddy design engineering/workmanship of the first order. Instead of increasing the polling--waiting sufficient time--for the external USB device to become ready the port hardware is held off and cannot be initialized. The result is that the 'held-down' USB port hardware remains in that state which, in turn, locks up the support chip hardware. Moreover, no one has bothered to put error hooks or delay routines within the USB subsystem to resolve the problem.

I've never much liked USB as it's half-baked, and this is a typical example of its weakness. A more serious example comes with Windows' handling of very large USB drives--250GB-1TB etc. If you have a lot of data on these now-popular external 'USB' drives then ensure that your machine has plenty of reserve and don't do anything to run out of resources whilst the drive is being updated. That's to say: if the drive is being updated (written to) then DO NOT invoke/run any program that will temporarily rob the PC of resources during the HD write cycle--simply, USB is insufficiently robust to handle these drives.

Very unfortunately, I have a number of drives whose MFT/directory info has been garbled with the loss of hundreds of gigabytes of data because Windows and USB/HD subsystem couldn't hack the pace.

Hope this note helps."



 :angryfire:   :wall:
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Hans

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  • If I fix it, it will never need fixing again!

Whatever you do: don't go to the 7.x bios, they aren't very good. also, the 2.x bioses for this board aren't grat. You have a Clawhammer installed, right? My advice: goto the 1.9 bios. It's the most stable bios for this board and -- if I remember correctly -- it did solve my USB-proble I had with the K8T neo board a few years ago.
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gurkburk

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Just some more info. The Lacie disk makes my new Humax HDPVR-1000c hang too at BOOT if attached. Works if attached when the decoder are running.

http://www.humaxdigital.com/global/products/product_stb_cable_hdpvr1000c.asp
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Fredrik

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  • There's always a risk.

How about replacing the LaCie with something else for keeping the hard disks, like a gu...  :-))
Do not have anything in boot order but what you actually boot from.
Disconnect USB things while in Windows, and the safe way.
External hard disks are for back-up and similar, eller hur.
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breslijo

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Here's what you need to do....

backup any data on the drive first

go to Disk Management
delete all partitions

select the disk and Create partition
choose extended

Make a small partition, anywhere between 10 MB  - 100,000 MB.  I did 1,000 MB

Then make a logical drive out of that partition and format it FAT32.

With the remaining space, create a new partition, choose primary.
Format it NTFS

Last step, on the small FAT32 partition you need to add 2 files, copy io.sys and msdos.sys from your current c: drive (or anywhere you can find a copy) to the FAT32 partition.  These are usually protected OS files, so you need to make sure protected OS files are visible first to do the copy.

That's it.. you'll now actually be able to boot your computer with the external HDD powered on!!! 

-Brez
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