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Old 28. Mar 2013, 11:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Western Digital external drives

I bought a new 2TB WD My Book Essential USB external drive a couple of years ago and when I upgraded from Win XP to Win 7 Ive had nothing but problems. I'm pretty sure its a driver issue but I've yet to find a solution. The problem is during a cold boot it stalls right after the starting windows screen. It takes around 3 minutes to continue, during a reboot its fine. I have modified the Bios and disabled the USB boot and the Legacy option with no improvement. I have downloaded the current drivers and WD's Smartware software and I even tried installing older versions and still no joy. There is also quite allot of discussion concerning the reliability of the hardware, one of the reason I shut the drive down due to heat issues. I've looked extensively on WD's forum and there is allot of discussions about the same problem I'm having. Just thought I check with this community.
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Old 29. Mar 2013, 04:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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wdhpr, the post is a little confusing. From what you write, it looks like a system problem... of the system stalling a bit during cold boot. That happens with external drive plugged in when you perform the cold boot, if I understand it correctly?

I assume the Win 7 OS is installed on a separate internal hard drive?

If the system stalls on cold boot with external drive plugged in... why don't you plug in the external drive after the system has booted up?

I don't think there should be any driver issue, since both XP and Win 7 should be able to see the drive without problems. More so Win 7, because it's a newer OS, and better with drivers, from what I have read and seen.
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Old 29. Mar 2013, 05:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam
wdhpr, the post is a little confusing. From what you write, it looks like a system problem... of the system stalling a bit during cold boot. That happens with external drive plugged in when you perform the cold boot, if I understand it correctly?
From everything I have been reading it points to a driver problem ie: the computer re-installs the driver during a cold boot, this is what is causing the lag. After doing some more reading outside of the Western Digital forum I may have found the culprit. This morning I disabled the WD SES Device from the computers Device manager. The key is not to uninstall the driver but to disable it. If you uninstall the driver the computer will just reinstall it after the next boot. I also uninstalled the WD Smartware which is a used to continuously back up new files to the WD drive. For me anyway, I find the software buggy and I don't really need it because I use commercial software to create incremental images on a weekly schedule. When I do a cold boot the computer notices the connected external drive and starts it, however the lag is gone. If I want turn the drive off after the boot I press and hold the power button on the back of the drive and after a few moments it shuts off. The drive will than remain off during a reboot. If I want to turn the drive back on I press the power button and it will start and is recognized in less than a minute which is a great improvement.

From what I'm reading the WD external HDD's are known to fail for a variety of reasons but it seems heat is the main reason for failure. Western Digital has diagnostic software available on their website. I ran the diagnostic utility and the drive is healthy.

I will keep the drive turned off until I need it. If I need it to recover my backed up image it will always start up during a cold boot from there I can use my software's recovery CD. I'm working on incorporating WinPE's ISO builder which will allow me to boot its stripped down version of Windows also giving me access to my commercial imaging software.

This solution to my problem is working well for me. If someone with knowledge of WD external HDD's feel free chime in
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Old 29. Mar 2013, 05:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's very strange... installing driver every time the computer cold boots. Why would it need to do that? Once the driver is installed, there should be no need to install it again.

I too have a 1TB external hard drive of Seagate. It's working quite well. I have observed that whenever you connect the external HDD/pen drive, to a different USB port, to which you haven't connected it before, it installs the driver. But, after that one time, it does not happen again.

I really find the behavior of WD drive strange. Anyways, I think you should connect it after the system has booted up. It's good you have found an alternative solution of keeping it powered off while it's not in use.
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Old 29. Mar 2013, 06:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Anupam for your input
Quote:
That's very strange... installing driver every time the computer cold boots. Why would it need to do that? Once the driver is installed, there should be no need to install it again.
I agree with that statement, however after trying many solutions from WD's forum including changing the settings in my Bios, disabling the SES device is the only solution I've found that works.
Quote:
I think you should connect it after the system has booted up. It's good you have found an alternative solution of keeping it powered off while it's not in use.
I actually accomplish the same thing by using the power button on the back of the external drive which saves me from pulling the usb connector or the power supply. I know plug n play devices are supposed to handle disconnections like that but I'm old school and prefer not to do it that way.
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