Can't boot from my passport essential 500GB

When I connect my passport essential 500GB and restart my laptop  ( Dell studio 1555 )  upon Dell logo appears, screen is stuck  till disconnect my passport essential.

I should inform that:

  1. My laptop’s Bios can detect my passport essential.

  2. I tried to connect another a my passport essential 1TB, it worked properly !

  3. I tried to connect my passport essential to an ASUS laptop, it didn’t stick at Bios but couldn’t boot from my passport essential !

Now, anybody knows what the problem is ?!

Check the boot order in the BIOS and make sure USB is after system HD’


Thank u for replay …

Actually my purpose is booting from my passport essential to install windows7 becoz I lost my DVD drive.

I should also inform :

  1. I updated my passport essential firmware from 1.003 to 1.007 upon I bought it 

  2. I made it Active partition through Driskpart , mount windows7 files to it and bootable through bootsect.exe …

Now it should be booted from my passport essential but it seems there is a problem with my laptop Bios and external hard drive’s firmware …

These drives aren’t bootable. Even if you do it will probably be slow to run a OS  from it. If you have the Windows install DVD but not a working DVD drive search out how to copy the DVD to USB thumb drive. Then you can go to another PC and make the thumb drive.


thank u for replay again

installing windows 7 from usb thumb/usb flash/flash memory takes the same way. unfortunately my flash memory is 2GB so is not enough to copy windows 7  .

i think it doesnt make sence that these drives are not bootable, becoz every removeable disk that is capable to be primary and active partition is also capable to be bootable .

I saw before that people install windows 7 from external hard drive .

the problem is most likely that the passport essential is a smartware drive and has a vcd on it that hinders that particular bios from reading it.  like joe says, try a different boot order.


i have to say, i just connect my passport essential to my housemate’s pc, it works properly and booted from my passport. windows 7 was booted from external hard to install .

it means my passport drives are bootable …

The firmware in the my passport essential interferes with the BIOS during boot.  It really depends on whether your pc’s BIOS will handle the interference.  I have two Dell laptops and can boot from a my passport essential 1 T under certain circumstances, which is a cold boot.  If I just try to boot from them with a warm boot; i.e., by hitting restart on Windows, it will hang.

thank u for giving information

I’ve guessed that the problem related to conflict between firmware and Bios. because it booted properly on the other laptop(Asus) and also a PC .

i’ve tried even with cold(hard) boot. It seems the My passports are working with  Bios’s randomly.

I’ve made a mistake which was i upgraded upon unpack My passport. if i didnt do it maybe it would work with original version of firmware on it.

Now, my problem is still unsolved which is i cant install any windows or OS from my external hard drive.

have you tried to see if your bios has an update that might allow this?

The difficulty is that it is not clear how the BIOS and WDC’s firmware interacts.  WDC refuses to support booting from Smartware enabled drives and refuses to provide any updates to turn off the firmware.  (Even when you hide the VCD, the firmware is still active.)  This problem exists also for Smartware enabled My Book drives as well.  The only solution is to buy a drive from another manufacturer.

Typically on a boot, the computer reads in the master boot record and passes control to it.  The master boot record finds the active partition and reads the partition’s VBR or volume boot record and passes control to it.  The VBR locates the OS loader, reads it in and passes control to it.

In my tests on my Dell laptops, when the boot sequence hangs, it hangs in the VBR.  So the computer does read at least two records from the disk before it hangs, but I have no clue why it hangs.  It’s possible that it’s a timing issue.

Thank u ,

but my Bios is also up to date now …

when i connect my passport to my laptop it detects and named it " WD My passport essensial 0740"

But when i connect it to my friend’s PC it detect and named it        " WD My passport essensial 1007"     !!!

Thank dear wnetmw for giving useful information

I should say:

  1. The firmware cant be deleted or turn off if it happen in certain circumstance no compuer would detect it. so it is necessary to detect by Bios and work in windows or any OS .

2.  In my tests it sticks for about 5min when my Bios is loading, after that my laptop goes to read from my passport, screen shows that prompt is blinking for another 10 min, after that it says :

" a disk read error occurred …  press ctrl+alt+del to restart "

I would hazard a guess that it is also hanging up in the VBR.  The VBR is written by the program used to format the partition.  Different programs will write slightly different VBRs, including different error messages.

You can use a disk hex editor to see if the message that you are getting comes from the VBR.  If the active partition is the first partition on the disk, it would be sector 64. (The MBR is in the first 63 sectors).  What I did was to use a disk hex editor to alter the error message in the VBR.  When the disk hangs on boot, it displayed the altered message so I knew that it had read up to the VBR.

You can look on the web for free disk hex editors.

These drives can not boot hp machiens by default.

We got these drives to support our moore then two year old machiens, and guess what, they’re all HP…

What’s that all about?! 

Never had this problem in all my years.

Should have read up on the stuff, but then again, this info wasn’t availible when

they came out… and they boot on older machines with no problem, beside HP that is.

Anyway, these drive cost us a lot af time to configure. 

WD you made me skeptical!

and an other thing:

the case of these drives are so prone to scratches.

Our users are very careful and cary these in an pouch, still they get cratches just by

keeping then in an pouch!  ( forget about any resale value :-) 

Thank u again dear  wnetmw

i read ur massage but it was complicated for me or anybody who wants to use this software for first time .

You are welcome.  The info was just to have more diagnostic data.  But it doesn’t matter, because I really don’t have a fix for you other than buying another brand of disk drive.