My Book Essential 2.0 Makes Windows XP Pro Hangs At Boot Up

I’ve been using a My Book 500 gb external drive for about 2 years on my older Windows XP PRO machine.  A couple of days ago, except for a few moments here and there, it stopped showing up in Windows Explorer and in Disk Management. It still showed up in Device Manager.  I just purchased a new 1.5 tb My Book Essential 3.0/2.0  drive and while Windows can see it, my computer now hangs on a blank screen when it boots up.  If I disconnect the drive and then reboot, Windows gets to the logon screen, where I can re-connect the drive and finish booting into Windows with no additional problems from there.  I’ve gone into the BIOS and disable Legacy USB support and booting  from USB devices (which are the solutions suggested by WD Support) but  it hasn’t fixed the problem.  I also tried using the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility to fix any USB driver issues but that also didn’t work, and neither did running chkdsk /r on the c drive.  I can’t get it to run on the new external drive yet . 

I believe the reboot hang started after the old external drive developed a problem and continued with the new drive.  It’s like the external drive corrupted Windows–but chkdsk found some bad sectors on the c drive and fixed them.  Has anyone else come across this with any version of Windows and were you able to solve the problem?

NEW AS OF 12/2/2011: I may have been given the answer to the problem–there isn’t any. Since I bought the drive at Best Buy I gave the Geek Squad a call.  A tech asked if my computer is an older machine.  Yep, it’s over 5 years as you can tell by the fact I’m still running Windows XP.  The tech said that with those older machines the BIOS can’t work with hard drives over 1 TB.  I checked the BIOS and it can see the My Book Essential, but I guess it hangs after it scans 1 TB curing reboot.  I have to guess because the monitor screen is blank at that point.  I updated the BIOS but apparently Intel didn’t feel it needed to inlcude recognzing hard drives over 1 TB in such an old BIOS.  So, this would be why disconnecting the drive before the boot and reconnecting it at the Windows logon screen works.

I emailed WD Tech Support about this because if this is the case, they need to post this into to their online database. There are hundreds–possibly THOUSANDS–of users like myself who if  they had this info could then relax since the only solutions are to keep disconnecting the drive or to buy a newer computer.   My bank account dictates that I disconnect/reconnect the drive.

With the bad drive connected go into Device Manager and delete the driver for it  disconnect the drive reboot system and plug drive back in. That should load a fresh driver.


Joe,  are you suggesting that I re-connect the bad drive after reboot to load a fresh driver for that? I’ve already done that before I bought the new drive and didn’t work. Or did you mean for me to delete the driver for the new drive,  disconnect it  and then re-connect the new drive at boot  up to refresh its driver?

I mean to delete the driver for the bad drive disconnect reboot then reconnect.


Forgot to tell you that in Device Manager only the driver for the new WD My Book external drive appears, even after I click on View Hidden Devices.  So, I don’t think the driver is the issue.  But as I see the problem, I can delete the new driver but Windows will still probably hang at reboot because the problem is with the external drive being connected to the computer BEFORE the driver is loaded.

Sorry, Joe, can’t give you kudos for the answer because it didn’t work.  Windows showed a delayed write error for the bad external drive when I re-connected it so I could delete the driver.  I left that bad drive disconnected at reboot but connected the new one. Windows still hung at a blank screen.  I had to disconnect the new drive, restart, and then re-connect the new drive just before logging on to Windows.  With Windows XP, the driver for the bad drive disappears from Device Manager as soon as it’s disconnected anyway.  The driver showing is for the new one.  I even updated the MB BIOS and updated the MB graphics drivers accelator and it’s speeded up my computer but reboot still hangs with the drive connected. I’m not sure if anyone knows the answer to this problem and I’ve never come across it before.