PC Boot Issues with My Passport Ultra


I know this has been raised before as I’ve searched the forum and seen a couple of old posts.  I had already tried the suggestions (see list below) without success.  I have also just got off the phone with the WD support desk without a satisfactory answer, fobbed-off really saying there are no know issues although I mentioned the posts on this community.

The issue.  I purchased a My Passport Ultra 1TB drive at the weekend, it installed OK and the back-up software runs fine.  However if the PC is restarted with the drive attached (USB 2.0 port) it stalls at the bios flash page and will sit there indefinitely, if the drive is unplugged then the boot sequence resumes instantly.

What I’ve done so far.  Updated the bios to the most current version (it was a couple of releases old), removed the WD drive from the boot sequence list, switched off the boot sequence error reporting ie it should continue if an error is found.  All to no avail.

The WD support persons only suggestions was try another PC; a) I don’t have one! b) that won’t solve the issue.  I’m sure if I contact the PC manufacturer and say I’ve just plugged a WD unit into my PC and it won’t boot, all they’d do is blame WD.

So has anyone found a solution?

Thanks for listening.


I’d like an official answer from WD on this too.  I know I’m late to this game as well, but I just discovered the My Passport Essential 500GB cannot be used as a boot drive, and indeed, if left plugged into a PC, will cause said PC to hang upon reboot.  

I want to know if this “feature” is in the new my passport ultra drives, as I’ve been eyeballing them for awhile.

Hello sjt959, 

This is a known issue with certain computer Bios.

Check the following article:

Problems booting a PC with an external USB drive connected



The drive is not advertised to support this feature. 

Certain drives support booting from a Mac computer. Check the list bellow:

List of Mac-bootable WD external drives and how to format them to install an operation system


For any additional questions or direct support from WD, please feel free to contact our support personnel.


Hi Robo,

Thanks for the reply.

I had seen that article prior to posting, unfortunately my Bios does not have a “boot from USB” or similar option to switch off.  As I said I have added the WD external drive to the list of “exclude from boot sequence” so the Bios should not even be looking at it.

The second part of the suggested solution within the article; to disconnect the drive before boot and reconnect afterwards appears to be the only way for now.  Not very satisfactory really, especially as the unit is in an awkward place due to the very shot cable provided in the box.  Other USB devices, scanner, keyboard etc are all left connected without issue.  I’ve even left USB memory sticks connected previously and the PC has booted normally.

There is obviously an issue with my Bios (Phoenix running on a Fujitsu Siemens PC) and the WD drive.  Interesting that you say it is know, where the phone support tech said there are none.
Perhaps a listing of none compatibility between WD devices and open market PC’s should be established.


Thank you to Paolo from WD Support for his call this afternoon.

Unfortunaley there does not appear to be a solution to my problem.  A combination of an old PC, a bios without the USB boot exclusion option and perhapse only having a USB 2 port all lead to it’s downfall. The clash of old and new tech…