First - I am a self-taught amateur, so please excuse any sloppy use of technical terms.
I have a Dell brand computer (Vostro 400). I just installed Windows 7. In preparation for the install, I bought an Iomega Prestige 1TB external hard drive and made a disk image backup before the install. I also have a Maxtor One Touch external hard drive hooked up. I did the install. Updated all of the programs and re-started Windows numerous times during the install process. No problems. Restored my data from the Iomega external hard drive. Everything was working fine, and I shut down for the night.
Next morning, Windows would not start. I could get to the boot menu, and I made sure it was starting from hard drive. It would then go to Windows starting screen, and nothing would happen. I eventually have to turn the power off, since I am unable to change anything with the keyboard (ctrl,alt,del does nothing, none of the F buttons do anything, so I hold the power button until it shuts down).
So, I re-install Windows 7 (after once again reformatting). Hours later, same problem.
Long story short, I have now figured out that if the Iomega external hard drive is connected, Windows won't start. I can get to the boot menu and choose to start from the hard drive, no Windows start. I tried the recovery disk and told the boot menu to start from the CD. No dice - it won't run (and I separately tested the recovery disk before starting the install and I know it normally works). I unplugged the Iomega drive and restarted. Bingo - no problem. Windows starts up perfectly. Once Windows is up and running, I can re-connect the Iomega and use it and the information on it with no problem. I can even restart from Windows with the Iomega connected, so long as I don't do a complete shut down. As soon as I completely shut down, Iomega slams the computer and Windows will not open.
I should also mention that I can leave the Maxtor connected and Windows will start up perfectly from a complete shutdown. It is only when the Iomega is connected that I have a problem. And it renders the computer unusable until I disconnect it.
I did some digging (hours so far) on this site (I didn't find anything) and other internet sites, So far, nothing has solved the problem. At this point, I am simply disconnecting the Iomega after shutdown and reconnecting after Windows is fully loaded. That is a pain and makes it hard to deal with.
In my digging I found the following on the issue:
posted on Sep 12, 2009
Rating: 92%, 262 votes
Assuming this is a windows machine it's likely one of two things, either the machine was re-installed/repaired while the drive was attached and the boot sector may have been moved to the external drive by accident. The other is that the Virtual memory file may have been moved to the external drive which would prevent windows from loading.
If you have repaired the machine lately you may need to re-repair it with the drive detached in order to solve the problem. If not right click on my computer, select properties. When the new window opens select advanced then click the settings button in the performance section. Again select the advanced tab, Click the change button on the Virtual Memory section and remove any reference to memory being used on the external drive. If it is the only drive listed as using memory, be sure to add at least 2GB(2048MB) to the C drive first.
Let me know how you make out,
Chris " (from http://www.fixya.com/support/t.....ernal_hard)
Does anyone have any ideas? What do you think of the ideas from "Chris" above?