Highlighted
KenMartin23220
1 Copper

External Hard Drive not working with Dell computers

I have two Windows 8.1 All in One Touch screen computers. Last night Dell technical support I can no longer use my external hard drives, without disconnecting them before I start up my PC.  Unless I pay hundreds of dollars to Dell Software support to upgrade my computers.

My computers were working fine and have been for over six months when I purchased them.  This all started last night.

Is Dell just jerking me around or is this unplugging hard drive thing a real issue?  It is very hard to trust someone who you can not communicate with.

5 Replies
theflash1932
5 Iridium

RE: External Hard Drive not working with Dell computers

Your post is not clear on exactly what happened with "last night Dell technical support I can no longer use my external hard drives", but the unplugging drives thing, while usually a bug, is real.  They can interfere with what the system thinks should be booted and how it should be read.  1) Did you update your BIOS?  2) You might check your BIOS Setup to make sure that the Hard Drive is first in the Boot Sequence.  You might also try setting the USB ports to ON without BIOS support, if you have such an option, and/or changing USB emulation types.

0 Kudos
KenMartin23220
1 Copper

RE: External Hard Drive not working with Dell computers

My computer would not boot up.  Dell told me is was due to my external hard drive being plug in during the boot.  I beer had that happen before with a previous Dell.  No believable explanation was give as to why this was happening other than I must pay for Dell to upgrade the software for several hundred dollars.  I have owned computers for 20 years and never had this boot up problem.

We tried some of your suggestions without success.  I can unplug the external drive and everything works fine.  It just seems rather odd that this is happening after 20 years of using a computer.  I still think they pushed an update to my computer.  I can't believe they would allow such a problem to exist.

So does this mean all Dell computers are this way?  Dell continues to sell external drives. It sounds like a monopolizing maneuver to me.

0 Kudos
theflash1932
5 Iridium

RE: External Hard Drive not working with Dell computers

No, not all Dell computers do this, and it doesn't happen only on Dell computers.

What is your BIOS version?  Dell hardware updates are offered but not forced onto the system.

The fact that you have been using computers for 20 years is irrelevant.  USB isn't that old, and it hasn't been a bootable technology for even 10 years.  There are varied settings on different makes and models, BIOS versions, and external drive controllers - occasionally there are incompatibilities, sometimes there is an oversight on an update, etc.  It isn't a systemic problem or strategy with Dell computers - just one type of issue that sometimes arises in the computer industry. 

If adjusting the settings in the BIOS doesn't work or a recent BIOS or other hardware update was applied, I might recommend flashing back to another version of whatever hardware was updated (BIOS, external drive, etc.).

0 Kudos
Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

RE: External Hard Drive not working with Dell computers

When your external hard drive is plugged in do you get a black screen with a small white _ at the top left corner? If so just press esc and it should continue to boot.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
0 Kudos
KenMartin23220
1 Copper

RE: External Hard Drive not working with Dell computers

Yes I have seen that.  Most of the time it is just the white Dell logo.  Thank you.

0 Kudos