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ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

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Dan Mahoney
Advisor

ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

I've got an ML370 with 2 2.8 GHz Xeons and 2500 MB RAM.When I plug a USB hard drive into the machine before boot, the boot process halts just after loading the Broadcom Gigabit ethernet firmware. If I then unplug the USB drive, the boot process continues.

Any clues what could be causing this?
16 REPLIES
Sunil Jerath
Honored Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Hello Dan,
Is the system bios uptodate?? If not then update it please. Have you tried connecting the USB hdd after the system is booted?? Could you also shed some light on to as to what type of USB hdd do you have.

Regards,
Dan Mahoney
Advisor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

The BIOS was out of date; I just downloaded and ran CP004040.scexe. The BIOS is now P28 dated 09/08/2003.

Now when I boot I get different behavior. If the USB drive is unplugged, the system boots normally. If the USB drive is plugged in at boot time, though, the process now stops at "HP Ethernet Boot Agent v6.2.11". If I unplug the USB drive then for just a moment the process continues as far as trying to boot from floppy and then from network.

If I then leave the USB drive unplugged, the boot completes normally.

The USB drive is a Maxtor Personal Storage 3000LE, 120 GB, 7200 RPM.

Sunil Jerath
Honored Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Hello Dan,
During POST please hit F9 and verify the boot sequence. Also I remember on Intel system boards you can disable Legacy USB support. See if you have a similar setting in your system. While you do this make sure the USB HDD is disconnected. Have you checked the compatibility Software wise on the Maxtor site?? Please let me know.

Regards,
Dan Mahoney
Advisor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

My Standard Boot Order shows as:
IPL:1 Hard Drive C:
IPL:2 CD-ROM
IPL:3 Floppy Drive
IPL:4 PCI Embedded Compaq NC7781 Gigabit Server Adaptor

and my Boot Controller Order shows as:
Ctlr:1 Compaq Smart Array 532 Controller
Ctlr:2 Compaq Integrated PCI IDE Ctrlr
Ctlr:3 Compaq 64-Bit Ultra3 SCSI Port 2
Ctlr:4 Compaq 64-Bit Ultra3 SCSI Port 1

In other words, just the way I want it (my boot, root, and swap partitions are all on SCSI drives connected to the Smart Array).

So the fact that the machine hangs at the ethernet boot agent section when the USB drive is plugged in sounds like a Very Bad Thing :)

I wasn't able to find any info on compatability at Maxtor's site.

In the F9 screen I can disable the built-in USB system. It sounds like I might need to do that, and plug in a PCI USB card. I'd like to be able to use the USB facilities built in to the system, but it's starting to look like that isn't going to be feasable.
Sunil Jerath
Honored Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Hello Dan,
Please try changing the boot order to CDROM first, HDD, Floppy, NIC respectively. See if this makes any difference. I just checked at Maxtor site and evidently they dont mention Server SW at all :(. The only other thing I can think of causing conflict is the IRQs. I suspect NIC and USB port are sharing the IRQs. See if by manuplating the IRQs you can get it going. Please let me know.

Regards,

























Dan Mahoney
Advisor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

I changed the boot order as you suggested. I also look at IRQs - what I had initially was:
Lights-Out Controller -- IRQ 5
Lights-Out Processor -- IRQ 11
PCI USB Controller -- IRQ 10
Ultra3 SCSI Port 1 -- IRQ 15
Ultra3 SCSI Port 2 -- IRQ 15
Gigabit NIC -- IRQ 10
Smart Array 532 -- IRQ 15

I don't know what the Lights-Out system does, or if the controller and the processor will mind sharing an IRQ, but what I've got now is:
Lights-Out Controller -- IRQ 5
Lights-Out Processor -- IRQ 10
PCI USB Controller -- IRQ 11
Ultra3 SCSI Port 1 -- IRQ 15
Ultra3 SCSI Port 2 -- IRQ 15
Gigabit NIC -- IRQ 10
Smart Array 532 -- IRQ 15

I figure this way the USB controller and the NIC will be using different IRQs. I'm in the process of booting now to see if this all is going to help.
Dan Mahoney
Advisor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Ok, no significant change. Still pauses at the ethernet boot agent line and doesn't proceed until I unplug the USB drive. I'm going to turn in for the night and tackle it again in the morning. I kind of think one of the first things I'm going to try is disabling the integrated USB controller and plugging in a USB PCI card.
Sunil Jerath
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Hello Dan,
I was pretty optimistic about it that this will work but did not. Well the only you're left with to try is with an addon USB card. Please do let me know as to how you make out. In the meantime, if I do come across something I shall post it for you and all others who may be encountering the same issue.

Regards,
Seth Parker
Trusted Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Dan,

Can you take the NIC out of the boot order in IPL? The part about the "HP Ethernet Boot Agent" seems like something is conflicting there.

Good luck!
Seth
Neal Bowman
Respected Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

This USB device probably has an IDE interface inside the enclosure, and is acting as an IDE hard drive, regardless of the physical connection. That means that it is going to attempt boot before any SCSI device ROMs have a chance to initialize. I am sure if you wait long enough, you will see message stating system drive not found, etc.
Phillip Williams_2
Respected Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Gentlemen:

The Maxtor Knowledge base comes up with this when you search on 3000LE & Boot
===========
PC will not boot while Personal Storage drive is connected to system.

Question
The system will not boot with the Personal Storage device connected to the system.

Answer
This symptom may occur when the operating system is not able to properly shut down the drive when Windows is shutting down. Therefore, the system hangs when attempting to restart since the device was not shut down properly. There are several ways to get around this issue:



Cycle the power to the Maxtor Personal Storage drive prior to restarting.
Once your computer has been shut down, disconnect the power to the drive to clear out its buffer. Then plug the power to the drive back in before turning on the system. Windows should then load and the drive should be detected properly.


Disconnect the drive before restarting Windows.
When Windows is shutdown you can either disconnect the power or 1394/USB cable from the drive. Power the system and wait until Windows has been loaded. Reconnect the drive to the system when the operating system is running and the drive should be detected immediately.


Get latest updates from Microsoft





================

Sounds like there may be an issue at the Maxtor end....

Hope that helps

Eric
The world is divided into 10 types of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't
Dan Mahoney
Advisor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Yes, it is good to have that info. Unfortunately it doesn't offer any help in this situation - the machine in question is going to be installed in a colocation site that is normally unmanned. Bummer.

I did speak with tech support at Compaq. THey informed me that they support the use of HIDs plugged into the USB ports (keyboard, mouse), not mass storage devices. I then asked if I could plug a 3rd-party USB PCI card into the machine and get access to a USB mass storage device that way. The answer to that is that no 3rd-party USB cards are supported.

I guess the bottom line is that I won't be using a USB hard drive on this machine.

My next task is to figure out if internal IDE hard drives are supported. So far I've only seen mention of connecting the CDROM drive to the IDE port, but since I need a high-capacity short-term storage mechanism, I'm thing a high-capacity IDE drive might fit the bill quite nicely.
Seth Parker
Trusted Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Dan,

I was just looking on the update site and a newer BIOS for the ML370 G3 just came out on 12/16/03. One of the things it addresses is "A potential hang that could occur with USB devices attached during POST".

Maybe they fixed it...

Regards,
Seth
Dan Mahoney
Advisor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Wow! I'll check that out - thanks for the pointer! I doubt I would have noticed that. I'll report on my success (or lack therof) later today.
Sunil Jerath
Honored Contributor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

Hello Dan,
Here is the link to download the latest BIOS and this should take care of your server's USB issue.

http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/19820.html

Regards,
Dan Mahoney
Advisor

Re: ML370 hangs in boot process when USB drive plugged in

That did it! The new BIOS fixes the problem!

At last, I have USB storage on my ML370. Many, many thanks to all who helped, but especially to the last two who pointed me to the new BIOS release.