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Old 16th April 2012, 09:33 AM
Yaten13 Offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Denver
Posts: 1
Hard drive causes BIOS to freeze

I run fedora and win 7, but rather than dual booting, I just have each on a separate hard drive. I reinstalled Fedora today, but copied a bunch of backup files to the windows drive (NTFS format). At some point I got an error message that the Win drive was full and something else rebooted the machine shortly after.

Now when I try to boot up with both drives connected, the computer hangs at the BIOS (i.e. I cant get into the bios settings to tell it to ignore the win HD), but boots fine with only the Fedora HD connected. I really want to get to the data I have on the other hard drive.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to how to access it? Is there any way to set a SATA drive to a "master/slave" type situation so that the bios ignores the one it cant write to and doesn't confuse itself?

Can writing to a hard drive (that the OS is not installed on) make it so full that the BIOS gets confused when it tries to mess with the boot record?
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Old 16th April 2012, 03:52 PM
srs5694 Offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Woonsocket, RI
Posts: 521
Re: Hard drive causes BIOS to freeze

Your best bet is probably to "hot-plug" the drive, either directly into its SATA connector or by using an ATA-to-USB cable. That way you can boot the OS and then let it deal with the drive, without letting the firmware get involved.

As to your bigger question, the firmware shouldn't care what's on the disk, but in practice they sometimes do. To the best of my knowledge, no firmware can understand NTFS, so if that's what you're using, it's unlikely that it being full was what caused problems. Some firmwares, though, do try to interpret the partition table and/or the contents of FAT filesystems. This can result in bugs such as what you're seeing. I ran into something that could cause a Gigabyte motherboard with "hybrid EFI" to flake out in a way that similar to what you describe; you can read about it here. It's unlikely that the underlying cause is the same, but it's conceivable it is.
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