XP boots very slowly with external USB HD attached

  dms_05 12:45 28 Jun 09

I've an older Toshiba laptop (1.8 GHz Celeron, 512 MB RAM) that boot very slowly if I attach an external 500 GB HDD. If I remove the cable then the boot process goes well but with the cable attached the time between displaying 'Loading' and 'Welcome' can be 10 minutes. If I attach the USB HDD after booting it seems to be reading for as long as the time delay on boot and the laptop is very very sluggish whilst this happens. Is the laptop indexing the external drive? One important factor is the age of the laptop means its USB v1 not the newer faster v2.

Do I have to put up with the delay or is their a workaround? I'm only using this old machine whilst my Core2 Duo 4 GB lappy is away for repair.

  johndrew 12:57 28 Jun 09

The laptop is `reading` the external drive during the boot process and the port being USB 1 will cause everything to run slower as a result. Given the time it takes to remove a USB connector it would be wise to have the external HDD either disconnected or switched off during boot and simply reconnect or switch on when the laptop is fully booted.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:03 28 Jun 09

A 500G drive via USB1 will be very slow to read 12mbs
maybe if you buy a USB2 card 40mbs click here you will see a vast difference.

I use similar on an old HP laptop.

  dms_05 13:22 28 Jun 09

Thanks for the two excellent answers. I've been in Windows 7 mode for such a long time I'd forgotten my old box of PCMCIA cards and it's contents as I'm now an ExpressCard user. So I actually have the bits I need and all is (partially) solved. It's now a lot quicker and will do fine until my up to date laptop is returned.

Many thanks.

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