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I have a old computer which is way past its prime time. It is still running however, so I installed Server 2003 to setup a file server at home.

Problem is, because it's so old, I can't extend the internal hard drives (it simply won't recognize any of my disks). Instead, I have an external USB disk I keep the family photos on.

Now, the disk registers properly when I plug it in after boot, as expected, but when the computer boots, with the disk plugged in, it hangs before POST. I have tried to find any settings to fix this in bios, but I can't find any. How can I fix this, and what should I do in case this cannot be fixed? Should I just buy a new computer as a file server?

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Your BIOS is likely setup to boot from an external device as a priority above your hard drive. Thus when you plug in the external hard drive, it seeks to it for bootable media, and upon finding none, will fail to boot. You should try to re-prioritize your boot sequence and set your internal hard drive with your OS on it as your primary boot, or at least place it above booting above external devices.

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