When I enable USB legacy support in my BIOS, it seems to work fine, as long as I don't have a particular external USB disk connected and powered up. If I do have that, the computer locks up during boot (during BIOS device discovery; Windows isn't in the picture yet).

I accept that either the BIOS has a bug or the external disk enclosure has a bug, and I doubt there is anything I can do about it, but I still have questions about how to avoid this in the future.

  • Is this likely to be a BIOS bug? Or an enclosure bug? How can I test without involving a second PC? (Hint: I don't care enough to use a bus analyzer. :-)

  • Assuming this is an enclosure bug, anybody have recommendations for how to shop for a replacement enclosure which gets this particular thing right?

  • Why not just leave Legacy USB support disabled? It's hardly needed these days. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 2 '11 at 4:03
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    @techie007: Without it you will not be able to use USB keyboards and mice on many boot discs. On older computers you will not be able to change BIOS settings either. – paradroid May 2 '11 at 4:20
  • @paradroid - I've found this depends more on the motherbaord and USB device itself rather than what you're booting into. Your point is valid, and it's why I said 'hardly' instead of 'never'. ;) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 2 '11 at 4:22
  • This is a BIOS issue; configuring it doesn't fly without legacy USB support enabled. As well, boot loaders, including the one that comes with Windows 7, like to use BIOS for their keyboard support. I'm keeping an ancient PS/2 keyboard around for these reasons, but it would be nice to get rid of it. – Integer Poet May 3 '11 at 20:57

Very likely a BIOS bug. I had once a Mobo which locked up when a specific USB2.0 Hub was connected on bootup. In Linux/Windows this HUB runs fine.

Maybe a BIOS update can fix this problem. I remember seeing BIOS changelogs saying "Support for USB device xxx" for some boards I came across.

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  • I did sniff around for a BIOS update, but unfortunately although the motherboard appears to have been manufactured by Intel, which one might think a good thing from a support standpoint, it has only placeholder strings for the manufacturer and model. I've seen on the web that in this case one should identify the motherboard chipset and search for a BIOS update for that instead, but I haven't been able to find a chipset identifier yet. – Integer Poet May 3 '11 at 21:04
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    I recommed having a look (or taking a photo) on the mainboard itself- usually the correct type or a clue is printed somewhere. – Turbo J May 3 '11 at 21:22

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