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Boot problem with external ssd usb disk

From: João Franco
Subject: Boot problem with external ssd usb disk
Date: Tue, 27 May 2014 18:56:53 +0100


I prepared the following text to address different recipients I intend to
submit it to: Manjaro Linux, Adata ssd, Asus, Grub2 and Super Grub2
Disk. I hope it is adquate for a first aproach of the problem.
For additional technical data about my system see
(search for inxi, lspci, lsusb, dmidecode).

I have a Asus-N55SL-S1094V notebook with Windows7 on the internal HDD
and Manjaro Linux on a Adata External SSD SE720 USB3 with a GPT/Bios
setup as per 'Installation to SSD (quick guide) - Manjaro Linux' and Grub2.

1 - My boot problem:
- power on
- Adata shows on boot menu
- if Adata selected I get a line with GRUB followed by garbage
- if I enter key 'e' (edit), 'c' (command mode), or any other key,
  Windows7 boots.
- I have no problem booting from other USB external media drives or pens
  (not ssd and with normal MBR/Bios setup)

2 - Workaround to boot (time consuming, defeats the purpose of a quick
  boot frm a ssd, my motivation to buy one):
- power on
- select 'Enter setup' (bios) instead of Adata
- on 'boot order' choose Adata to boot before internal HDD
- Save and Exit
- on boot menu select Adata
- now success: Grub 2 menu shows

3 - I noticed when I enter bios:
- 'HDD bbs priorities' shows WD..(internal HDD), then other external USB
  media, but no Adata SSD.
- 'Floppy drive bbs priorities' shows Adata SSD.
- other settings as normal: AHCI interface, EFI disabled
- bios up to date.

4 - There is no problem when I restart from within the system (Manjaro
  Linux) instead of power off and then power on.
  With above workaround (2) I can boot from one USB3 and 2 USB2 ports
  but not from the other USB3 port which allows charge of usb media even
  when the notebook is shutdown.

5 - Power on and booting with 'Super Grub2 Disk' detects Adata SSD as a
  floppy with partions 'fd0,gpt1',...,'fd0,gpt4' and no boot.
  If (workaround):
- power on
- Enter setup (bios)
- set 'boot order' to Adata before HDD
- Save and Exit
- on boot menu choose CD drive (Super Grub2 Disk)
- this time 'Super Grub2 Disk' detects correctly Adata SSD as
  'hd2,gpt1', ...,'hd2,gpt4'

6 - I used another notebook, an Asus A6Tc (older), with same problem:
  if in boot menu I select Adata I get I line with 'GRUB:' only and no way to boot;
  I have to enter bios setup and afterwords select Adata.

Thank you for any help
                         Joao Franco

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