First post, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
Okay. so this is a two-pronged story, which I'm not sure related with each other or not, but please bear with me.
I have a 2 TB Seagate hard drive enclosed in a generic, self-powered USB 3.0 enclosure (the brand name is "Rock"). I've been using the hard drive enclosure for about 3 years without problems. I've been using it mostly with my laptop, though I've been using it with other PCs as well (I have some other PCs in my home office). I often boot my laptop with the hard drive enclosure already on, and it never incurred any problem... until two days ago.
So, two days ago, I turn on my laptop with the hard drive enclosure plugged in and already on, when suddenly my laptop crashes during boot time (before Windows logo), so I forcefully turned it using its power button, then turning it on again. When I managed to turn it on again, the laptop showed Advanced Boot Options screen (where you can select Safe Mode, Start Windows Normally, and Last Known Good Configuration). I chose Last Good Known Configuration, and the laptop has been experiencing severe hard disk thrashing ever since, that it became virtually useless and need a full reinstall.
Well the 2TB hard drive contains all the important data, so I plugged it into a different computer --a Windows XP desktop PC-- to check its contents. Thankfully, the data is intact, so I turned off the desktop PC, then the hard drive enclosure, and I finally plugged out the hard drive. Problem is, when I turned on the desktop PC again, it falls into and endless cycle of rebooting. Yes, it always shows Advanced Boot Options screen during startup, and your choice doesn't matter. You can choose Safe Mode, Start Windows Normally, and Last Known Good configuration, and it won't make any difference --the computer will always go to endless cycle of rebooting regardless of your choice.
The next victim was a Windows 7 desktop PC. So yes, I plugged the hard disk enclosure while the computer is on, and then turn the enclosure on to check the contents. Well, the contents is intact. Then I turned the Windows 7 PC off, turned off the hard drive enclosure, pulled it out, then turned on the Windows 7 PC again. Guess what? Just like the previous Windows XP desktop PC, this Windows 7 PC also went to Advanced Boot Options screen. But instead of going into endless rebooting cycle like the XP described above, it just crash. It doesn't matter whether you choose Last Known Good configuration or Start Windows Normally, the PC just crashes. The difference is that Last Known Good Configuration gives you the 'Windows is rebuilding the files' or something like that, while Start Windows Normally just gives you a black screen.
The only PC that is immune to the hard drive enclosure's apparent curse is a Windows XP desktop PC which has just been freshly installed (I always have the policy of re-installing every computer about every two years or so). Unlike the previous two PCs, this particular computer has Autorun disabled from the registry, so my first suspect is autorun.inf virus.
Problem is, the external hard drive does not have autorun.inf at all, everything looks very clean. No weird file names, and the only hidden folders in that hard drive are System Volume Information and RECYCLER.
And yes, I always set Windows Explorer to show hidden files and folders, and I always un-hide file extension and protected system files as well.
So, I don't understand what's going on. I have been using the hard drive enclosure for about three years, and it has never caused any problems before. Suddenly it destroys one laptop and two desktop PCs, forcing the three computers into Advanced Boot Options screen during startup, with varying results ranging from severe hard disk thrashing (my laptop), endless boot cycle (my XP desktop), and simply crash (my Windows 7 desktop).
You know, it's so weird that if I'm a superstitious person, I would say the hard drive enclosure was recently cursed.
Okay, on to the second story. You see, since the Windows 7 PC above has become totally useless, I decided to give it a fresh install. Alas, I lost my Win 7 media, while I still have spare Windows XP installation discs around (you wouldn't believe how many XP Pros I have hoarded all these years). The (then) Windows 7 PC has Biostar A780L3G motherboard, you know, AMD Radeon 760G chipset and such..
Problem is, the PC won't start with USB mouse plugged in.
During Windows XP installation, the Windows XP installer hangs during "Installing Windows XP" message, so I have to resort to PS2 mouse. After installation, the PC would always go to Advanced Boot Options screen if a USB mouse is plugged in when it boots. Mind you, it only happens with USB mouse. I plugged in my 'cursed' external hard drive (which I have described on the first story above), and no, the "cursed" external hard drive does not the computer to crash. Heck, I have tried with my USB joystick plugged in before turning on the computer, and the computer doesn't crash during boot either.
Anyway, yes, this time, the cursed external hard drive doesn't harm the computer at all. Also, I have checked its contents, and I could confirm that there's still nothing suspicious among the files.
So, back to the computer, it would never boot with USB mouse plugged in --any USB mouse, from wired USB mouse to wireless USB mouse. Yes, you can plug a USB mouse after the computer is turned on, but you could never boot it with a USB mouse plugged in. Funnily enough, when the PC still has Windows 7, it boots with USB mouse plugged in.
So, could anyone explain the reason behind all this madness?