Boot from eSata Drive on Dell PWS M6400 ? - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Boot from eSata Drive on Dell PWS M6400 ?


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Boot from eSata Drive on Dell PWS M6400 ?

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Is it possible to boot from a drive connected to the eSata Port on a Del PWS M6400 ?  or any other laptop, Dell or non Dell?

I've tried three different eSata Drives with no success... Drives are seen in Windows XP, Drives are seen within the RAID Controller BIOS, but the eSata Drives are not offered up by the Laptop System BIOS as a bootable drive.

Goal was to install Windows 7 on the external drive to 'test drive' before actually tossing it on my production system.




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  • First the HDD will have to be formatted as a basic/primary drive second if the bios does not show the option to search for other boot devices it will probably not work .

  • BIOS does not see the drive as a Bootable Device, this is the issue at hand.

    Anyone got an answer here?...  

    1. Is there any laptop in existance than allows an eSata drive to be the Boot drive?

    2. Does the Dell Precision M6400 have this capability?  and if not, might a BIOS upgrade by Dell address this issue and make it so this is an option?


  • I'm having the same issues with a Dell Studio 1537.  I'm unable to get the bios to recognize eSata drive, were windows 7 has no issues see the drive.

    If you find any resolution to this, please let me know.  I would like to have the option to boot into my Linux machine without removing the hd, real pain in the 1537.

  • Curiosity? In the bios are you set up for network boot? As this has to be enabled to boot from USB device. You may also have to write a new MBR to the drive.

  • Thanks for the tip, I'll check into it.  I'm in the middle of a large download, I'll have to wait to restart my computer to check the net boot option.

    My external drive is USB/ESATA drive, selectable when the ESATA cable is connected.  When the ESATA cable is removed, the USB is selected (USB is always connected for power).  This my bios will recognize and boot from the USB drive (Ubuntu).  The bios just wont recognize the ESATA as an external device,  were Window does so the ESATA does work.  As I'm able to boot from the drive when using USB, I'm assume the MBR or net boot are not the issues.