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Tech Tip – Gigabyte Brix Pro and external disks have boot bios problem and workaround hack

Building a new Windows Media Center box with a Gigabyte Brix Pro GB-BXi5-4570R with external storage on a WD My Book. The config is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, 4GB RAM, and a 60GB Kingston V300 SSD as the boot device.
Had to give up – with the WD disk attached, the Brix wouldn’t boot past the BIOS splash screen. It would just hang until the WD was unplugged and then rebooted. Mucked around for an afternoon trying the see if there was a BIOS setting that might have fixed it but couldn’t find one. Tried other disks like the Buffalo DDR, both had the same problem causing the PC to hang on boot.
So the hack to make the machine boot is to partition the external disk on a Mac, with a GUID header. Then the machine boots fine. Here’s a screenshot of what the disk looks like in the management app with the 300MB header partition.
Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.52.50 pm
I have no idea why this works but it does.
Keywords brix pro startup problems