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PCHartwell

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm happy to see you back!  I have an urgent need to set up some Steadier State machines in a sort of library environment.  I have a number of identical Dell Optiplex 3040 small form factor PCs.  I have my prototype ready and my SSB prepared.  When I boot up on the SSB however I am not seeing the external HDDs i have attached via USB.  There are no problems seeing the same USB HDDs when booted up regular - USB ports are fine.  I can even tell that a USB HDD is connected when I press F12 at start to change boot options - it is listed along with the main HD and the DVD/CD drive.  So why are then not showing up after I get into the SSB/WinPE environment?  I have tried a couple of different USB HDDs and all the possible USB ports, both 2.0 and 3.0, on the PC

Edited to add:

The two USB drives; one is old-school 3.5 inch drive in larger chassis with A/C adapter; the other is 2.5 w/ no A/C adapter.  Both are USB 3.0 capable.  The PC has total of 8 USB ports, 4 front 4 back and 4 of them (2 front 2 back) are 3.0 capable.  In BIOS all USB settings appear active and normal and all USB ports work perfectly when I'm booted into the Windows 7 OS properly.
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PCHartwell

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Reply with quote  #2 
In the grand scheme of things this really wasn't too hard to suss out.  I sort of panicked when I posted here first.  On the chance than anyone else has my problem here's what to do:

It's a matter of slipping the USB 3.0 drivers you need into the bootable SSB media.  In my case, a USB stick.  The key elements you can find by searching how to add USB 3.0 drivers to Windows 7 boot disks.  DISM, mount wimfile boot.wim and knowing which Index to use.  Most forums I saw referenced "2" but if "2" doesn't work try "1" or use the DISM command line to find your index.  Pretty straightforward really; I shoulda known.  
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PCHartwell

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Reply with quote  #3 
And now the rest of the story.  I hope.  

There was in fact a little more too it after resolving the matter of recognizing USB HDDs which are 3.0 capable even if they are plugged in to USB 2.0 ports.  I was using a bootable USB as SSB with the modified boot.wim file (see above post) and ran into a separate and related problem when trying to prep a new PC and copy the image.  The prepnewpc was failing somehow - after wiping the drive it could not successfully create that PE partition giving errors to most of the 12 or 13 lines that you expect to and need to see "completed successfully.  Long time spent trying to solve this and in the end something is goofed up when you use a bootable USB stick when doing this.  

I found some posts which suggested that using bootable USB media can cause this problem.  So I found out about how to take a bootable USB stick and turn it in to an ISO and burned a DVD with my modded SSB (boot.wim to include USB 3.0 drivers; see above post).  This actually worked and I was able to successfully prep a new PC and then copy/robocopy the image, restart and viola!  (violin?)  You get the gist.  

Spent a lot of hours over the weekend chasing my tail on this one.  Hopefully this can help others.  Like I suggested, the steps to slip the USB 3.0 (or any) drivers into a boot.wim file and replace the one in the SSB are out there.  And the steps to turn a bootable USB stick into an ISO are out there.  Probably steps to replace the boot.wim directly into the ISO that the SSB helps you create can be found as well; would save a step in my experience.  As always, the real trick of the technician is in knowing enough about the problem you are facing to search on and find the answers; in Google we trust.

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Mark Minasi

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Reply with quote  #4 
Mister Hartwell, sir, you are a pro!  Thanks for using SS, hope it's doing some good.

One of these days I'll Win 10-ize it.
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