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Windows 7: PC Boot Time now 15+ minutes, no indication of problems..


23 Nov 2012   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Thanks Greg. Analysing this thing is not obvious.
What do you mean? (just trying to understand the boot trace better)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2012   #12
Microsoft MVP

 

Try only the OS SSD plugged into the port it wants, set to boot first. Does the problem persist?

Do you have Legacy BIOS enabled? Most UEFI BIOS require the UEFI boot manager to be set first if you've installed in UEFI mode to a GPT disk using 64 bit: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums

Check your Manual on the PC or mobo's Support Downloads webpage for how UEFI must be set as its slightly different on each mobo.

Next try pulling the plug on the DVD drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #13

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Try only the OS SSD plugged into the port it wants, set to boot first. Does the problem persist?

Do you have Legacy BIOS enabled? Most UEFI BIOS require the UEFI boot manager to be set first if you've installed in UEFI mode to a GPT disk using 64 bit: UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums

Check your Manual on the PC or mobo's Support Downloads webpage for how UEFI must be set as its slightly different on each mobo.

Next try pulling the plug on the DVD drive.
Ok, I went into the UEFI BIOS (it's already setup on the system), and I found the option that let me set the SSD as boot first priority (it wasn't listed on the main "Boot" screen, but under another tab like "HDD/SSB Priorities" or something).

The first boot after this change took about 15-20 seconds, which is very good. But my concern is this: not only is the SSD already set at the first SATA slot on the motherboard, but it was already set in the BIOS as the main boot drive - all months ago. I never changed those settings, but yet somehow the BIOS seemed to revert back. How does this happen? Can anything cause the BIOS to change its settings, without user input? I don't understand what differences there are between boots, and why the times should vary at all. There is nothing majorly different with the system, it is the same setup as it has been when it booted 10-12 seconds. Everything was perfectly stable, and now I have this variance which caused me some concern earlier, but I can tell the system is not 'hanging' nor is anything adverse happening...just seeming to take forever to load something while sitting at the Windows logo screen (the logo does its flashing/glowing thing as usual). I can't comprehend this.

I'm trying to understand it as much as I can, have any experience like this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2012   #14
Microsoft MVP

 

This is a pretty common setting which designates the primary HD so that in BIOS Boot order it is that HD which becomes set first to boot.

The complication is UEFI which is new enough and varies enough per model we are having to relearn many of the boot fixes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #15

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Alright, this is really strange. (Boot times are back up to 10+ minutes, after that one brief moment of 15seconds)

I checked that link you gave me about the UEFI and installing Windows 7 with it; at first it didn't seem applicable to me as my Windows 7 was already installed and I'd already accessed the UEFI interface from boot. When I tried the check from the administrative Command Prompt to see how it was working, it turned out this was the path of the Windows Boot Loader: "..../winload.exe". Based on what the article said, it is supposed to be ".../winload.efi". How do I change this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #16
Microsoft MVP

 

EFI mode requires having EFI or WIndows Boot manager set first to boot in BIOS setup, Legacy BIOS disabled, and install to a GPT formatted HD.

If you have a GPT disk it will show this when you rightclick on the panel shown in screenshot:

click to enlarge

If you don't have each of those then you have Legacy BIOS with a normal install to MBR disk.

Unplug all but the SSD to see if the slow boot persists.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2012   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

That is the case, it is a legacy BIOS with a normal install to the MBR disk.


After testing on your advice of unplugging all drives except the SSD, the boot times went right back to normal 10-12 seconds. This happened on 4 consecutive boots, and it leads me to believe would be the case for now.

Why would this happen, if the other drives are unplugged? Is there a conflict between the legacy BIOS and the UEFI BIOS where I was able to change settings? How can I access the legacy BIOS to correct this?

On another note: is it worth it to re-install the OS just to have the disk as GPT and full use of UEFI? There doesn't seem to be any apparent benefit for me, as my main disk of SSD is smaller than the allocation limits freed by GPT over MBR would help.

How do I get to re-add those drives, without having such issues? (I really need to get access to this Legacy BIOS...from boot, pressing F2 takes me straight to the UEFI interface, so what option is there?).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2012   #18
Microsoft MVP

 

I avoid UEFI until we know more about, and since every BIOS is different there's a lot to learn.

What we do know here are MBR installs. The reason I asked you to unplug all other HD's is to see if one is interfering. So plug the others back one at a time until you find the one delaying the boot.

In about half of the cases moving the files off of that drive to wipe the boot sector of conflicting code using Diskpart Clean Command
should solve the problem unless there are other issues as yet undiscovered.

You can also become more familar with your system and hardware working through the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2012   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I avoid UEFI until we know more about, and since every BIOS is different there's a lot to learn.

What we do know here are MBR installs. The reason I asked you to unplug all other HD's is to see if one is interfering. So plug the others back one at a time until you find the one delaying the boot.

In about half of the cases moving the files off of that drive to wipe the boot sector of conflicting code using Diskpart Clean Command
should solve the problem unless there are other issues as yet undiscovered.

You can also become more familar with your system and hardware working through the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7
Given your experience in the matter, I'm glad to say I'll be holding off on any experimentation with UEFI/GPT for awhile.

The weird thing about unplugging the other drives is: the DVD drive was empty, and I have yet to put any files whatsoever onto the 2nd HDD (desktop is about 8 months old, wasn't needed to use yet). So, I do not see how a boot sector could exist on those drives as I never installed anything there.

I feel there are still many things about this I need to figure out. I'll follow through with the Troubleshooting steps next time I am able.


Do you know of any occurrence like this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2012   #20
Microsoft MVP

 

Yes, we deal with it regularly. I guess I need to repeat the steps.

As I said the procedure is to unplug all other drives to see if it boots correctly.

If so then plug back in each drive to see if it causes the startup delay.

Once you discover which drive causes the startup delay, wipe it with Clean command to check again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 PC Boot Time now 15+ minutes, no indication of problems..




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