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Windows 7: 3 minutes "Windows Starting" delay due to Autochk

14 Jun 2015   #11
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Is this specific to RAID5 (the 0x1 issue)? I have 2xRAID0 arrays, both built with Disk Management in Windows, and don't have any issues.

Any specific reason you want to use RAID5? They are not really all that good for our type of boards as far as I know, unless you have hardware PCIe RAID card. And is not a backup method either. Just ensures service continuation in case of a drive failure. If you are already backing up properly - why not set up a 4 disk RAID0?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jun 2015   #12
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Hi GokAy;

From what I read in the response I was referring to, this (0x0, 0x1) is a RAID issue (and any drivers issue) regardless of what type of RAID array it is. It is based on the drivers being loaded before windows starts or after windows starts (or both I guess if necessary). I believe that because my drivers (iastor) are being loaded WHILE windows starts, before they get a chance to be loaded, autochk is trying to check them and it does not recognize them as a drive yet (because the RAID drivers have not yet been initialized by windows). Here is a link to that response on Microsoft Community:

Why is Autocheck.exe taking 3+ minutes at startup - Microsoft Community

The post I am referring to is near the end. I was the OP on that forum thread.

Why did I not choose RAID0 - because every RAID config has it's advantages and disadvantages, and in my situation, I felt that RAID5 was best suited to my purposes. I have read articles about why you should NEVER use RAID5, and I have read articles extolling it's virtues. I have run RAID5 arrays before in my NAS boxes, and have always been fine with them (with the exception of their initialization/rebuild times). In different situations, I might choose RAID0, but would probably go with RAID10 as 0 alone gives no protection as far as I know (so if one drive goes, all is gone except for your other backups of the same data) and even though I have an extensive backup routine to cover my bases outside this machine, I still want some protection on what is in here and don't need the extra performance that RAID0 would give me. I already have a M.2 SM951 for my main drive and a ForceGT SSD for my secondary/scratch drive so the 300MB/s speed I am getting from this RAID5 array is plenty enough performance (a not too distant third place behind the ForceGT) for my on-board 16TB storage solution (10.9TB usable space after formatting and RAID5).

All that said, I know VERY little about RAID on a whole, but I have done a lot of research to figure out what's best for me and I am comfortable with it as is (except for Windows not recognizing during startup, only after windows starts). I just need to remember that next time I do a Winstall, I want to load the RAID drivers during install even if I am not installing the OS to that RAID array, so that BIOS can recognize the array and therefore it will be recognized on the way into windows, thereby avoiding any confusion for the poor little Autochk.exe .

Thanks for chiming in and helping out.

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #13
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Fair enough mate, RAID5 only protects against 1 failed drive. Downside of a failed RAID0 is the copy pasting stuff back from the backup. Since you are already backing up, no problems whatever route you take.

You said you set the RAID5 array using the Windows Disk Management(?) or did I understand wrong? The possibilities are Windows Disk Management, Intel software(I guess can do from within Windows) and BIOS configuration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jun 2015   #14
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Used Intel RST. I think I maybe used Disk Management to change the drive letter to R (for RAID) but I believe I did the rest of it in IRST. I did it from WITHIN windows as that is where IRST runs as I am sure you know, but I did not use windows to set it up.

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #15
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Ok, seems software RAID5 in Windows 7 is not implemented, my bad You can check https://communities.intel.com/thread/30113 by the way. Especially, taking notice of item 2 in the link, what is the stripe size?

(I will be out for 1.5-2 hours)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #16
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for the additional feedback GokAy. Stripe size is 128k. I had found an article that did a direct comparison of the various stripe and sector sizes and I followed the recommendations there to achieve the maximum performance for the multimedia content being stored here.

I have posted a request at the Intel forum. Hopefully someone there has the silver bullet to put this build to bed and give me a reasonable boot time ;~))

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #17
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The article you mention probably talks about hardware RAID, from the link I gave NTFS supports max 64K stripes and you should format with 64K clusters. If you don't mind re-copying your data from backup (should be the last thing it seems), go ahead and recreate the array(64K), and format(64K).

Anyway, let us know what is recommended at the Intel forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #18
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Here is the RAID article I was referring to:

Intel Rapid Storage - Beste Kombination aus Stripe- und Clustergr√∂√Ÿe - Technikaffe.de

Thanks for all your help. Don't really want to recreate the RAID as I have already moved about 5TB of data on to it, but ultimately, if I have to, I will.

BTW, I am VERY happy with the performance. My only problem is the boot routine of autochk.exe wanting to stare at these drives for 3+ minutes. Once started, it smokes like a Marley ;~))

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #19
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

OK, I tried to get the "BIOS" drivers installed by doing a "install" of windows. When I could see the screen for what drive to load to, I loaded the RAID drivers, then backed out of the install. Now I can see the RAID array in the BIOS, but it did NOT solve my boot issue.

So even though the drivers are recognizing the RAID array prior to Windows start, it is still taking 3-4 minutes at boot time with the autochk.exe being the culprit program using that time.

Any thoughts anyone?

Thanks and Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2015   #20
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Sorry if I missed this in earlier posts. Did you try a clean startup yet? Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup
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 3 minutes "Windows Starting" delay due to Autochk




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