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Windows 7: What are the risks of "killing" my CMOS?

30 Sep 2010   #1
kisazeky

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
Boot time problem solved?

A while ago, I said I had a problem with my laptop taking unusually long to boot up (2-3 mins) even in safe mode and clean boot mode. According to Soluto, it takes 5:23 minutes to completely boot up, including getting the start up programs out. I've tried so much to get rid of it until someone said this happened when they had corrupted their CMOS somehow, and resetting it had fixed it.

I am not sure how my CMOS could have been corrupted, but I'm desperate. I'm not desperate enough to potentially destroy my laptop, however.

So like the title says, what are the risks of doing it? What will it definitely do to my PC? What could it do?

Thanks.

Edit: Well I don't believe CMOS has anything to do with it, now. My boot time before was 5:23, now it has been, somehow, reduced to 1:57, which is a much more reasonable boot time. All of the hefty programs listed have decreased their time by half or more. Note the 1:57 time includes the time it takes for the stuff to load at start up as well.

What I did: I defragmented my registry with Auslogics. It was 93% fragmented. Ouch! I never thought a fragmented registry could have such an impact. At first I did not think the defragmentation reduced my boot time, till I read that it needed to defragment before anything booted. Thank you, gregrocker, for suggesting this small but often overlooked maintenance tip. I'm quite sure this helped as I cannot think of any other explanation.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2010   #2
Dzomlija

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kisazeky View Post
A while ago, I said I had a problem with my laptop taking unusually long to boot up (2-3 mins) even in safe mode and clean boot mode. I've tried so much to get rid of it until someone said this happened when they had corrupted their CMOS somehow, and resetting it had fixed it.

I am not sure how my CMOS could have been corrupted, but I'm desperate. I'm not desperate enough to potentially destroy my laptop, however.

So like the title says, what are the risks of doing it? What will it definitely do to my PC? What could it do?

Thanks.
First of all, you shouldn't mess with resetting or flashing your CMOS/BIOS unless you are 100% certain that doing so will resolve the issue/s you're experiencing.

In this instance, I don't think the BIOS is the cause of slow boot times, as a bad BIOS would usually result in the system not booting at all.

Question: When the system does boot, does the system remain slow, or does it perform normally?

You can check the following to try and resolve boot times:
  1. Run a full disk check on your boot drive to correct possible errors.
  2. Check available free space on the boot drive. Too little available space has been known to slow overall boot times and performance. If you can, move such items as your Documents, Pictures or Videos folders to other drives.
  3. How much memory does you computer have? Anything less than 2GB, and you should look at upgrading the memory...
  4. Go to the website of your computer manufacturer and download the latest drivers for your OS. If you built the computer yourself, then go to the motherboard manufacturer website.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #3
fishnbanjo

Vista 64 Ultimate, Windows 7 64 Ultimate, Ubuntu 9.10
 
 

Aside from the very thoughtful and concise response you have already been given you could disconnect your hard drive and see how the PC boots at that point. Understand that not having an OS to boot to will simply give you a no OS found error but it would substantiate that your hard drive, or at the very least programs or registry, is the root cause of your slow boot time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Sep 2010   #4
mikedl

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Great advice, Dzomlija. Well said!

kisazeky, if, after following the advice given by Dzomlija, your computer still takes 2-3 minutes to boot but otherwise runs fine, I wouldn't worry about it.

Mine takes 2:30 or so, consistently, and I have pared down the start up programs as much as I care to at this moment (sure I could go further but I'll be using the programs anyway). The biggest hit I get is my AVG Internet Security - it takes 40 seconds to load according to Soluto.

To reiterate Dzomlija, if the computer runs fine otherwise, don't worry about the boot time too much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #5
wysiwyg

Vista Ultimate 32 bit, Win 7 Pro 32 bit, Win 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote:
The biggest hit I get is my AVG Internet Security - it takes 40 seconds to load according to Soluto.
Time to move to MSE small footprint.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #6
kisazeky

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dzomlija View Post

First of all, you shouldn't mess with resetting or flashing your CMOS/BIOS unless you are 100% certain that doing so will resolve the issue/s you're experiencing.

In this instance, I don't think the BIOS is the cause of slow boot times, as a bad BIOS would usually result in the system not booting at all.

Question: When the system does boot, does the system remain slow, or does it perform normally?

You can check the following to try and resolve boot times:
  1. Run a full disk check on your boot drive to correct possible errors.
  2. Check available free space on the boot drive. Too little available space has been known to slow overall boot times and performance. If you can, move such items as your Documents, Pictures or Videos folders to other drives.
  3. How much memory does you computer have? Anything less than 2GB, and you should look at upgrading the memory...
  4. Go to the website of your computer manufacturer and download the latest drivers for your OS. If you built the computer yourself, then go to the motherboard manufacturer website.
Thanks for the answer. I won't reset the CMOS then.

1. I've done scandisk and my drive is squeaky clean. I've also done other simple maintenance like defragmenting and registry error cleaning. I do these weekly.

2. There's 296 GB free on my hard drive at this moment. So I doubt that :P

3. I have 4 GB of RAM.

4. I installed a driver for my notebook that was said to improve the performance of it. It didn't seem to make an difference upon a reboot to completely install it, but then again, it said it was configuring windows updates on the welcome screen.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fishnbanjo View Post
Aside from the very thoughtful and concise response you have already been given you could disconnect your hard drive and see how the PC boots at that point. Understand that not having an OS to boot to will simply give you a no OS found error but it would substantiate that your hard drive, or at the very least programs or registry, is the root cause of your slow boot time.
I don't think I can "disconnect" my hard drive without digging into the guts of my notebook. :P I'm a bit shy when it comes to getting inside my laptop. Thanks for the input though.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mikedl View Post
Great advice, Dzomlija. Well said!


kisazeky, if, after following the advice given by Dzomlija, your computer still takes 2-3 minutes to boot but otherwise runs fine, I wouldn't worry about it.

Mine takes 2:30 or so, consistently, and I have pared down the start up programs as much as I care to at this moment (sure I could go further but I'll be using the programs anyway). The biggest hit I get is my AVG Internet Security - it takes 40 seconds to load according to Soluto.

To reiterate Dzomlija, if the computer runs fine otherwise, don't worry about the boot time too much.
Yes, my computer runs just fine after booting. It's a little grumpy at first though. :P Also, I'm going to check out Soluto...maybe it can help me.

Thanks for your responses everyone

Edit: This probably doesn't mean anything, but I looked at my system tray right when my desktop booted up and I noticed my firewall and antivirus were there already and already initialized.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #7
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Just so you know there is a big difference between flashing your BIOS versus reseting it to defaults. Flashing your BIOS if done incorrectly could potentially turn your laptop into a paper weight or door stop. It's not for the feint hearted or technically challenged. Reseting your BIOS settings to defaults is a simple procedure the just rewrites the settings stored in the BIOS. It doesn't rewrite the code it just rewrites a small separate section where the custom settings are stored. Worst case scenario as far as I can see is you have to go into your BIOS settings and reset the date and time and maybe your boot order. It sounds like you have another thread on the go but I haven't read it yet. One BIOS setting I would defiantly look at is your Boot order. If it's set to say look at the floppy drive first, CD-ROM next and the finally your hard drive that will increase your boot time. If you change it to Hard drive first that will speed things up. Also most Bois's have a quick boot option. When enabled the BIOS does less hardware checks and will boot faster. Nothings permanent so you can test some of these settings, and if you don't like it, you can go back in and change it to what you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I would not worry about a 2 minute plus or minus a little boot time. There are so many things that can slow it down or speed it up the boot time. You have gone through all the cleaning and defrag. Checking msconfig for programs starting up on boot. If every thing was perfect you might gain 1/2 second, no big deal. You computer is running doing all these things means you Cmos is just fine if you have reset the time. The down side of trying to gain that 1/2 second. While you are changing all kinds of things to gain that 1/2 second you could make a small mistake that will make it worse. Now try to remember all the things that you have done to repair it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #9
kisazeky

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
Just so you know there is a big difference between flashing your BIOS versus reseting it to defaults. Flashing your BIOS if done incorrectly could potentially turn your laptop into a paper weight or door stop. It's not for the feint hearted or technically challenged. Reseting your BIOS settings to defaults is a simple procedure the just rewrites the settings stored in the BIOS. It doesn't rewrite the code it just rewrites a small separate section where the custom settings are stored. Worst case scenario as far as I can see is you have to go into your BIOS settings and reset the date and time and maybe your boot order. It sounds like you have another thread on the go but I haven't read it yet. One BIOS setting I would defiantly look at is your Boot order. If it's set to say look at the floppy drive first, CD-ROM next and the finally your hard drive that will increase your boot time. If you change it to Hard drive first that will speed things up. Also most Bois's have a quick boot option. When enabled the BIOS does less hardware checks and will boot faster. Nothings permanent so you can test some of these settings, and if you don't like it, you can go back in and change it to what you want.
Ah, for resetting it then, would KillCMOS do the trick? It sounds like the program just sets it to factory default. Also thanks for the boot order advice. I will look into how to change it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #10
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

You really don't need any program to reset the CMOS. Most motherboards have a jumper that you momentarily set across 2 pins (with power off) then remove BEFORE you power the machine back on. This clears the CMOS and then you will need to redo the date and time and as mentioned, possibly the boot order. If your motherboard doesn't have the CMOS clear jumper then with the machine powered down you can remove the battery for a few minutes which will accomplish the same thing. There is no danger in clearing the CMOS but, as already pointed out, it's possible to brick your machine trying to flash your BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What are the risks of "killing" my CMOS?




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