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Windows 7: HP laptop takes one hour to start POST.

04 May 2013   #1

W7 Home Premium 32bit
HP laptop takes one hour to start POST.

While visiting friends in Florida this past week, one revealed a big problem with his HP Pavilion Dv7-1245dx, manufactured in 2009 with Vista installed.

When he turns it on from a cold start, the dashboard lights up, the cooling fan whirrs for about 3 seconds, then everything stops. Nothing but a black screen with the dashboard lights on. After about an hour, POST does occur and hands off to Vista - no problem.

Warm rebooting also has no problem. Right to POST and handoff.

Living with the one hour POST delay, I performed the following:

Long test disk check - passed
MemTest; 7 passes - passed
Opened up the bottom panel and removed the hd and memory sticks; cleaned all contacts and re-installed. The CMOS battery also happens to be available there with a little white plug-in, so I removed it for 30 minutes, pressed the power button, and re-plugged hoping it would enable a reset of the BIOS.

After waiting an hour, I did get the CMOS check sum error and reset defaults.

I then did a system recovery with his HP discs to factory condition.
I also removed the dvd drive.

All of the above activity did not solve the one hour POST delay.
I'm guessing a motherboard hardware fault somewhere?
Any ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


This troubleshooting guide prepared by one of the Forum experts may help.

Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

My first guess is that the battery is going south. You have certainly covered all the other bases. A failing battery will cause many strange symptoms.

One test I did not see was trying to start the laptop with the battery removed. If you have not tried that yet then do that first.

I think that this problem is pure hardware. I doubt if any OS solution is of any use here since once it hands off to Windows there are no issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 May 2013   #4
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

A POST taking that long could also be due to a failing hard drive. If you're seeing no messages, that's likely because a BIOS setting has the messages disabled -- and in that case, you won't see anything until the login screen appears.

One was to see into the delay, is, if you have the option, go into the BIOS and change the settings to display all the boot messages. IF you see the messages scrolling by, and then suddenly, they stop -- and nothing changes for a long time -- it's likely that it's trying to boot the OS from the hard drive and is encountering failing sectors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #5

W7 Home Premium 32bit

W7 (or I should say Vista) is not the problem. Once BIOS finally hands off to it, it boots to desktop just fine.
There are no peripherals attached (nothing USB) except the dvd drive; and I tried POSTing without it - no success. So, the troubleshooting tutorial will not help this scenario.

All my activity was done with no battery.

The hd passed Seagate tools long test.

There is a problem between cold start and entering BIOS POST. After an hour, the POST starts with no error messages. Does anyone have an inkling what is happening before BIOS invokes?

In the meantime, I told him to never shut down so he can at least use his machine.

This is the most puzzling thing. I fancy myself as a good hardware guru, but I don't have an answer other than a motherboard replacement.

Fully appreciate all the responses. This is the number one forum for my money. I hope there will be many more responses to try to nail this down.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Nah. It's the strange cases that test our metal. If it were easy, anyone could do it!

If it is not battery or power supply related then, unfortunately, it could be the power logic circuit on the motherboard. Or a bad switch. Or something off the wall. It could also be a fail(ing) device, including the hard drive (despite the good disk check test).

The POST is the Power On Self Test. It literally means that the system is testing to see if it 1) has power, and 2) can 'find itself'.
'Itself' is recorded in the 'CMOS' data. So there is a lot that could be going on that would cause POST to fail. First is that the CMOS data is corrupted and it does not match the environment.
The second is that a device in the system cannot be enumerated because of some failure, and that causes a wait state until the system can resolve the missing hardware.

That's about it for a no-post problem. Poor power, failing part. Easy. The hard part is coming up with a logical test to determine what it is that is failing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1

Does the BIOS have an option to turn on the boot time diagnostics screen? If so, turn that on and tell us what it hangs at. Also, run HP diagnostics on the laptop:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2013   #8

W7 Home Premium 32bit

I am back home, and the owner and laptop is in Florida.

I will email instructions to continue diagnosing.

One will be to disable Quiet Boot (which is one thing I did not do - damn).
Second will be to access Diagnostic Tools to run the Basic Suite.

Does anyone know what does NOT happen on a warm restart that happens on a cold boot?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2013   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

From memory, a few things I can think of:
  • The CPU is not restarted. It remains active throughout a warm boot -restart.
  • The RAM is not remapped.
  • The power logic circuit is not re-engaged, whichever source it is on at shutdown remains the source at restart.
  • The hard drive is already spinning, it is not spun down and re-started.
I'm not sure whether the POST is the same on a warm boot as in a cold boot. Whether all the hardware is re-enumerated or if only the checksum is matched.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HP laptop takes one hour to start POST.

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