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Windows 7: Slow boot on SSD, fresh install

25 Jul 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Slow boot on SSD, fresh install

Hello everyone,

I recently bought a Samsung 840 Evo 250 GB.
I first made sure my SATA controllers were set to AHCI, Secure Erased the SSD and benchmarked the SSD (didn't quite reach advertised speeds but nothing too bad) and updated the SSDs firmware (all while still under my HDD Windows 7 install), then uncoupled all drives, hooked up my SSD to SATA port 0 (the AMD one, which are all SATA 6Gb/s). Installed windows, followed to the letter.

Boot times are however not 10-12 something seconds as you usually hear from people when they upgrade to an SSD. They are in the 40-45 second range.
To avoid having to repeat myself I'll post a link to a thread I started on
Slow boot with new SSD, fresh install - Overclockers Forums

Please read that thread to see what I've tried so far (a lot of things. A lot. I've been trying for 3 full days now).

I'm hoping people here can help me solve this problem. In particular, I did a boottrace following this guide:
Gathering a Startup, Shutdown, Sleep, Hibernate, or Reboot Trace

However, I have no idea how to interpret it. I really hope someone here can help me with that/interpret it for me. Also, it'd be great if someone could give me a tip on where to host the boottrace file so you can review it.

In addition to what's mentioned in that thread I've also just run chkdsk on my external drive. No errors, nothing.
Also, I said in that topic that performance after boot is what you'd expect from an SSD. I'm starting to doubt that. Benchmarks are still okay though.

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2014   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Did you install Samsung Magician?

Did you use it to "optimize Windows for SSD performance"? Did you activate "rapid mode"? Did you leave the recommended minimum of about 10% of the drive unallocated to partitions so as to make it available to "over-provisioning"?

All of these are significant steps to improving SSD performance with Samsung drives.

Did you cancel the normal weekly-scheduled Windows defrag and STOP/DISABLE the defrag service itself so that it can't be run? Just something good to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I did install Magician, I optimized it manually, but I did everything Samsung wants you to do. Didn't enable Rapid Mode, but not enabling something like that should by no means cause this kind of issue.

The disk is still almost entirely empty, I did a fresh install. I also tried leaving some space unallocated which made no difference.

No defrag either, stopped that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jul 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Vexillarius View Post
I did install Magician, I optimized it manually, but I did everything Samsung wants you to do. Didn't enable Rapid Mode, but not enabling something like that should by no means cause this kind of issue.

The disk is still almost entirely empty, I did a fresh install. I also tried leaving some space unallocated which made no difference.
I'm just curious about over-provisioning, which isn't related to free space in your C-partition. It requires truly free space on the drive itself, unallocated to any partition.

Here's my own setup on a 512GB Samsung 840 Pro, with about 49GB not allocated to any partition. It shows up on the graphic as the "over provisioning" area at the extreme right end of the picture.

Actually, your boot time improvement is more than just what the SSD advantage give you. If your startup includes lots of other programs and services which kick off at Windows start time this will of course take time too.

Booting is a one-time process, so I'm not too terribly concerned if it's not 10 seconds to get to the Windows desktop because I have quite a lot that loads. I'm much more interested in how the system performs once it's up and running and the desktop fully stabilized.

So if you run the "performance benchmark" of Magician, numbers there would be much more meaningful to objectively evaluate as to whether your fresh installation can still be tweaked or if there's something significant that's been overlooked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2014   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Your post on that other forum says:

"Boot times when I only installed Windows were very good, 10-12 seconds from the end of POST to usable desktop. That changed as soon as I started installing mobo drivers. Boot took about 10 seconds longer immediately. When I was done with the above guide, boot times had gone up to about 45 seconds at least."

So, I'm wondering why you bothered to install "mobo drivers" or used the "above guide"?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Why would I install Mobo drivers? Well because that's what makes my onboard internet, sound, USB controllers, etc work. Kinda required. I only installed mobo drivers mind you, no mobo utilities, those are definitely resource hogs.
I followed that guide because it provides a very comprehensive checklist and was recommended to me by pretty much everyone I asked.
And before anyone asks, nothing is overclocked right now, it's all at stock.

As for benchmarks, Magician's benchmark kinda crapped out on me, 428 MB/s read, 498 write, 67779 IOPS random read, 53172 random write. Over provisioning settings didn't make a difference. AS SSD paints a much prettier picture though (for read anyway, solid 500 MB/s). Low benchmark is probably due to 2 things though, the fact that AMD's SATA Controllers and drivers aren't great and the fact that mobo power saving settings can apparently interfere with these benchmarks. Either way, optimizing it might gain me a couple seconds every boot, but it doesn't explain the ridiculous seemingly random disparity in boot times.

Also, I really doubt that the drive is the issue. When I woke up just now my PC booted up in under 15 seconds (MainPath that is). That's with everything attached and on. Sometimes it just works, then a single reboot (or 2 or 3) later it's back to 40 seconds. So my drive and mobo CAN do it, they just don't always do. Which leads me to believe it might a driver issue or something similar, hence my request for someone to take a look at my boot trace.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2014   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Well I think I have it narrowed down to the Etron USB 3.0 Controller drivers. Fresh install, installed mobo drivers one at a time with 3 reboots in between and every device attached. Every other driver had a negligable impact on boot times, then I installed the Etron drivers and boom, +30 seconds. Removed the Etron drivers and then removed 'Unknown USB Controller' x2 from Device Manager and poof, -30 seconds. Event 100 says total boot time of 20 seconds, MainPath is under 8! (will probably go up a little as I install all my programs, but I doubt it'll go up by 30 seconds again) Only thing is, I can't use my USB 3.0 ports now...
I should probably start a thread under Drivers now.
Thanks for all the responses guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #8

Win7 64 bits FR

Driver issue as usual. Can't they do more tests when programming a driver?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit


Someone on found me a driver that works much better. As long as my external USB HDD isn't plugged in these drivers actually speed up boot by about 4 seconds. Booting with external HDD plugged in lengthens boot times by about 30 seconds again... At least I can use my USB 3.0 ports after boot now, and I don't use my external drive much anyway, so I'm content for now. It still takes longer than it should to boot with this SSD but that's due to my Mobo I believe (one of the only Gigabyte boards not to have received a bios update that specifically improves SSD performance apparently, coupled with an old Award BIOS with no QuickBoot or similar option and an AMD SATA controller).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Slow boot on SSD, fresh install

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