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Windows 7: Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive

31 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 UEFI
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive

Please help with a strange problem. If I start Windows 7 with only one drive attached (a 2Terabyte SATA with Win7 on the 1st partition) it sits for 20 minutes on the 'Starting Windows' screen, then opens as normal (the event viewer 'performance diagnostics' doesn't even register a 'Event ID 100' so it is of no help). There seems to be little or no HDD or CPU activity during this long waiting period. If I boot with my second hard drive also present and use it as my first boot device (my old XP installation, that is on the 1st partition of that drive, begins the boot process), Windows 7 loads in less than a minute, and Disk Management flags the XP partition as 'system'. So it seems to me that all the usual trouble-shooting approaches for a slow startup (de-frag, clean-boot, disable security software, check disk errors, check for faulty RAM, remove all peripherals etc) do not apply (though I have tried all this). My bios is up to date. I have rebuilt my BCD using Bootrec.exe. I have tried the start up dozens of times and, without fail, I get the same outcome. Less than 1 minute with 2 HDs, 20 minutes with 1 HD. OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate , Service Pack 1, 32 bit Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz, x64 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 3 Processor Count: 1 RAM: 3454 Mb Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT , 128 Mb Hard Drives: C: Total - 60651 MB, Free - 28105 MB; D: Total - 1847733 MB, Free - 952140 MB; Motherboard: MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD, MS-7176, REV:A, Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials, Disabled

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I think you need help from member Cluberti.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64

Sounds like the bios is having a hard time finding the boot partition info.... How is the boot order setup in your bios? And how are you selecting the boot drive, bios boot menu, or just unplugging drives?

Sounds like the bios is looking for other boot info before settling on the drive.... If your motherboard has a boot menu, usually ESC, F10 or F12, then select the drive you want....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 UEFI

Hi Sedril Thanks for the response. I do simply plug/unplug the drives, but I always check the bios menu. the bios has never had a problem seeing every drive that is present. Tomorrow I'll try selecting a drive with the F10 boot as you suggest. But I don't think the issue is with bios, as it hangs after the boot process. The blobs of light have already swirled and turned into the window logo with the 'starting windows' message. It is at that point that it hangs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64

Ahh, ok, if it's past the boot process and into the logo screen, it very well may not be a bios issue.... I still wouldn't rule it out tho..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Professional 64 bit

have you used windows backup/image utility and stored the image on your drive? I know some people have had problems with it while others haven't. Might be something to look at.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2011   #7


Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Mgmt drive map with listings showing all columns, with all drives attached, using the Snipping Tool in Start Menu.

You're still booting off the XP partition when it's HD is attached successfully, but the System boot files written to Win7 partition likely need Repair. We'll give you the exact steps when we see the picture.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 UEFI

@Nyto: Good point, the problem OS is a clone of my original installation.
I have reverted to the original Win7 installation (on a 320G HDD) and formatted the problem OS on my 2T drive. I cloned the XP drive to my 2T drive it to see what would happen. The 2T drive boots into XP just fine on its own.
Now it gets a bit weirder. I have attached the requested screenshots for Gregrocker

SENARIO 1: The original Win7 is fine on its own:
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-senario1-no-problem.jpg
SENARIO 2: No problems with the XP drive present:
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-senario2-no-problem.jpg
SENARIO 3: Slow Startup (21minutes) with my 2T drive present:
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-senario3-21minutes.jpg
SENARIO 4: No Problems with the old XP drive and my 2T drive present:
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-senario4-no-problem.jpg
As you will see from the screenshots, no other drive is involved in the boot, in fact I have tried booting with both drives offline with the same results.
Here is a picture of the starting windows screen under SENARIO 3 when it hangs:
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-windows-starting-screen.jpg
I have done a safe mode boot under SENARIO 3 and it reaches the line
"windows\system32\drivers\CLASSPNP.sys" before starting the 21minute delay.
(There is no noticeable HDD or CPU activity during this period)
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-safeboot-menu.jpg

I suspect that my Win7 installation is struggling with the 2T drive under certain conditions.
What if I delete all the entries under [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices] and let Windows build a new drive base?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2011   #9


Where is the XP drive shown in Scenario #2? I dont' see XP HD there, only in #3, in the first partition on the the 2tb labeled "XP" which you said in your OP contains Win7.

Whatever drive you attached in #2 and again in #4 is not showing in the drive listings yet. What is on it exactly? If you can't Explore its contents in Disk Mgmt, try free Partition Wizard bootable CD which will also give a definitive picture of Disks.

Assuming the label is incorrect and as stated in your OP the first partition shown on 2tb is Win7, it doesn't have it's System flag so should not be able to boot on its own anyway. It needs to be marked Active to write the System boot files onto it by running Startup Repair 3 Separate Times while all other HD"s are unplugged and it's set first to boot in BIOS setup.

Once Win7 on 2tb has its System boot files, choose which OS to boot by setting preferred HD to boot first in BIOS setup, then boot others using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key. I assume you have 2 Win7's now based on what I see since you apparently presented your Disk Mgmt here with the drive mislabeled not bothering to tell us, and your stated XP HD has no content showing anywhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 UEFI

I must apologise, in my effort to find solutions, I’ve changed my set up a number of times, and the OP does not reflect my current configuration.
To simplify (hopefully):
The Win7 OS on the 2T drive was a clone, so, to remove that possibility that cloning was causing my problem, I decided to wipe the Win7 clone, and re-introduce a 320G HDD which has my original Win7 installation on it (i.e. it is not a clone).

Now the following is where I am at:
Senario 1: The 320gig HDD(DriveAA) with Win7. No problems with start-up
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-1win7-np.jpg
Senario 2: DriveAA with a 320gig drive(DriveBB) containing an old XP OS. No problems
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-2win7-xp-np.jpg
Senario 3: DriveAA with my 2T HDD(DriveCC) (with its first partition now wiped clean). 21minute start-up.
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-3win7-320-2t-21min.jpg
Senario 4: DriveAA with DriveBB and DriveCC. No problems
Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive-4win7-2t-xp-np.jpg

Extra info: I’ve tried a clean Win7 install on the 2T drive and it starts up with no problems on its own. It would seem that the problem lies with my Win7 OS which is having some form of conflict between it and my 2T drive, but the conflict only appears under certain configurations.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows Startup Takes Ages Depending on the Boot Drive

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