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Very slow SSD boot. Likely a BIOS issue, plus system seems to be dropping a hard drive?

Tags:
  • Boot
  • Hard Drives
  • BIOS
  • Biostar
  • Motherboards
  • Slow Startup
  • SSD
Last response: in Motherboards
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February 12, 2014 10:44:08 AM

Hey there,

To begin, I have a cheap custom build of the following parts:

- Biostar TZ75B Z75 Socket 1155 VGA DVI HDMI 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
- boot drive = OCZ 120GB Vertex Plus SSD - 2.5" SATA-II - Read 250MB/s Write 160MB/s
- one 500gb 3.5" Toshiba drive (can't find specs for this atm, this was cannibalised from an old PC)
- one Seagate 2TB BARRACUDA 3.5" SATA-III Hard Drive - 7200RPM 64MB Cache
- PowerColor HD 6870 PCS+ 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Dual Mini DisplayPort HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card
- 2x Kingston HyperX 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM HyperX Blu (Slot 0 and 2)
- Intel ® Core ™ i5- 3350P (Boxed , FC-LGA4 , Ivy Bridge)
- Alpine 700W Blue PSU - 12cm Fan 4x SATA
- running = Windows 7 Pro 64bit

I am currently experiencing two problems:
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1. As of two nights ago the boot up time has doubled.

Previously I could get to the windows 7 login in 25-30 seconds (roughly 5 seconds for bios, 20-25 for windows).
Now I am faced with the T-Series bios screen for 35-ish seconds, and then the Windows 7 loading screen for 22 seconds (I just used my phone timer to check.) Total boot time is now around 55-60 seconds.
Worryingly, after coming home from work today it wouldn't even progress past the T Series screen on first power up... I powered down and on a second power up it proceeded as normal, but still for the 55-60 seconds.

A bit of history: Sometimes my boot SSD drive drops its connection from the mobo (only between uses, never whilst the machine is in use), so I power the tower down, open it up, disconnect the cables from the back of the hard drive, re-connect the hard drive and start it up. When I do this I go back in to the BIOS to re-jig the boot order so that the SSD becomes the first choice.

I do not believe the following information is linked to the problem, but full disclosure can only help find a cure - I have just plugged in my second stick of kingston 8gb ram in to slot 2, which it detects perfectly fine and dxdiag can also see. As a side note I switch my PC and all connected accessories off at the wall when leaving the house / going to sleep... dunno if this could be having an adverse effect on the mobo battery in relation to BIOS.

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2. Disappearing hard drive

As stated in my components list I have one SSD boot drive and two additional drives for art/music/videos etc.

Since problem 1 has started to occur I have noticed on two occassions (once logged in) that one of my hard drives is not showing up (specifically, my 500gb Toshiba drive that had been cannibalised from a previous build... the hard drive has probably been in active use for 6 years total now).

The first time this occurred I powered down, started it back up and checked the bios to make sure it was still seeing it. All seemed well, I logged back in and there it was in My Computer.

The second time is... right now, as I type this.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Whilst I wait and hope for a response from the forum I am going to do two things (and will comment below with news). Power down and...

1. Pull the new stick of ram and boot it up a few times to see if that increases boot speed / disappearing hard drive.

2. Pull the cables on all hard drives and re-insert them (in case something has come loose / BIOS messing up).

Hopefully you guys can help me with this, I had a lot of great help a couple of weeks ago with a faulty ram issue so I'm hoping some forum members can offer some insight here too.

Many thanks for looking,

Dave

More about : slow ssd boot bios issue system dropping hard drive

February 12, 2014 10:58:47 AM

Slow boot times tend to be because of a hard drive issue. My suggestion is to try removing the drive that's dropping and booting up without it. If this does solve the slow boot then you should begin recovering your data from the drive immediately or you will risk losing it.

As for your ssd they tend to be a bit tetchy out of the box and it's recommended to update the firmware when you first get them. However if the issues doesn't bother you to much it may not be worthwhile the hassle and risk to your data.

Let me know how you get on,
Phil
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February 12, 2014 11:00:30 AM

I am also having problems But aparently they get slower as time goes, writing on it everyday and also the more filled it is, the slower, try disc cleanup or remove games/ big softwares to free some space.
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February 12, 2014 3:25:00 PM

So not too sure what I did in what order to fix it...

I did various tugging out and replacing of HD cables and the new ram stick...

I also re-tweaked the BIOS so everything was running in the right order on startup... and now its back to normal?

The bios is booting in 4 or 5 seconds and Windows is loading in 25/30s as per usual. I have restarted 3/4 times plus switching the power off for two mins, and then doing 3/4 more restarts... and everything is good... weird.
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February 19, 2014 1:51:15 AM

So here is an update on the situation, and it isn't for the better.

Last night I came home and switched the PC on. First switch on I stared at the bios T-Series screen for 45 seconds before giving up and pushing the power button off. I then switched the power off at the back of the tower and gave it 60 seconds before another try.

(For reference, when my PC boots ok I would see the T-Series logo for only 5 seconds.)

I switched on for a second time, this time it worked but took about 13-15 seconds to go from T-Series splash screen to Windows 7 loading screen.

It ran for five-six hours perfectly well, all hard drives were detected without issue. I wanted to test to see if the slow bios was a one off issue, or a return of my previous bios/SSD issue, so when I was finished for the night I powered down, and then powered back up after about ten seconds. The bios once again didn't proceed beyond the T-Series logo, and wouldn't let me access the BIOS via Delete key.

I switch the power off at the wall and go to bed, give it a go in the morning.

This time the T-series splash starts up. After 20 seconds I hear one of my secondary hard drives start up, and another 5 seconds after that I get the following:

"Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key"

I switch off, start it back up and hit Del to go to bios page (This time Delete worked). The BIOS doesn't show my boot SSD drive as being present, and so seems to be trying to boot from my second/third drive (which do not have an OS on them).

So here I am hoping for a bit more insight. When I get home in about 6 hours I will likely disconnect and re-connect my boot hard drive and re-jig the boot order, but something tells me this will happen again in a week or two. This issue is becoming more frequent so I want to figure out whether it is human error, temperamental bios, temperamental hard drive, temperamental mobo, or loose connections.

Or maybe something completely different.

Hope to hear from someone soon,

Dave
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February 19, 2014 5:12:35 AM

looks as bios prob.... happened to me when i installed a ssd ... and 2 other drives ... ur motherboard gets confused ....try bios update ..... or check ur cmos battery there might also be an isue with that try replacing it
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February 19, 2014 5:43:45 AM

hmm, I don't seem to have any other issues (bios time errors) to indicate a battery failure, though I suppose it can't hurt to try replacing it for a few quid.

Any other suggestions gang?
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February 19, 2014 6:09:59 AM

hv u tried flashing ur bios and updating drive firmwares ....
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February 19, 2014 6:39:17 AM

I last updated the BIOS a week or two ago. This problem has been occurring longer than that.

Updating drive firmwares is a bit vague? If you mean the chipset driver then that was also recently updated from the mobo site.

I picked up some replacement batteries so if clearing the cmos doesn't work I will try switching the battery out.
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February 19, 2014 7:00:25 AM

yup try that nad see .. i think though u should give firmware update a shot... in the dark though
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February 21, 2014 1:28:18 PM

Ok so a couple more bits of info. I didn't get to replace the little motherboard battery until this evening, more on that later.

The last couple of days I have been having the same issue when switching on. I read somewhere else that switching off at the wall and then holding the power button for 5 seconds would clear... something... and this has had mixed success for me the last few days.

Tonight however has been a total nightmare as the machine has been refusing to budge beyond BIOS screen / not detecting the hard drive, so I decided to try a few more things to help narrow it down.

Firstly, I changed the battery. The new battery, however, hasn't changed anything as the machine is still ignoring the boot drive / stalling on BIOS.

After three or four restarts of the same non-progress I tried moving the hard drive SATA connection from the original white mobo slot to slot 5 (tough to read through all the cables, might have been 4). This also yielded no fruit, I restarted three or four times and still had the same issue. I moved the boot drive back to the white slot.

I then pulled the sata/power combi cable from the back of the boot drive and plugged it back in just in case it was a loose connection. I do not believe it is a power issue as the boot drive is daisy chained to another hard drive, which the BIOS can still detect even if the boot drive has not.

I restarted and magically it started back up again... but this inconsistency is getting impossible to cope with.
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February 21, 2014 11:55:59 PM

ur mobo is cgetting confused .... RMA it
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March 1, 2014 1:14:26 AM

I am not so sure it is the mobo any more... As these issues started occurring a lot more frequently after the installation of a second 8gb stick of ram I decided to pull the stick to see if that would change things...

The stick has been removed for the last couple of days, it booted up fine and today I sat here and started/login screen/shut down about ten times in a row and it was 'perfect' every time.

Further ideas?
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