Weird slow startup/bootup problem

Hi guys, not sure if this is the right section to post my question so sorry if i posted in the wrong one. Ok well i have a bit of a weird problem here, first of all here are my PC specs:

Asus P5Q motherboard
Apacer PC6400 2x 2GB DDR2
E8400 3Ghz
Asus HD 4850
160GB SATA Barricuda HDD
500GB SATA Western Digital HDD

Ok here's the problem, the startup is VERY VERY slow. After the Welcome Screen, it shows your desktop and then you gain control and do whatever you want right? Well that's the part my PC lags or slows down a lot. I think the part it lags is when it's loading the icons on my taskbar, like the icons on the bottom right hand screen. I don't have a lot of icons, and they're not resource usage intensive AT ALL. My PC lags during that loading part for about 3 mins or more, and i can't do anything or else it'll make it lag more, i.e i can't open programs or games, i can't even open folders and even if i try to, it takes forever to show up.

The lagging part only shows everytime during startup, but after that it's all good, i can play hardcore games like Crysis etc on maxed setting and do multi-tasks, but i just don't get why it lags so much on startup.

In fact, on my crappy Toshiba laptop, it's loads way way WAAAAY faster than my PC, but my PC is way better so i don't understand why. And they both have the same programs and settings, in fact my laptop has way more stuff running on startup and my PC has nothing but games, it's a full on gaming PC only with nothing else, so it shouldn't even lag.

I don't have any viruses as i don't connect to internet with my gaming PC, I have the latest and newest antivirus apps such as Bitdefender 2009 or NOD32 or Avast 2009, and i'm very good with antivirus apps, i think i'm an expert on that so there's no way i have viruses on my gaming PC since i only use for gaming and don't connect to internet, all my drivers are updated, i have latest BIOS and everything and i do driver checks every 2 weeks or month.

I only have about 8 items that load on startup and again i must stress, they're by far not a bit resource intensive, in fact most icons are stuff like the sound or ATI Control Cataylyst or the WIFI

I'm thinking it's probably my hardrive, because sometimes when i bootup, during the load screen (when it shows Windows XP with the load bar), it sometimes takes a long time to load, usually it's like what 5 seconds, but sometimes it takes 1 minute for me to load.

And also, sometimes it shows the hardrive error message:

"Hard Disk not detected, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE"

or something like that. I have to unplug the sata cable and replug back in and then it'll work again. But this happens quite a lot sometimes.........

My PC is very new BTW, all the parts are bought last month except the 160GB Barricuda sata hdd which is like 2 years old, and is the primary/master drive.

I tried taking out my other 500GB Western Digital HDD and see if that'll make things load faster but it's the same.

Any ideas guys?
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  1. Sorry for double post but can't find edit button.

    I'm thinking maybe my HDD is slow coz it's setup as IDE.....

    I only have these options: IDE, RAID, ACHI

    My motherboard doesn't support SCSI so i guess all this time my hardrive isn't being used as a SATA HDD but rather IDE....

    but still, the lag and slowness during startup is just abnormal compare to my older computers or laptop.
  2. First check your ide disk with SeaTools (download it from seagate).
    Second try to boot up only with the ide drive (do not connect other ide)
    Check your bios and enable S.M.A.R.T., this will show you if the disk has problems.
  3. Ok i'll give SeaTools a check but i've used several other tools like HDSpeed etc to test if my hardrive was slowing down or if i was having any boot sector or other hardrive problems but all came out clean.........i don't have any other hardrives connected, as i've said i removed the 500GB WD SATA HDD so the only one i'm using is the 160GB Barricuda one. Which btw, how will SeaTools work for it? Shouldn't that be only compatible with SeaGate HDDs?

    And ya i don't have IDE hardrives, both my 160GB and 500GB are SATA but my mobo can only detect them as IDE......

    I checked S.M.A.R.T already and no sign of problems...
  4. Tell me in your device manager at ide atapi controllers --->primary ide channel is it set to dma? whats the current transfer mode?
  5. it's set to DMA if available but current mode is PIO.......

    edit: ok i've read and done everything said in here but still can't change to DMA mode:

    i've also read in another topic that i should delete the primary ide that safe?

    btw i already have the latest chipset drivers, I checked my ASUS P5Q drivers on as well as going to and finding the proper P45 Chipset drivers and it's all up to i dunno why i can't change or force change the mode to DMA.....

    and i just checked my laptop and it's using Ultra DMA Mode 2, so i guess that's why it's faster than my PC.
  6. Ok i got it changed to DMA mode 5 but it's still slow, it's a little faster now but still slow. It's really slow compare to my laptop which is using DMA mode 2......

    here's what i've done so far:

    1. Made sure the DMA setting on my motherboard is set to DMA mode 5

    2. Have applied those registry tweaks from the links i posted as well as executing the .vbs script from the link you (procedros) posted.

    3. Made sure my first boot device is my hardrive, not the DVD player or any other device (apparently some ppl said this is important).

    4. Made sure my sata connection cables etc don't have any missing or broken pins and made sure hardrive is the same (like i said, i bought these new except the hardrive and hardrive passed all tests i performed, such as scandisk, defrag, speed test etc....)

    So i dunno wot's wrong here, i got it set to DMA mode 5 and sure it's a little faster but it's still bloody then, i tried uninstalling all the ide channels, and restart, same thing happens.

    Now here are some key things i've noticed:

    1. During the BIOS post message (when you first turn on your PC and it shows all your BIOS information as well as the devices connected etc), i caught a glimpse of a line something like:

    PATA Lite-On DVDRW .........UMD4

    So i thought, that's strange, i set the setting in my BIOS to DMA UMD5 (something like that) but it showed as UMD4. But in the device manager ---> primary IDE channel, it showed as Ultra DMA Mode 5....

    So then i tried changing my BIOS setting to UMD4 and see if anything changes, but it's the same, same startup loading speed......but still faster than what my PC was originally (when it was on PIO).

    Also, i have two Primary IDE Channels and two Secondary IDE Channels, all of them have the transfer setting as "DMA If Available" but none of them show the "Current Transfer Mode", they all show none except for one of the Primary IDE Channel which showed as Ultra DMA Mode 5. But that one single Primary IDE Channel is the 2nd one in my list, i don't know if that means anything though.......

    oh and forgot to mention, the speed improvement i've noticed is that initially (when it was still using PIO mode), it loads about 10 seconds to load 1 single icon on startup, or sometimes more, and sometimes freezes and takes bloody long to load everything up, but now it loads about 2 or 3 straight away on startup, but still takes about 3 or 4 seconds to load one icon after another, whereas on my laptop it loads everything in about 4 or 5 seconds in one go.....

    i've never had a problem on any PC where it takes a few seconds to load just one icon, and then load another one......
  7. If you know how to do a bios upgrade, do it.If you do it, load the default values.Restart.
    If nothing happens change your ide channel, put you disk alone in the secondary ide.Put the jumper on your disk on cs (cable select).
    Tell us your results.
  8. Yup my BIOS is the latest.....have upgraded already and i checked and it's the latest one currently........BIOS version released around December 2008 last year....

    as for changing the IDE channel, i've got some advice from other ppl to tell me to do the same but i dunno how, is it just changing the jumper like you said?

    I'll give it a try. But currently it's got no jumpers on it......

    EDIT: Forgot to mention that i've used SeaTools and had no problems reported.......S.M.A.R.T is enabled and passed the test, and also hardrive analysics etc have passed the test too.

    And also, i read this on another site:

    "If you place two devices of different ATA speeds on the same IDE channel, both devices will run at the speed of the slower device."

    The thing is, I only have my 160GB Barricuda SATA HDD connected and one Lite-On DVDRW writer connected but they aren't connected on the same Primary IDE Channel, in fact in Device Manager it doesn't even show that my Lite-On DVDRW writer is connected to an IDE channel, it shows under "DVD/CD Rom Drives" but under the Primary/Secondary IDE Channel, it doesn't show up. The only device that shows "Ultra DMA Mode 5" is my hardrive.

    What i mean by the Lite-On DVDRW writer not showing up under either Primary/Secondary IDE Channel is that when you view the Advanced Settings, it shows "Device 0" and "Device 1", and it doesn't show up in either up them, and doesn't show up for all the IDE Channels.

    As for my hardrive, it is shown in the second Primary IDE Channel and is under "Device 0", and on the same IDE Channel, the "Device 1" is empty as it shows "Not Applicable" in the "Current Transfer Mode" field.
  9. Change the cable of the ide disk from the primary socket to the secondary.Just pull it out of your motherboard and plug it in the secondary socket.The jumper we suggested is on the back of you ide disk beside the power plug. Usally the jumper settings are noted on the label of the disk.
  10. OMFG IT WORKED!! My PC cables are all tangled and i thought it was connected to the primary IDE but it turned out it wasn't!! And ya i know about the jumpers, it's usually a green tiny little rectangle thing that you put into one of those 4 pins beside the power plug, and there wasn't any in the first place but there is one on my DVD Writer so i took it out and it seemed to do the trick along with changing to primary ide.

    THX so much my PC loads up fast now!! YAY ^^
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