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Slow Startup with Larger Harddrives

Last response: in Windows XP
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April 3, 2010 7:16:24 PM

I increased my harddrive from 30GB to 150GB, and everything works fine after startup; however, it now takes 6 hours to boot up! I tried this before with a 100GB hdd and experienced similar long boot up time. Returning to 30GB hdd resulted in normal boot up time. I read where Windows NT experienced such a problem when using larger harddrives, and a BIOS "adjustment" was made available to fix it. Is this a similar problem? My computer is a HP Pavilion ze5000s, with Phoenix Technologies BIOS KD.M1.02, 06/11/20022
April 3, 2010 7:25:59 PM

Six hours boot up time has nothing to do with a larger hard drive. The XP installation is faulty and the OS needs to be reinstalled properly.
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April 3, 2010 10:20:18 PM

Hi cusasAL and Badge,

Checking for a BIOS upgrade for your motherboard (if it is an OEM system) or for your Make and Model if it is a brand name wouldn't hurt. Stranger things have happened due to BIOS coding issues. Some computers have many BIOS updates (read Bug Fixes) available. If that doesn't solve the issue, then what Badge suggested would be the next step. Either thing should be tried, but the BIOS update is the easier to try first. If you haven't performed a BIOS update before, please read any instructions provided by the manufacturer to make sure your update goes smoothly.

Cheers!
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April 4, 2010 2:09:18 AM

badge said:
Six hours boot up time has nothing to do with a larger hard drive. The XP installation is faulty and the OS needs to be reinstalled properly.


Sorry, but I omitted a couple of facts: 1. The 100GB drive with XP Pro works fine in an HP xt118 laptop (Different BIOS), but it won't boot up in the HP ze5000s and 2. I've tried several separate XP installations -- All function (or malfunction) the same with the larger harddrive.
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April 4, 2010 2:16:59 AM

digitalprospecter said:
Hi cusasAL and Badge,

Checking for a BIOS upgrade for your motherboard (if it is an OEM system) or for your Make and Model if it is a brand name wouldn't hurt. Stranger things have happened due to BIOS coding issues. Some computers have many BIOS updates (read Bug Fixes) available. If that doesn't solve the issue, then what Badge suggested would be the next step. Either thing should be tried, but the BIOS update is the easier to try first. If you haven't performed a BIOS update before, please read any instructions provided by the manufacturer to make sure your update goes smoothly.

Cheers!


This laptop is a Hewlett-Packard, with a Hewlett-Packard MOBO and BIOS by Phoenix Technologies. Hewlett-Packard's web site does NOT list any upgrade for the BIOS, and the Phoenix.com site says to please contact the computer or motherboard manufacturer for BIOS problems!
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April 4, 2010 4:12:32 AM

cusasAL said:
Sorry, but I omitted a couple of facts: 1. The 100GB drive with XP Pro works fine in an HP xt118 laptop (Different BIOS), but it won't boot up in the HP ze5000s and 2. I've tried several separate XP installations -- All function (or malfunction) the same with the larger harddrive.


The harddrive with XP installation for the HP x118 can not be 'moved' to the HPze500s. You must reformat the hardrive and reinstall the XP operating system. A repair install may work too, but a reformat and fresh installation of the operating system is the way I would do this. Note: You can not just pull a harddrive out of one system, stick it in another system and expect the system drivers to match up and magically work. The hard drive must be reformatted with a fresh installation of the OS and the new proper system drivers loaded as well. What happens if you pull the hard drive from the first computer and stick it in the seccond computer is it will take 6 hours to boot. In most instances you are lucky it booted at all. LOL.
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April 4, 2010 4:16:55 AM

cusasAL said:
This laptop is a Hewlett-Packard, with a Hewlett-Packard MOBO and BIOS by Phoenix Technologies. Hewlett-Packard's web site does NOT list any upgrade for the BIOS, and the Phoenix.com site says to please contact the computer or motherboard manufacturer for BIOS problems!


The system BIOS has nothing to do with it at this point. The system drivers do however. The second notebook will not boot up with the first notebook system drivers installed on the hard drive. You can not pull the hard drive from one computer and stick it another and expect it to work. The hard drive must be reformatted and a fresh installation of XP must be done. Then the correct system drivers must be installed. Simple, basic, rudimentary fact.
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April 4, 2010 7:42:38 AM

badge said:
The system BIOS has nothing to do with it at this point. The system drivers do however. The second notebook will not boot up with the first notebook system drivers installed on the hard drive. You can not pull the hard drive from one computer and stick it another and expect it to work. The hard drive must be reformatted and a fresh installation of XP must be done. Then the correct system drivers must be installed. Simple, basic, rudimentary fact.


I appreciate your simple, basic, redimentary fact; however, this was a fresh format/fresh install -- This 150GB hdd was never in another computer (The one that I tried to "swap" and would't boot up was a 100GB; a 30GB hdd was successfully swaped between the two computers though). By the way, the situation is improving; now it only takes 4 hours and 48 minutes to boot up! After I get the MS Windows Flag, I'm up and running in a minute.

The reason that I keep coming back to a BIOS problem is a report I read that there was a problem in Windows NT where the BIOS was reporting incorrect disk metrics during the boot process and failing to boot up large hard drives -- See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/110151 -- I realize that it's "grasping at straws", but it did seem like a similar situation (Didn't XP build on NT?).

I'm beginning to feel like you're the doctor and I'm the patient who's only giving you the symptoms gradually; however, I remembered some other things you might find pertinent:
1. Using F2 during startup, revealed that the BIOS did recognize this 150GB harddrive as that size.
2. Using a recovery disk and going through the routine enabled ready access to c:\windows on the harddrive. And, yes, I've tried all the repair/reinstall options in the recovery console. By the way, how can I start Windows from the c:\windows directory?

Thanks, doc, I appreciate your patience -- AL
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April 4, 2010 8:01:41 AM

How are you installing Windows XP onto the larger hard drive?
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Best solution

April 4, 2010 12:54:45 PM

One last thought from me.

I was servicing another HP laptop model and could not get the drive to load at all, even though the BIOS recognized the proper drive size. I called HP support and they confirmed that the laptop would not support a hard disk larger than 80GB.

When I google Hard Disk drives for your ze5000s I do not find any drives over 80GB specifically listed as replacement drives for your laptop. Sure...there are some on ebay... but no drives over 80GB from actual parts suppliers.

This may be your issue. Good luck!
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April 4, 2010 6:36:08 PM

I still have my ze4000 series Pentium M running. The original 20GB harddrive is still installed and the system runs fine with the latest BIOS supplied by HP at their online product page. HP doesn't mention anything about HD size, but that may be an omission on their part. Just a reminder, it was SP1 that fixed the issue of SATA HD controllers not needing to be loaded at the F6 prompt. I believe SP1 also addressed the issue of hard drive size not being properly recognized. I am assuming OP has a HP install disk with the XP OS included on that disk. My recovery disk has a copy of XP with no service packs. Not sure which version of XP OP's recovery disk would have. digitalprospector sounds like He has hit on a possible cause and HP confirmed it to him. Incredible someone at HP was aware of this situation with drives larger than 80GB.

OP may try using a stand alone XP install disk with at least SP1 included. Format and do a fresh install with it. The proper system drivers will be available at the online product page.

In most instances, perhaps not this one, a non compatible system driver causes the system to hang like that. OP says he reformatted and did a fresh install which was done with the HP recovery disk apparently. Maybe it's his HP recovery disk installation that is a part of the problem.

Note on page 71. Important: If you are installing anew harddrive, you should create a Utility partition before loading any software.

My note: With a stand alone XP disk with SP1 minimum no such utility partition would be required for starters.

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c01122401.pdf
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April 4, 2010 9:54:51 PM

Badge is right about drivers though. Audio drivers often cause startup and shutdown errors for sure.
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April 5, 2010 4:00:12 AM

Further in the ongoing saga! I've managed to reduce the startup time now down to 19 minutes (Down from 6 hours originally, then 4 hours and 48 minutes). Accomplished this by utilizing Norton Speed Disk to push the system files (while it was defraging) to the front of the hdd. First run of Norton reduced start up time to about 40 minutes, 2nd Norton run reduced it to about 20 minutes, and the 3rd run reduced it to 19 minutes. I suppose the smart move would be to go ahead and use an 80GB hdd and stop trying to "fight the system", but it was a lot of fun chasing down the problem. Thanks to all you guys -- You made it VERY INTERESTING! -- AL
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April 5, 2010 4:07:22 AM

Best answer selected by cusasAL.
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April 5, 2010 4:17:56 AM

Now you made this interesting for me too. I find it hard to fathom why defrag and pushing the files to the front of the disk would result in that much improvement because the fresh install of Windows should have loaded itself into the first available space on the drive anyway (or am I remembering it wrong... I think the drive had a recent fresh load didn't it?).

How much space is taken up by files? Is it under 80GB? What if you were to partition to C: drive as an 80GB or slightly less partition and load Windows XP fresh (or even use a repartitioning app)? Perhaps Windows would load at normal speeds!

Let us know what you find out, as it will be good to file away in the ol' gray matter.

Cheers!
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April 7, 2010 8:31:00 PM

Success: Got the start time (Depress Power Button to Welcome Screen) down to 3 minutes -- Details follow:

1. Removed harddrive (hdd) from laptop, connected it (USB 2.0 to IDE) to desktop computer, used Create partition Wizard in Norton Partition Magic 8.0 to divide 160GB (Nominal) hdd into 2 equal halves (76,316.3/76,308.7 bytes), reinstalled hdd in laptop -- Startup time = 24 minutes, 20 seconds -- Not too encouraging compared to the 19 minute startup time before!
2. Rebooted, in accordance with notice to reboot because of software change, resulting in restartup time = 20 minutes, 27 seconds -- Still not reassuring, but better than 24 minutes!
3. Ran Norton SpeedDisk (Took several hours -- Files scattered badly, particularly system files) and restarted -- Restart time = 2 minutes, 58 seconds -- Now that's more like it!
4. Shut laptop down, let it sit for a few hours, and started it up fresh -- Startup time (Depress Power Button to Welcome Screen) = 3 minutes.

I'm a happy camper! I'm thinking of making a mirror image of the 1st half of the hdd on the 2nd half for backup purposes.
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April 7, 2010 8:47:22 PM

Good news! 3 minutes is still outside the limits of what I would term a normal startup time, but it is an excellent time considering that you had to resort to 'tricking' the BIOS into accepting the larger drive.

Feels good to reach a successful conclusion after a big effort doesn't it. If more computer problems worked out that way, I'd still have a full head of hair! <grin>

Cheers!
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