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slow boot time with SATA + Gigabyte X38-DQ6

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  • Gigabyte
  • SATA
  • Windows XP
  • Motherboards
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August 20, 2008 8:47:37 PM

Hello all, I have a seagate 750GB SATA drive with a windows XP pro installation.
Boot time requires less than 40 seconds (from day one - clean installation).

The other day i removed SATA drive and plugged an ATA seagate 400 GB and installed XP pro.

The requiered boot time was considerably faster!
For example the blue bar in the introductory screen, loads 10-15 times with SATA whereas in the ATA case it loads...one and a half (!) before proceeding to the log on screen.

In both cases drivers were set up correctly. Furthermore HDtach confirmed that SATA drive is indeed faster.

But how can one explain the slow boot time?I would appreciate any help for this matter.

More about : slow boot time sata gigabyte x38 dq6

August 20, 2008 9:15:44 PM

Could be a couple factors. The time to scan over a 400GB Hard Disk will likely be less than the time to scan over a 750GB hard disk. Smaller drive, assuming all other speeds and such are equal, would probably be faster?

I'd make sure BIOS is up to date on the mobo, and ensure there are not any newer/updated SATA drivers for your harddrive or mobo.

Assuming both drives have brand spanking new XP installs, without clutterware on them, that SATA drive should be faster. Course you'd want to be sure the ATA drive isn't 7200RPM and your SATA drive 5400RPM or something silly like that. ;) 
a b V Motherboard
August 21, 2008 4:25:24 AM

ATA interfaces are fast enought to handle the fastest standard SATA II or ATA drive. The newer SATA drives are just faster because of the newer technology in the drive itself, but the drives fastest performance does not exceed the bandwidth specification for ATA devices. It is possible to have a newer ATA drive that could beat an older SATA drive. See if you can check the ratings and actual performance on the specific drives - or run a benchmark program to compare.
Related resources
August 22, 2008 10:55:47 AM

I agree that SATA are not much faster than ATA, but here we have the opposite:
The SATA is inexplicably slower than ATA at booting!

I have run benchmarks with HDTACH and ATA is slower than SATA in all cases
as an example burst speed of ATA is ~70MBs/sec whereas SATA has 240 MBs/sec (!)
Nonetheless SATA boots slower . . .

Perhaps Gigabyte should provide an updated bios regarding the SATA control ?
Both disks run at 7200 rpm, ATA is older than SATA several months
both are seagate drives.
I strongly believe that it has to do with motherboard ...
a b V Motherboard
August 22, 2008 3:12:38 PM

Is the ATA MODEL serveral months older than SATA, or did you just buy the SATA later?

What are the model numbers? Did you check their stats on THG's HD charts?

What are Seagate's perfromance stats for the two drives? Which is the problem, - is the SATA drive operating slower than stats or is the ATA just a particularly fast drive?

Have you run Seagates tool on the SATA to confirm it has no problems?

Are there any differences in BIOS settings - boot order, splash scrren, hard disk priority, password check, speed step, thermal monitoring. SATA/AHCI mode, etc. - that can affect boot time?

What other software is loaded on SATA drive that loads with operating system? Have you compared the processes running on each machine after the boot is complete (from Device Manager)? What are the differences?

Have you checked for viruses with several types of virus checker to make sure SATA is clean?

Are both versions of OS licensed and registered?

It would seem very strange to me that Gigabyte would not provide a good driver for the type of drive that everyone is using today - which seems to be your assumption. I have a Gigabyte board with SATA drive that works fine. With all the variables, why are you so strong in beleif it must be a mobo issue? I have not heard others report a similar problem or issues with slow SATA - and there are a ton of experienced people using Gigabyte boards with SATA.
August 23, 2008 9:12:39 AM

With all the variables, why are you so strong in beleif it must be a mobo issue?
=>because I have already checked all variables you refer.

Is the ATA MODEL serveral months older than SATA, or did you just buy the SATA later?
=>The ATA is slightly older, I bought The 400 Gb around 100 euros, and several months maybe one year later (?) I bought the 750 Gb in the same price

What are the model numbers? Did you check their stats on THG's HD charts?
=>model numbers: ST3 750 330 AS : the SATA 750 Gb
ST3 400 620 A : The ATA 400 Gb
Checking the charts one can see a difference of 10-20 % among these drives which does not justify the huge difference of 12 seconds versus 26 seconds


What are Seagate's perfromance stats for the two drives? Which is the problem, - is the SATA drive operating slower than stats or is the ATA just a particularly fast drive?
Performance with HDTach:
400Gb Random access 15.9 ms, average read 64.7 mb/s, burst speed 93.3 mb/s
750 GB Random access 12.6 ms, average read 87.1 mb/s, burst speed 247.6 mb/s


Have you run Seagates tool on the SATA to confirm it has no problems?
a check for Long Drive Self Test with SeaTools showed no problems, there was no need to do this anyway because I use this drive for 10 months and showed no corrupted data , strange noises, read errors, or SMART reports. The drive is ok.

Are there any differences in BIOS settings - boot order, splash scrren, hard disk priority, password check, speed step, thermal monitoring. SATA/AHCI mode, etc. - that can affect boot time?
No there is no difference in all cases I cared to keep all parameters of the system constant. Boot order was the same but anyway it does not play a role because the delay is while loading windows, in the blue bar indicator screen.
In all cases I use legacy IDE, and the least I expect from a SATA drive is to load as fast as an ATA when in Legacy IDE mode. However it does not.


What other software is loaded on SATA drive that loads with operating system? Have you compared the processes running on each machine after the boot is complete (from Device Manager)? What are the differences?
I have antivirus in the SATA and the Gigabyte utilities at startup. But I believe that the impact of the former is mostly when logging in to the desktop and not in the introductory screen with the <<blue bar>>. Or at least the difference is such that in no case loading of 2-3 services would add 14 seconds of extra boot time !
Moreover XP in SATA never booted as fast as ATA even in a fresh installation.


Have you checked for viruses with several types of virus checker to make sure SATA is clean?
=>Is clean however I have checked only with AVG.

Are both versions of OS licensed and registered?
=> A cracked version of windows does not affect boot time in any case as I have seen in several examples.
But even if we assume that a cracked copy made a SATA slower…why it does not make ATA slower as well?
For the record I own a legal copy of windows as a former student of National Technical University of Athens (University has bought hundreds of Windows licenses and all students may obtain one for free – lucky me)


It would seem very strange to me that Gigabyte would not provide a good driver for the type of drive that everyone is using today - which seems to be your assumption. I have a Gigabyte board with SATA drive that works fine. With all the variables, why are you so strong in beleif it must be a mobo issue? I have not heard others report a similar problem or issues with slow SATA - and there are a ton of experienced people using Gigabyte boards with SATA.
I work as a software engineer and driver-software issues is not a so strange thing to me, as I am facing often cases where customers find defects that our system test did not catch. Among these problems, a lot of reported problems include performance enhancements, which resemble to this case.
When the hard disk is robust and works ok then I can assume nothing else than a driver which may work ok and many experienced people find no problems
but it is not optimized. One example could be the infamous older versions of ATI drivers which were not fully optimized (Current versions are excellent though).
Another example is from Intel, the giant, who provided the first version of Pentium with a defect in the floating point unit in 1993.
A more recent example is the extreme delays of copying and deleting which presented Vista, from a corporation that is also a giant and worldwide respected.
I just want to say that defects/malfunctions can happen everywhere. It is a law.
But the reason I am discussing it here is because I just make an assumption as you correctly say. That is why I have not sent an email to Gigabyte for this.
I would like to ask other opinions of people who may know this matter better than me and find the answer to this problem.

Software is the root of many evils I think. Let’s see an example that made me laugh: I performed a copy of 1 gigabyte in all cases and timed the transfer:

TEST1 = copy 1 Gb from External USB drive to Desktop
TEST2 = copy 1 Gb from Desktop to Desktop

400Gb:

TEST1: 42 seconds
TEST2: 14 seconds

750Gb Windows XP pro

TEST1: 52 seconds (slower than the ATA ?)
TEST2: 10 seconds

750Gb Windows Vista with SP1 and all updates

TEST1: 44 seconds
TEST2: 30 seconds (three times slower that XP !!!)

If anyone has a SATA I would appreciate to time the screen where windows is loading with the blue bar (and only this section!) and post the result here.
Furthermore if it has a timing of less than 15 seconds , is it in AHCI or in Legacy IDE mode?

I miss the old times, when for example 20 years ago, i bought my Seagate drive 20 Megabytes and the only thing I had to do is to open the case of my 10 MHz 8088, plug in the controller in the 8-bit ISA bus and do a format c: /s sigh….


August 24, 2008 4:49:01 AM

Hi all. I registered when i found this thread, first thread about this problem i found.
I have same problem with my x38-dq6. Its choppy/laggy in the start when the blue bar comes up. I have tried with 3 different drives, 1 of them is old IDE drive (WD 120gb), 2 of them are both new sata drives (WD 250gb and seagate 320gb). Same choppy and slow startup every time, only when i have formatted and no drivers installed it goes some faster. I hope to find fix for this, its annoying. Thanks alot if anyone have help for this.
August 25, 2008 10:50:23 AM

spindre17, The same problem here : not only it is slow while booting
but in all cases i have the problem of laggy start before the blue bar;
The screen with Windows XP logo showing slowly and blue bar responding
slowly and with stops.
My 3 year old laptop starts instantly, and this is quite annoying to see
a mobile pentium 4 @ 3.2 GHz
starting faster than a Quad Core 2.4 GHz. I had not notice that this lag was after installing the drivers. Interesting. This enhances the theory that drivers and/or bios of X38-DQ6 may need an update...
I have some benchmarks with HDTach to see in a previous message.
I will try everest when i return home and will post results tommorow latest.
BTW how many seconds does your system stay in the blue bar screen ?






August 25, 2008 10:02:47 PM

I must get a stopwatch to get it correct, but im sure its 20+ seconds. I tell you correct time when i find a stopwatch.
I used a msi 965 platinum with the same harddrive and cpu before i upgraded to x38, and the msi card where there very fast format time and startup time (my friend almost passed out when he saw it, so fast it was lol). x38 fell below my p4 + old crappy motherboard (the cheapest i could find at that time, 3 years ago) in startup time. With x38 i have a e6700 processor, 4x1gb geil pc2-6400 ram and i have had 2 different graphicscards on same computer, the 8800gts 512 oc (old) from msi and msi 4870 oc. Im no overclocker.

Edit: I have flashed the bios everytime a new bios have come out without problem. Now i have F8 bios, waiting for a new non-beta bios. But the problem with startup time is still there. I use @bios to flash, and have had no problem with that, even i know people dont recommend it.

Edit2: I have tried the drives on both master and slave without results. Even my seagate disk that is having the "click of death" sickness (lol) works very well still, didn't give any result either (i didnt expect it either). This cant be a hardware issue. Dont forget my WD harddrive i use for OS now is very healthy. I think im gonna tell gigabyte about this and wait to hear what they say.
September 18, 2008 6:17:21 PM

hey guys ... just had the same problem with a gigabyte board however not the same as yours motherboard but the solution is to not install service pack 3 especially with xp... ive been pulling my hair out for 3 days solid on a new build i made for someone with the slow boot ... 3 mins plus.... ive now got it down to 40 seconds by manually selecting my windows updates and not installing service pack 3 but all the other updates in custom mode.....
turn off auto download and install.

i reformatted quite a few times to try this solution :) 
hope this helps :sol: 
December 18, 2008 3:02:19 AM

Yo, I've been having a similiar issue since building a new puter about 4 months ago. But it seems to be with my DVD drives as oppose to HDD. My Seagate 500GB SATA HDD is working fine, and the boot time is quick when it's connected to any of the SATA ports.

The problem is with my DVD drive(s), when it's connected boot time slows right up, sometimes doesn't boot at all, then once in Windows accessing the DVD drive is slow as, sometimes doesn't even show up in 'My Computer'. I originally thought it was something wrong with my DVD so I purchased another but am still having the same issues. I've tried most combinations of connecting to the various ports but with no luck. I'm currently running my machine with no DVD drives connected and it's solid as a rock.

So it looks like the common demoninator here is the SATA ports/drivers. Tonight I'll update SATA drivers and I'll let you all know if I get any love from my Gigabyte SATA tech...

Otherwise computer runs sweet as, just getting a bit fed up with cracking games and having to install from Media PC in the lounge room. Bring on a fix!!!

BTW: E8400 @ 4Ghz is at 1.55V after voltage drop and runs at 65C under load :-)
!