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Slow Windows boot using Crucial M4 128GB

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August 15, 2012 10:10:36 PM

I've recently purchased Crucial M4 128GB but not been impressed with the boot up times (around 40 - 50 seconds from power on). I've seen allot faster boot up times boasted about on the internet and wondering what is slowing mine down? It seems to be slow post bios on the black "Starting Windows" animation screen (even disabling the GUI on boot does not improve anything); once it's past this screen it logs in pretty fast. Looking at the SSD read outs in Crystal Disk Mark it looks fine. My motherboard is set to AHCI and I've run a program called SSD tweaker to try boost my start up but to no avail. Here is the spec of my machine running on Windows 7 64bit -

Processor (CPU) AMD PHENOM II X4 955 (3.20GHz/8MB CACHE/AM3) - BLACK EDITION
Motherboard ASUS® M4A87TD/USB3: DUAL DDR3,SATA 6.0GB/s, USB 3.0
Memory (RAM) 4GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz
Other Drives 2TB WD CAVIAR GREEN WD20EARS and 1TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX

Here is a screen shot from Crystal Disk Mark



Can anybody help?
a c 531 G Storage
August 15, 2012 10:55:31 PM

Your slow Windows boot is due to your low 4K Write speeds (34.32MB/s).

Go to Device Manager in Windows. Right-click on your M4 and select Properties.
Click on the Policies tab. If "Enable write caching on the device" is checked, uncheck it, click OK, check it, click OK.

Reboot and then re-run CDM. See if your 4K Writes have improved.

Do some web searches for CDM benchmarks for your drive and see what 4K Write speeds you should be getting.
Related resources
a c 190 G Storage
August 15, 2012 10:57:03 PM

Thanks Dereck!
a c 531 G Storage
August 15, 2012 10:58:13 PM

No problem!
August 16, 2012 6:17:36 AM

Unchecking "Enable write caching on the device" has made the write speeds slower.

August 16, 2012 6:24:30 AM

Here's a screen shot from AS SSD anyway. This is with "Enable write caching on the device" enabled. Unsure why it's in German.

August 16, 2012 6:42:20 AM

Rich Pitchshift said:
I've recently purchased Crucial M4 128GB but not been impressed with the boot up times (around 40 - 50 seconds from power on). I've seen allot faster boot up times boasted about on the internet and wondering what is slowing mine down? It seems to be slow post bios on the black "Starting Windows" animation screen (even disabling the GUI on boot does not improve anything); once it's past this screen it logs in pretty fast. Looking at the SSD read outs in Crystal Disk Mark it looks fine. My motherboard is set to AHCI and I've run a program called SSD tweaker to try boost my start up but to no avail. Here is the spec of my machine running on Windows 7 64bit -

Processor (CPU) AMD PHENOM II X4 955 (3.20GHz/8MB CACHE/AM3) - BLACK EDITION
Motherboard ASUS® M4A87TD/USB3: DUAL DDR3,SATA 6.0GB/s, USB 3.0
Memory (RAM) 4GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz
Other Drives 2TB WD CAVIAR GREEN WD20EARS and 1TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX

Can anybody help?

So here's my question: When you installed you SSD did you do a clean install of Windows 7 or did you use a drive tool to transfer your old install of Windows to your M4? I only ask because my computer boots Win 7 x64 in about 18 seconds using a 60GB OCZ Vertex 3. Regardless, the two main attributing factors to boot times (not counting the drive that is hosting the Operating System) are related to how long your Motherboard takes to complete its POST and if your OS is streamlined (ie. msconfig has been run to disable unnecessary start-up programs, no bloatware is installed, no faulty or old drivers, registry isn't corrupted or bloated with invalid keys, etc).
August 16, 2012 6:53:16 AM

For reference:


As the image shows, your benchmark results are fine so I'm going to say it's likely that your problem lies with your current Windows configuration, your motherboard, or both.
August 16, 2012 7:06:20 AM

@ s3anister

I did a clean install of Windows onto the drive. As far as I'm aware all the drivers are up to date. I noticed that when I first installed the OS I was getting slightly faster boot times of 25 - 30 seconds but once Windows had run all it's updates and I installed a few programs it slowed down.

I use CC Cleaner to clean my SSD / registry. I do not have allot of start up programs running but I am unsure where to start with start up services.

I thought the black "Starting Windows" screen wasn't anything to do with the bios?



August 16, 2012 7:10:53 AM

Rich Pitchshift said:
I've recently purchased Crucial M4 128GB but not been impressed with the boot up times (around 40 - 50 seconds from power on). I've seen allot faster boot up times boasted about on the internet and wondering what is slowing mine down? It seems to be slow post bios on the black "Starting Windows" animation screen (even disabling the GUI on boot does not improve anything); once it's past this screen it logs in pretty fast. Looking at the SSD read outs in Crystal Disk Mark it looks fine. My motherboard is set to AHCI and I've run a program called SSD tweaker to try boost my start up but to no avail. Here is the spec of my machine running on Windows 7 64bit -

Processor (CPU) AMD PHENOM II X4 955 (3.20GHz/8MB CACHE/AM3) - BLACK EDITION
Motherboard ASUS® M4A87TD/USB3: DUAL DDR3,SATA 6.0GB/s, USB 3.0
Memory (RAM) 4GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz
Other Drives 2TB WD CAVIAR GREEN WD20EARS and 1TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX

Here is a screen shot from Crystal Disk Mark

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg694/scaled.php?server=694&filename=ssd1t.jpg&res=landing

Can anybody help?


disconnect the other drives just to check if that improves boot times
a c 531 G Storage
August 16, 2012 8:08:57 AM

Rich Pitchshift said:
Unchecking "Enable write caching on the device" has made the write speeds slower.


You misunderstood my directions. Sometimes write caching is not enabled even though the box is checked. So that's why I wanted you to uncheck it, save the settings by clicking ok, and then re-check it, and save the settings again by clicking ok.
a c 531 G Storage
August 16, 2012 8:10:55 AM

s3anister said:
As the image shows, your benchmark results are fine so I'm going to say it's likely that your problem lies with your current Windows configuration, your motherboard, or both.


Look at your 4K Write speeds, and look at the OP's. Your write speeds are nearly twice as fast as his.
a c 531 G Storage
August 16, 2012 8:11:48 AM

Rich Pitchshift said:
I thought the black "Starting Windows" screen wasn't anything to do with the bios?


You're correct.
August 16, 2012 9:29:57 AM

Rich Pitchshift said:
@ s3anister

I did a clean install of Windows onto the drive. As far as I'm aware all the drivers are up to date. I noticed that when I first installed the OS I was getting slightly faster boot times of 25 - 30 seconds but once Windows had run all it's updates and I installed a few programs it slowed down.

I use CC Cleaner to clean my SSD / registry. I do not have allot of start up programs running but I am unsure where to start with start up services.

I thought the black "Starting Windows" screen wasn't anything to do with the bios?

Hmm that's puzzling as to why you have such slow boot times. I would post an image of services to disable but there is the possibility that you will break your OS... I'll have to again look over the instructable I have.

The Windows load screen does not have anything to do with the motherboard's power on self test. I only mentioned that as a source of possible boot delay as is known to be a problem with some motherboards that have a lot of add-on devices. What I would suggest is to go through your motherboard's BIOS and make sure to set your boot device order/priority to your SSD and disable booting to other devices entirely (unless you need to boot from other devices in which case only enable "press F10" to boot from another device - or whatever key it would be for you). There are other things you can do like disabling extra USB controllers, firewire controllers or any other features that your motherboard has which are not in use.

On a side note, I've had my boot times seriously impacted by RAM and CPUs that were to highly clocked or volted, but if you haven't done any tweaking then this shouldn't be an issue.

Dereck47 said:
Look at your 4K Write speeds, and look at the OP's. Your write speeds are nearly twice as fast as his.


I'm aware of this, however, the loading of an Operating System as we know is primarily reads so his write speed shouldn't be overtly detrimental to load times.
a c 531 G Storage
August 16, 2012 9:56:38 AM

s3anister said:
I'm aware of this, however, the loading of an Operating System as we know is primarily reads so his write speed shouldn't be overtly detrimental to load times.


According to this article from The SSD Review 4K Writes are the most important when it's regarding O/S startup: http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/beginners-guide/the-...



August 16, 2012 11:53:10 AM

How do I improve my 4K Write speeds?

I'm currently at work but when I get in I'm going to boot into windows safe mode and run the tests again to see if my problem is with my OS install.
August 16, 2012 4:30:58 PM

I rebooted in safe mode using msconfig but wasn't able to see an increase in boot times.
August 19, 2012 10:44:54 AM

I've managed to fix my slow 4K read / write speeds by disabling C1E and AMD's cool and quite in the BIOS.



Still having slow Windows startup (on the black "Starting Windows" screen).

I re-installed Windows 7 with my other HD's disconnected and noticed that the slow downs started when I reconnected them. I have disabled all other drives from the boot priority but to no avail. Is their anything else I can try?
August 30, 2012 7:31:50 AM

Can anybody else help me with this?
!