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Long time to START booting, not long time to boot

Last response: in Motherboards
December 17, 2012 6:36:17 AM

My netbook takes a very long time to START booting, not to boot, but to START booting, i.e a long time before it even starts to load windows.

It is an Acer Aspire 1 D257, Intel Atom N570, 2gb ram, 320GB hdd, Win 7 professional SP1

This is not a windows problem, windows boots very quickly. I keep it running well, I run scandisk often and clean the registry. It has ample space for virtual memory, it runs very quickly. Windows is very stable.

But the laptop won't START booting i.e. it takes a long time for the manufacturers logo, ACER, to even appear, a long time before the laptop even accesses the HDD. The fan comes on for a 10 seconds then nothing happens.

Once it starts loading windows it boots very quick.

Sometimes, after it has taken a long time to get booting, it crashes as soon as it starts loading windows then reboots, as if the power had suddenly been disconnected then reconnected (exactly like a reset button had been pressed).

I have to restart it, up to 10 times before it will get going (this has got progressively first). Or if I just leave it on, after 5 minutes or so (never the same length of time) it just starts booting by itself.

Once windows is loaded it NEVER crashes so it can't be a memory or HDD controller problem.

I am running it with a replacement PSU, one that is specifically designed to work with different types of laptops with different power requirements (it could deliver more power than my netbook needs)

The delay in starting happens both on battery, without PSU connected, and with the PSU connected with the battery too. The battery is not damaged, it charges fully and lasts the correct length of time.

Sometimes if I disconnect the power supply when windows is running, the computer crashes instantly, even when the battery is fully charged and connected.
Or else the screen gets corrupted and the picture disappears leaving just a mass of vibrating colors, like a speed smeared photograph. Sometimes it boots into this same unintelligible screen.
This screen never appears when the computer is running normally whether it is on battery or with the PSU.

If I have been using the laptop for at least 10 minutes then I can reboot it without the delay in start up occurring. If I leave it for an hour then the problem is back.

I am using the laptop in a hot country but the problem occurs in the heat, in A/C rooms, in high humidity and in dry conditions. The problem occurs if the laptop is right side up or upside down. The HDD is connected properly, the memory is seated correctly.

I would like to know how to overcome this problem.

I have the latest BIOS and the problem occurs no matter what settings I choose there, including those for QUIET BOOT, NETORK BOOT, F12 BOOT MENU, D2D RECOVERY. The boot device is set to the HDD, there is no password on boot. The BIOS version is v1.1.15, Intel v2036. I have not left any card in the card reader.

In anticipation of the guy who will advise me to leave it on all the time, that's not possible, I am traveling (I never use the laptop when I am in transport, only stationary).

Best solution

December 18, 2012 2:25:28 AM

Sounds similar to a problem I had with a desktop over 25 years ago. The problem then was that the bios battery was bad. I replaced it and the system started to boot correctly. What was happening was the battery would not hold a charge so it took a while for the power to be on the build up enough charge to enable the CMOS to kick over. Try a new bios battery. The Lithium coin types are pretty cheap so not much to lose in trying
December 18, 2012 4:27:36 AM

thanks novyender ..... maybe it is the BIOS battery

Or (you got me thinking) ...the power battery might have a fault too that stops the battery releasing current straight away, causing the delay.

I tried something new after novyender's reply, I booted without the (power) battery in and it booted straight away.
That suggests to me that the main battery is the problem.

I will clean all the contacts too, see if that makes a difference.
I'll try a new battery when I next meet a traveler with the same machine (quite common)

But I will start with replacing the BIOS battery.
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2012 4:55:53 AM

novyender is talking about your motherboard's BIOS battery not your notebook battery. Try that suggestion. since you perform regular maintenance on you system, it can't be dust. disconnect your HDD and see if your POST goes smoothly.
December 18, 2012 5:52:32 AM

Dust? In a laptop? Didn't I say I would change the BIOS battery first? I understood novyender perfectly. Who understands me?
a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2012 6:59:09 AM

my apologies diapolical...I wrote that when you had not edited your comment and hence the confusion...hope your issue gets resolved

best luck
December 18, 2012 7:18:34 AM

Like you thinking diapolical. Try both and let us know what happens. Never worked on a netbook. Everything else though including fill the entire room sized IBMs. Amazing that we can carry around a lot more computing power in our pockets.

I do really want to know what happens. It is how we can all learn for the next guy.
a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2012 7:36:45 AM

novyender said:
Like you thinking diapolical. Try both and let us know what happens. Never worked on a netbook. Everything else though including fill the entire room sized IBMs. Amazing that we can carry around a lot more computing power in our pockets.

I do really want to know what happens. It is how we can all learn for the next guy.

I know novy I am going to learn a lot from you...knew it when you said "25 years ago". glad you are here on Tom's now..welcome :) 
December 18, 2012 8:15:12 AM

I took out the laptop battery (the power battery not the CMOS/BIOS battery) and cleaned the contacts (they were deep set but it wasn't too hard) and now the laptop starts as it should!

I feel a bit foolish for not trying this earlier but I never thought that would be the problem.

If the problem comes back I will change the CMOS/BIOS battery but so far so good.

After it's been working for a week without a hitch or so I will post again to confirm this was the solution.

Yes novyender, I also marvel at the computing power we now each have in pockets.

December 21, 2012 3:52:01 AM

My battery cleaning didn't cure the problem after all................
but changing the CMOS battery sure did!

Thanks novyender

This is "solved" then
December 21, 2012 3:52:52 AM

Best answer selected by diapolical.