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3TB drive slows down Windows 7 boot?

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 24, 2012 12:25:42 PM

My PC has the following:

ASRock P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3
Windows 7 Home Preimum 64-bit
Intel 320 120GB SSD (where Windows 7 is installed)
Seagate Barracuda 3TB drive (ST3000DM001)
Seagate Barracuda 3TB drive (ST3000DM001)

Originally I planned to set the two 3TB drives up for RAID1 but when I ran into some problems I decided to instead set one of the 3TB drives as the location for Windows backup (drive "A" for use, drive "B" for backup). However, when I set drive B up for Windows backup whenever Windows 7 boots it takes about 60 seconds longer (it hangs on the "Starting Windows" screen). Both drives are recognized and I'm able to freely transfer data between them, and the problem disappears when I run the clean diskpart command on drive B.

Does Windows 7 backup have problems with 3TB drives? I'm still having problems setting up RAID1 either through my motherboard or Windows 7 for these drives (Windows 7 doesn't give me the option to mirror) so at the moment I'm not sure what to do.
a c 243 $ Windows 7
February 24, 2012 1:24:48 PM

What partition sizes do you have set up on the 3TB drives?
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February 24, 2012 1:37:05 PM

They're formatted to GPT and their partitions are set at the maximum (around 2.7TB).
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a c 243 $ Windows 7
February 24, 2012 2:11:10 PM

So you have 2 2.7TB partitions? How much data do you have on each drive?

BTW, Win 7 really has no issues, per se, with 3TB drives (to answer one of your original questions). Setting up the RAID via the motherboard (BIOS/UEFI) and/or RAID utility is another matter altogether.

Make sure your BIOS/UEFI is up to date. Also make sure you are using the latest RAID utility and actually read the directions for initializing your RAID.

Please clarify.
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February 24, 2012 2:22:25 PM

Correct, that makes two 2.7TB partitions (I won't be in front of the PC until tonight so I can't see the exact number). Drive A has only around 50GB of data. Drive B, before being wiped, had only about 15-20GB of data.

I understand that the RAID setup is separate and so I have a thread open elsewhere asking for help with that. I'm just trying to figure out specifically why Windows backup on one of the 3TB drives would cause Windows 7 to boot slower.

I couldn't figure out how to check if my BIOS/UEFI is current when I tried yesterday. I could just download the BIOS listed on ASRock's website:

http://www.asrock.com/MB/download.asp?Model=P67%20Extre...

But they say "we don't recommend users to update BIOS while the system is running well." Where should I look to find my current BIOS/UEFI version #?
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a b $ Windows 7
February 24, 2012 2:53:07 PM

I'm confused on what you are trying to do.

You already have Windows on your SSD. You are then making a backup of that to Hard Drive #1, then having it mirror that backup to a second drive?

It seems a little overkill to me unless you also wish to mirror all the data between drives in case of a single drive failure.

Is this issue present with the drives in non-RAID, or is it only in RAID1 mode?

Further, if the DELAY is BEFORE Windows starts to boot it's a motherboard issue (maybe requiring a BIOS update), but if the delay is AFTER Windows starts to boot it's a Windows issue which does seem odd to me.

I find the problem interesting and will help more if I can.
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a c 243 $ Windows 7
February 24, 2012 3:04:21 PM

Just go to Asrock and get (and then install) the latest version for your system. If you already have it installed, the install program will tell you.

One of the common "slow downs" associated with large drives is the amount of time to index and scan all of the files. Likely not your situation, but something to consider.

Also, I think you may be seeing an issue as a result of your partition sizes. I did some googling and it appears, in some cases, that Windows Backup doesn't like partitions larger than 2.5TB. You could try an experiment to make 2 smaller partitions and see how your system performs.
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February 24, 2012 3:29:30 PM

photonboy said:
You already have Windows on your SSD. You are then making a backup of that to Hard Drive #1, then having it mirror that backup to a second drive?

It seems a little overkill to me unless you also wish to mirror all the data between drives in case of a single drive failure.

Is this issue present with the drives in non-RAID, or is it only in RAID1 mode?

Further, if the DELAY is BEFORE Windows starts to boot it's a motherboard issue (maybe requiring a BIOS update), but if the delay is AFTER Windows starts to boot it's a Windows issue which does seem odd to me.


I have the 120GB SSD with Windows 7 installed and the two 3TB hard drives that I want to use for data. Originally I planned to set the two 3TB drives up with RAID1 as a "backup" solution (I understand that RAID1 isn't a proper backup) because I'm worried about one of the drives failing. However, I had problems doing that (I'm still investigating it) so I chose Windows backup as an alternative. I was using Windows backup to backup data files from 3TB drive A to 3TB drive B. Since I haven't been able to set up RAID1 yet I can only verify that the issue happens in non-RAID. The delay is AFTER Windows starts to boot: it stays at the "Loading Windows" logo animation for about 60-90 seconds before finally booting (normally it booths in about 25-30 seconds total). When Windows backup hasn't been set up the problem doesn't occur and Windows boots normally.

Like I said, I'm still looking into getting RAID1 set up. If I can do that then I'll have the RAID1 setup that I originally intended and I'll use a 1TB external drive for Windows Backup for the super important files (reading about RAID has inspired me to be more conscientious of backups). But I'm just curious why I can't use Windows Backup with the 3TB drive without Windows booting so slowly.

COLGeek: That's what I'm guessing, that Windows Backup isn't interacting with the 3TB partitions well. When I get home I'll try creating two smaller partitions in drive B to see if the problem occurs.
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February 25, 2012 2:54:27 AM

Well I was able to set up the two 3TB drives with RAID 1. You can read about how I did that here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280779-32-drives-wind...

So I won't be needing to use either 3TB drive as a location for Windows Backup anymore. I now have my 1TB external drive set as the backup location for files on the 3TB RAID1 setup and Windows boots normally. I'd still like to know what the problem was specifically, but now that I have the RAID1 setup I'm not going to bother looking into it any further. Thanks for your help!
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a c 243 $ Windows 7
February 25, 2012 4:31:37 PM

Good job getting your rig set up. Have fun!
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March 3, 2012 1:17:09 AM

Best answer selected by dragon164z.
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