This is the original HDD that came with this laptop
That's what makes it even weirder
I downloaded the bios updates, but I only have a USB flash drive atm. How would i update the bios with the flash drive?
Not sure on your specific motherboard how that would work. But for example I extract the BIOS file to the root of my USB drive. Then shortly after POST I have an option to update my BIOS (might even be option to update within the BIOS as well). It finds the drives attached and I can select the BIOS update.
Not sure if that helps at all.
Note: Wonder if some how the BIOS became corrupt? Or for some reason needed the Drive that was attached which in return is creating the short delay now that your noticing. Just some side thoughts.