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Thread: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks




  1. #1
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    Default Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    Hi All.

    I just bought a new ASRock z77 extreme6 and its great. I have a nice new SSD too.

    I do have a strange problem regarding Windows 7 boot time + many hard disks.

    When I boot Windows 7 it sits at the Windows animation (which doesnt start) and pauses for 45 seconds. I discovered that this is caused by the linux RAID disks which are in the PC too. I dual boot Gentoo + Windows 7.

    I have the following disks:
    SATA 3 = 256GB SSD
    SATA 2 = 500GB NTFS
    SATA 2 = 500GB RAID 5 ext4
    SATA 2 = 500GB RAID 5 ext4
    SATA 2 = 500GB RAID 5 ext4

    I have the SSD on a SATA3 connector and the 4 spinning rust disks on the SATA2 connectors. Windows 7 ignores the bios information and appears to try to rescan/mount all the disks (which obviously it cant). This pause is due to the 3 raid disks. Each one adds 15 seconds to the boot 'pause'. (I found this by removing and adding disks 1 by 1). The other old disk is a NTFS disk for Windows second disk.

    Once its booted Windows 7 flies and its amazing. Gentoo is even faster, it boots into xfce in about 3 seconds.

    Also if Windows 7 finds the SSD as the 'first' disk (when connected to one of the SATA2 connectors) it boots fast (or its the only disk). The problem is windows always thinks anything connected via the SATA3 cables are later than SATA2 disks. This is the real problem.

    Is there any way to change the order of the disks as Windows sees them and keep the SSD connected via the SATA 3 cables and make it the first disk Windows 'finds'

    In the past I simply move around the SATA cables around to ensure the Windows boot disk was always first, but I cant do that without moving the SSD off a SATA3 cable.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    It does not make sense that the SATA II ports are scanned first, and not the SATA III ports, unless you are using the "wrong" SATA III ports.

    Your board has the main Intel SATA controller, and the add on ASMedia SATA controller. With the board mounted in a case, the two gray ports at the top are the ASMedia SATA III ports. The two gray ports below them, next to the black SATA II ports, are the Intel SATA III ports. The Intel SATA III ports will provide much better performance than the ASMedia SATA III ports. The Intel SATA ports are scanned before the ASMedia ports, which would explain why the SATA II ports are scanned before your SSD, if it is connected to the ASMedia ports.

    Since you don't use the RAID 5 volumes in Windows, try this. Start disk management in Windows, and disable those RAID volumes. That should not affect them in Gentoo.

  3. #3
    synack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    with the grub bootloader, you can re-map disks

    see here

  4. #4
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    Red face Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    I never knew there were 2 different SATA 3 ports. I knew about the 2 different USB 3 ports on the back.

    I now have FAST boot in Windows 7. I had to move all disks off the ASMedia SATA.

    I have the following

    Right side
    SATA3 ASMedia TOP = NONE
    SATA3 ASMedia BOTTOM = NONE
    SATA3 Intel TOP = Win 7 Disk 2
    SATA3 Intel BOTTOM = SSD
    SATA2 TOP = 500GB RAID 5 ext4
    SATA2 BOTTOM = 500GB RAID 5 ext4
    SATA2 TOP = 500GB RAID 5 ext4
    SATA2 BOTTOM = DVDRW
    Left side

    Windows 7 sees the SSD as disk 0, disk 1, 2, 3 = RAID disk, disk 4 = Win 7 data.
    Gentoo sees /dev/sda = Win7 data, /dev/sdb = SSD, /dev/sdc, d, e = RAID

    I'm not bothered that the order differs now, but I am so happy it boots fast.

    I dont know why Windows 7 is having a problem with the ASMedia SATA.

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited by neilwightman; 11-30-2012 at 01:07 AM.

  5. #5
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    Great, you are welcome.

    The main reason why your boot was slow when using the ASMedia SATA ports is that it does not perform as good as the Intel SATA ports do. Actually, the ASMedia controller is much slower than the Intel, and if you had two drives on the ASMedia ports, it will become even slower.

    The ASMedia so-called "SATA III" chipset, is connected to one PCIe lane, whose maximum speed is 5Gb/s. That is one PCIe lane shared between two SATA ports. The Intel SATA controller does not have that limitation. 99% of all the add on SATA chips like the ASMedia are the same, using one PCIe lane, and are not able to provide true SATA III, 6Gb/s performance.

    The ASMedia ports are useable with data drives, but for an OS drive, always use the Intel ports. The Intel SATA II ports will be faster overall than the ASMedia ports.

  6. #6
    klepper is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    This is RIDICULOUS. I have one of the biggest, basest and fastest systems out there (this week) and I have, what, a 3 minute boot up on that windows logo? I built a similar system on an intel board, not where near as powerful but the OS on a slower SSD and a 3X500GB 2.5" Raid 5 and it boots to windows in 9 seconds. That's right, power button to in windows moving the mouse in 9 seconds and I have better everything and I get this slow sloooooooooooooooooooooow boot.

    AsRock this is UNACCEPTABLE.

    ASRock Z77 Extreme4
    Intel Core i7 3770K w/Noctua NH-D14
    32GB DDR3 1333 Ram (with 20GB RamDrive)
    PowerColor SCS3 AX5750 1GBD5-S3DH
    SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB (Raid 0)
    SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB (Raid 0)
    Seagate 7200.14 3TB ST3000DM001 (Raid 5)
    Seagate 7200.14 3TB ST3000DM001 (Raid 5)
    Seagate 7200.14 3TB ST3000DM001 (Raid 5)
    Seagate 7200.14 3TB ST3000DM001 (Raid 5)
    SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM
    LG Bluray Burner WH12LS30
    Nexus Prominent 9
    SeaSonic X750 Gold
    HT OMEGA CLARO Plus+
    3 X U3011 (3 X 30" Dell 2560 X 1600 = 7680 X 1600, 12MP)
    Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit) fully updated
    Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard
    Logitech Performance Mouse MX

    Is there going to be a fix or not?

  7. #7
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    Well, unless there is some magical way to speed up the parity check on four, 3TB HDDs in RAID 5, which happens on every boot, you are out of luck. Plus the "3TB Unlocker" utility (which is installed, right?) that does some processing.

    I don't see how you can blame the board for this. What exactly would the fix be?

  8. #8
    klepper is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    Well, because I moved this RAID 5 from my Asus Z68 board which booted up in seconds (<30). How do you describe that as not board specific with all other hardware identical?

    Do tell.


    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Well, unless there is some magical way to speed up the parity check on four, 3TB HDDs in RAID 5, which happens on every boot, you are out of luck. Plus the "3TB Unlocker" utility (which is installed, right?) that does some processing.

    I don't see how you can blame the board for this. What exactly would the fix be?

  9. #9
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    Now you tell us you moved the four 3TB RAID 5 volume to the ASRock board from another, different board, that was not clear in your first post. Next, was that a simple move, or a rebuild of the RAID 5 volume?

    I have two of these boards, with RAID 0 SSD volumes for the OS in both boards, and they are the fastest booting boards I've used. But I'm not using a 12TB RAID 5 volume of HDDs on them.

    It's difficult to see how the board itself is the issue, meaning its actual circuit and buss connections. The Z77 chipset that provides the SATA controller is very similar if not identical to a Z68 chipset SATA controller. I assume you are using the Intel SATA controller, since you did not list a separate RAID card.

    Assuming the RAID 5 volume was just moved, that leaves software, the IRST driver and the boards Option ROM. While the RAID 5 format should be the same with two current Intel chipsets and similar drivers versions, I wonder if the likely different Option ROM is causing some problem. Did you run a data verification on the RAID 5 volume on the ASR board? What driver and Option ROM was the RAID 5 created with on the Z68 board? What did you need to do, if anything, to get the 3TB drives to be recognized?

  10. #10
    klepper is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Windows 7 slow boot with many disks

    You can easily move a RAID5 from an identical chipset just by moving the drives. No data is lost, no resyncing, no re-initilizing, just unplug and move.

    I'm just wondering if there will be a fix. I was using the last board's SATA II ports for the RAID 5 as well. The RAID itself is fast for a RAID 5, but not during boot.


    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Now you tell us you moved the four 3TB RAID 5 volume to the ASRock board from another, different board, that was not clear in your first post. Next, was that a simple move, or a rebuild of the RAID 5 volume?

    I have two of these boards, with RAID 0 SSD volumes for the OS in both boards, and they are the fastest booting boards I've used. But I'm not using a 12TB RAID 5 volume of HDDs on them.

    It's difficult to see how the board itself is the issue, meaning its actual circuit and buss connections. The Z77 chipset that provides the SATA controller is very similar if not identical to a Z68 chipset SATA controller. I assume you are using the Intel SATA controller, since you did not list a separate RAID card.

    Assuming the RAID 5 volume was just moved, that leaves software, the IRST driver and the boards Option ROM. While the RAID 5 format should be the same with two current Intel chipsets and similar drivers versions, I wonder if the likely different Option ROM is causing some problem. Did you run a data verification on the RAID 5 volume on the ASR board? What driver and Option ROM was the RAID 5 created with on the Z68 board? What did you need to do, if anything, to get the 3TB drives to be recognized?

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