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Why is my laptop faster than desktop to resume windows?

Posted on 2004-04-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hello,
I've an Asus M3425CH laptop and a Shuttle SS51G pc both with WindowsXP. I've been samewhat surprised to note that my laptop is quite faster to Resume windows (after hibernation) than the pc. Can anyone explain why is that ?

Here are the details:
Laptop:
Centrino 1.4GHz, 400MHz bus (Intel 855 GM Chipset)
HD: IBM IC25N040ATCS04-0 Travelstar - 4200rpm 40GB UDMA5
512MB ram DDR266

Desktop
Pentium 2.4Ghz, 533MHz bus (sis651 chipset)
HD: Seagate ST380021 - Barracuda ATA IV - 7200rpm 80GB UDMA5
512MB Ram PC2700 (DDR333)

So the desktop has aprox same performance processor, faster bus, faster hd, faster ram. Still it takes 25 seconds for the desktop to resume and just 10 seconds for the laptop (time from whenthe screen "Resuming windows..." appears to the login screen)

My only idea is that during the resume phase, no windows driver is still loaded and it's directly the bios that handles disk access, so maybe the laptop has a much better bios.

500 extra points if anyone comes up with an idea (that doesn't involve buying new hardware) to make desktop as fast as laptop.
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Question by:lbertacco
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by:StealthMullet
ID: 10898761
Have you tried updating the video drivers for the shutltle PC?
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by:MikProg
MikProg earned 20 total points
ID: 10898907
I think no solution for this problem (and no points) becose (I think) desktop is havily loaded with programs but laptop not. It is a lot of time to dektop write/read amount of used momory to HHD and for laptop not. One thing check if in desktop bios options 'disable video bios on wake up'. On my computer when video bios on it takes 5 seconds.
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by:zdkev
zdkev earned 20 total points
ID: 10898923
Maybe your desktop has more memory contents and hardware state information stored than your laptop.  So when your desktop returns from hibernation, it requires more time to restore these memory contents and hardware state.  

Normally, with desktop, you don't need to use hibernation.  You could use standy since a system can return from stanby instantaneously.  Just a thought.

zd
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Expert Comment

by:nullnick
ID: 10899290
The hibernation process its a dump of all your memory in the harddrive

if you have 256mb RAM in the notebook and 512mb RAM in the desktop computer, the notebook will have only to restore 256mb and thats the reason it is faster
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by:tomar31
ID: 10899360
you could check to see if the Hard drive is shuting down, under  display properties , screen saver tab you will see a button called power. It here you could check your laptop with your desktop.
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10899456
Thanks for your answers. Here is a few comments-
- I'll try playing with video bios and will let you know
- On the desktop, I'm not using the integrated video adapter but a radeon 9600se
- During resume, the only thing that the system does is loading 512MB of data from HD to memory(both in tha laptop and desktop case), it doesn't matter at all what software/hardware you have installed in your pc, it's just a matter of reading from hd and putting into RAM
- I'm using hibernation (instead of standby) because it saves power and issafe even if power goes out (which happens frequently here)
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10899520
And, as written above,both pc and laptop have 512MB
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10901120
Ok I tested with bios setting. The only thing about Video that I've found is Video BIOS shadow that was enabled. I disabled it but got exactly the same resuming time.
Regarding the video card drivers, they are uptodate but I don't think this actually matters since at this point (resuming) video drivers are not loaded at all.

Any other idea?
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Expert Comment

by:AtX_dB
ID: 10901226
One theory is that a larger a HD is the longer it will take to process everything. Since you have an 80 gig it maybe take a while maybe even twice as long because your laptop HD is twice as small and doesn’t have to go thru all the HD to find files. Portables are better suited to boot faster especially from hibernation. I would suggest defragmenting your Desktop HD with Disk Keeper or the windows Defrag tool. I’d recommend Disk Keeper and I'm sure everyone would too.
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10901291
I though about that too, but then I noticed that windows creates the hibernation file as a single continuous area so, no matter how much your hard disk is fragmented, the hibernation file will always be a sequence of contiguous sectors. Maybe it can be that consecutive sectors numbers don't actually map to conescutive sectors on the physical HD? Not that I hear much noise from the HD during resume (hinting to much head movements)
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by:shot_blocker21
shot_blocker21 earned 20 total points
ID: 10902632
I think that it is the advanced power options that come with a laptop.  Even if you are in DOS on some laptops, after a few mintues it will go into hibernate to save battery, so I would guess that laptops do not always dump all of the stuff in the memory when they "hibernate", put simply save power by shutting off screens, hds, etc.  In other words, it is probably a bios power option in laptops, and the windows hibernate is not actually coming on.  It would be interesting to see about advanced power options in laptop bios that you may be able get through a bios update.  I bet someone has written one...
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10902858
No it's actually hibernating in the real sense. It's evident that it's saving all ram content to disk when it hibernates and reads it back when it resumes. It's not just powering hds/screen etc off.
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10906741
Some other info. I've tested HD performance with the utility chddspeed and results are 36MB/s for the desktop and 20MB/s for laptop, confirming that the desktop hd is quite faster.
Also I've checked the c:\hiberfile.sys file size: it's 536.399.872 on desktop and 527.290.368 on the laptop (probably smaller because 8MB are used for shared video ram).
Now how can the laptop load ~512MB in 10sec if it can only read 20MB/s from hd (it should manage to read at most 200MB in 10s)??
So I've tried to hibernate the laptop when almost all the 512MB ram were used, to be sure it actually reads 512MB from HD and it took it about 20sec.
So probably hibernate/restore just saves used ram, not all ram. But still this doesn't explain the load time difference since normally both are hibernated with Windows Task Manager reporting about 256MB available.
In other words it looks like the laptop is loading from hd at maximum hd speed, while the desktop is loading from hd at a much lower speed than hd limit.
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by:Mrkaras
Mrkaras earned 20 total points
ID: 10910511
it is probalby also related to the laptop having it's vidio ram shared system ram whereas the the desktop has seperate vidio ram therfore the desktop needs to restore more and posably to seperate locations (ram and vidio ram). also i suspect the bios and MB of the laptop may be designed to hybernate where the desktop while quite capable is probably not optermised because it is less usefull on a desktop.
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goblin072 earned 25 total points
ID: 10932123
If all things are more or less equal in terms of the amount of apps that are being dumped to the HDs and you find the laptop to be faster.  I would have to say its the centrino technology.

Look into it.  Its a sweet setup for notebooks.  It was designed from the ground up for laptops.

I have not used a centrino but I have a buddy that has a new laptop p4 2.8 ATi 9600 etc.

I did not test hybernation mode but I will say they have a long way to go in terms of overall computing speed.   The thing is a dog vs a desktop machine.  I wanted to take it from him for a few days to see if I can tweek it.

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by:nullnick
nullnick earned 20 total points
ID: 10938574
maybe the desktopt disk is quite full and the memory dump is created in the inner part of the disk, which is slower, and maybe the notebook disk have few programs and the dump is created in an outer part of the disk... it could be that
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10938797
Good point. However the defrag progam shows 2 large "unmovable" areas, both at the beginning of the disk. I think one is the swap area and the other is the hibernation file (which is never moved after creation).
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by:MikProg
ID: 10938930
Can you tell us time that passes from to:

from pressing power button to end of video bios test
from end of video bios test to end of POST
from end of POST to starting of windows resume process
length of resume process
from time from end of resume process to desktop appearence
 
on both machines.
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10939204
Here is it:
Laptop
time, Event
0, power button pressed (display stays black)
5.60, I get the ASUS logo (nothing else until the screen goes blank again)
8.25, Screen black again
10.55, "Resuming Windows..." appears
17.55, Resuming Windows completion bar reaches the end of the bar
19.83, the login desktop with available users appears

Desktop
0, power button pressed (display stays black)
19.20, POST message appears and completes in time to short to be measurable, then the GRUB (linux boot loader) screen appears
22.61, GRUB timeouts and decides to load windows (of course I could spare these last 3.4 seconds removing grub) - screen goes blank
36.93, "Resuming Windows..." appears
45.87, Resuming Windows completion bar reaches the end of the bar
48.05, the login desktop with available users appears

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Expert Comment

by:crissand
ID: 10939956
Here are some hints:

The Laptop HDD is spinning much faster (true).
The laptop HDD acces time is lower (true)
The laptop BIOS is smaller and faster (true)

Maybe if you compare the resume time of uour desktop with a HP (Compaq) optimized computer with Intel chipset you can see the difference.
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10941008
crissand, the laptop cd is spinning faster because it just has to reach 4200 vs the 7200 rpm of the desktop. After spinning the desktop hd can read 36mb/s while laptop only reads 20mb/s.
The laptop hdd access time is much higher than the desktop.
The laptop bios is probably aprox the same size of the desktop but doesn't matter at all, because I'm not concerned about time from power button to resume beginning but ONLY from resume beginning to resume end.

I think another test I can do is reading the HD booting from an old MSDOS disk. Thus hd access is through BIOS and I can see if my theory that it's just a matter of better bios implementation is right. Will let you know.
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10941186
I think I have written one time wrong for the desktop.
Line
36.93, "Resuming Windows..." appears
should probably be
26.93, "Resuming Windows..." appears.
Otherwise desktop and laptop would be approx the same, which was not the case all the other times I've measured it. Will confirm tomorrow.
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by:goblin072
ID: 10954519
I just tested my 875 system.

I set it to enter hibernation when I press the power button.

Time to power down - 12 sec
Time to power on
press button - 0 sec
ide detection - 10sec
time to see long load bar - 20 sec
time to see login screen - 26 sec

Most of the time is spent reving up the drives, mem testing, detecting IDE drives.  Once I hit the data load it does it in 4-6 seconds off the raptor 10,000 rpm drive

Laptops probably just have the bios tweeked more for better resume speed plus spin up time may be faster.  Once I get past the detection stuff my HD roasts the laptops.

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by:lbertacco
ID: 10966473
I double checked the desktop times and got this:
Desktop
0, power button pressed (display stays black)
19.30, POST message appears and completes in time to short to be measurable, then the GRUB (linux boot loader) screen appears
22.13, GRUB timeouts and decides to load windows, "Resuming Windows..." appears
37.09, Resuming Windows completion bar reaches the end of the bar
42.77, the login desktop with available users appears

So it's ~20 secs. for resuming (after POST, hd spinning, video init, etc...) while laptop is taking about 10sec.
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by:MikProg
ID: 10993108
Usual way PC power up until boot starts is
1) Display shows video card bios messages
2) Display shows Processor/Bios info
3) Display shows storage devices (HDD/USB) autodetect process
Do you have now these messages?
My bios have 2 specific options
 Time to reset IDE devices (default 20 secs).
 Time to detect USB storage devices (default 10 secs).
USB device connected to PC in power off state extends time interval until boot on 10 secs.
If your bios have same stuff try to play with.
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by:lbertacco
ID: 10993453
Well the first thing I see is the POST (CPU, memory amount, detected IDE devices, etc) summary screen. I believe that at power-up the VGA bios message appears and then the memory test too, but probably my monitor is too slow to wake up and I don't see these just because the monitor is still coming up.
Anyway I'm not interested about power_up->hd_boot time but only about hd_boot->windows_login time and more specifically just in the case of a resume from hibernation. The power_up->hd_boot time is very much depentent on specific hw devices and bios, but I expected the hd_boot->windows_login time to be directly connected to hw performance (hd is already rotating at full speed, ram has been initialized, etc...) whilst it doesn't seem so.
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Expert Comment

by:toxsickcity
ID: 14409850
I too have an issue with one desktop being faster than another desktop with close specs!

A few tips..

Goto power options from control panel, goto hibernation then click it to be turned off!

goto Drive C:\ from explorer and make sure that the hiberfil.sys file is gone if not delete the file.
Next defrag the system, then after finshed defrag, If you can get your hands on o&o defrag, it's the best I've encountered!

When finshed re-enable the hibernation, the file will be created possible in one continued line making read access a little better.

Another tip for advanced users is to goto the IDE controller in the Device Manager and load the default IDE driver for IDE CONTROLLER! or make sure your running the latest IDE Device Drivers from SIS,

Your LAPTOP is centrano with a INTEL chipset, that is far more stable chipset than sis. also Intel make very very good ide device drivers

The other option to try is to have partitions for the system drive and another partition for drive D as your storage for games music etc...

P.S. I remember reading from Microsoft's support site, some laptops have this problem being slower, tho not in your case,
The reason microsoft explained was that the laptop's pci bus ran slower during post, as power saving feature making hibernation slower, than when gets into windows it runs faster coz the laptops speed is configured by programs etc,
possible for your case is, Personally not at all liking the SIS chip makers, try to get an updated BIOS for your MOBO, and in the bios settings for performance settings click optimal or what ever it has for self setting that is faster.
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