Why does my system seem to boot slow sometimes?

Posted on 2006-05-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have just built a computer.  The problem that I'm having is that after it passes the RAID options screen, sometimes it takes about 10 to 60 sec to get to the Windows XP raster screen.  The growing horizontal white bar builds at the bottom, it will go away the Windows raster will load and everything seems normal after that.  Again, once the XP raster screen loads the computer runs like it should.  I have ran Passmark's burn in test and everything seems fine there also.  I'm planning on running the machine with 1GB of DDR2 (2x512MB PC4200) but for now I only have one 512MB stick in place.  I currently have the other on order.

Here is the machine's current configuration all parts are brand new:

Intel D945GNTLKR
Intel 630 Processor (3GHZ HT)
2 x Seagate 80GB SATAII  RAID1
2x Seagate 250GB SATAII RAID1

Once the machine is in Windows I don't have any issues out of it.  Personally if it were to be mine I would just live with it and when and if it broke I would fix it, however I'm building it for a client and I don't want it to break on them.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
Question by:GTKINC

    Author Comment

    In addition there I've placed an extra fan to cool the HD's.

    Author Comment

    XP Professional is the OS that is installed.
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    Do you have any post messages at startup or are these disabled in bios. If you can, make the bios show all that is taking place by enabling the post messages.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    A couple of possibilities here:

    (1)  Since these are SATA-II drives they support deferred spinup ==> any chance the BIOS and/or RAID controller are set to do that?   If so, that would account for the delay, as each drive would not begin spinning up until the previous one had finished.

    (2)  Section 2.11 of the board's manual (on page 71) shows a power requirement of 275w (minimum loading) to 500w (maximum loading) for this motherboard.   The Antec case you used comes with a 400w power supply.   With this motherboard, plus 4 hard drives, an optical drive, floppy, case fans, etc. you could easily be stressing this supply.  It may be "just enough" -- but the startup current for 4 simultaneously spinning up hard drives may be just enough to cause issues during spinup.

    If there are no BIOS/RAID options for deferred spinup (per #1), then if you have one, I'd try (at least temporarily) a beefier power supply (600w) and see if that makes a difference.

    Author Comment

    I'll try these and repost.  Thanks Gary.

    Author Comment

    Couldn't find anything about deferred spinup.  Did notice a recent bios update that was available.  Ran it and my problems are now gone.  In reference to stressing the power supply.  Is there any program out there anywhere that can tell me how many watts/volts I'm actually using on my PS?  Thanks all for your efforts.  I've divvying the points because y'all were helping on the weekend.  Thanks again.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Can't measure the wattage with a program -- but this little gadget will tell you how much your power supply is drawing:

    Note that most power supplies are only 60-70% efficient, so the PC is actually drawing perhaps 70% of what the meter registers.   (If you're using a high-efficiency power supply, e.g. Seasonic, then it's more like 80-85%)


    Author Comment

    Cool.  I'll try that.  Thanks.

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