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Author Topic: Windows 7 boot time woes ... anyone any ideas?  (Read 2298 times)
Carol Haynes
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« on: July 29, 2012, 12:45:10 PM »

I have just added an SSD to my system and plan to move my Windows 7 installation to that drive (using a clean reinstall).

The system has multiple hard disks plus the new SSD and up until today I have had no issues with the boot process.

I bunged in the Windows 7 DVD, rebooted and installed to the new SSD drive naively assuming that Windows Setup would simply add a dual boot entry to the exist BCD database used by my old system.

That's when the boot issues started!

It reboot straight into the new version of Windows but there was no dual boot menu to boot into my old version of Windows on a hard disk.

I used BCDEDIT to rebuild the multiboot menu  and I can now access both installations.

The trouble is my BIOS points to the original harddisk as the boot device (which is what I wanted) but the new install has built a new boot setup on another irrelevant drive.

I want to keep the original drive as the boot device and ultimately make Windows on my SSD the default boot from that partition. The reason for this is that hiberfil.sys has to remain on the drive with the boot sector (according to MS) and I use a UPS that requires hibernation to be enabled. The system has 32Gb of memory so I definitely do not want hiberfil.sys on the SSD as it would eat 25% of the drive on it own.

A number of questions:

1) How can I make my original drive the source for the boot process again? It has a hidden MS 100Mb partition specifically for this but the installation process of the new version of windows ignored it and has put the Boot stuff on a Green drive which makes start up slow - also I don't want multiple bootable partitions.

2) Once I get it booting from where I want how do I ensure that the only hiberfil.sys file is on the system boot disk and not on the SSD - I read a number of articles from MS suggesting that hiberfil.sys has to be on the boo drive but even so windows has created one on the SSD anyway - wasting over 27Gb of space.

Any ideas appreciated.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 01:55:43 PM »

I would try on this forum
http://www.sevenforums.com/installation-setup/

Also you might consider using another boot loader that's more versatile.

The most knowledgeable people I've found where I didn't have to pay, concerning all things bootable is on this board:
http://reboot.pro/index.php?

They gave me some pointers to make a USB "boot key" that booted to the boot menu, then loaded Windows off the HD just the way the old Linux boot diskette worked. Stuff like that is hard to find just willy-nilly. smiley
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"Genius is not knowing you can't do it that way."
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 02:19:09 PM »

Thanks Miles - actually I think I have fixed the boot up partition issue. I added an extra SATA PCIe card a while ago because I ran out of SATA sockets and didn't change the BIOS setting so I think it has been trying to boot from the wrong drive for a while and when it found it wasn't possible it defaulted to the correct drive. I have fixed the BIOS and deleted the boot loader stuff from the wrong drive and all now seems to be working.

Now all I have to figure out is how to move hiberfil.sys from C: to the boot drive. MS suggest this is the default arrangement so I can't quite see why I have a hiberfil.sys on drive C: ??? Maybe I will diable hibernation and remove that file and then reenable and see if it does what it is meant to do!
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 05:20:36 PM »

Can't help with the hibernate. I've always disabled that and sleep. I don't even run a screen saver. Seems like no matter how I set it, the saver kicks in just before I touch the keyboard. Too annoying. smiley
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4wd
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 05:33:48 AM »

Now all I have to figure out is how to move hiberfil.sys from C: to the boot drive. MS suggest this is the default arrangement so I can't quite see why I have a hiberfil.sys on drive C: ??? Maybe I will diable hibernation and remove that file and then reenable and see if it does what it is meant to do!

This answer states that the hibernate file has to live on the Primary System partition.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 07:09:59 AM »

I have seen that article.

Quote
Because the Hibernate File must be readable by the bootloader, it must be stored on a specific sector of the hard drive, on the primary system partition.

But that is the point my primary system partition (with the boot loader) is my WD hard disk. That drive has a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (including a hiberfil.sys). My dual boot copy is on the SSD (Win 7 Pro) but also includes a hiberfil.sys even though it isn't the "primary system partition" and therefore isn't "readable by the bootloader"

The best I can acheive is reducing the size of hiberfil.sys to 50% of memory size (by using powercfg -h on -size 50). Switching off hibernation removes the hiberfil.sys but enabling puts the copy straight back on the SSD.

Given that SSDs as the system drive are becoming more and more popular, but necessarily small capacity because of cost, it is about time MS made it possible to place the whole of pagefil.sys and hiberfil.sys somewhere separate (preferably on their own partition like linux does with its own swap file.) There is no logical reason why the boot loader can't be rewritten to include code to point to the correct location.

I know I can more pagefil.sys to another partition - but it does require a small pagefil.sys on C: to produce bugcheck dump files. I suppose with 32Gb I could simply allow a tiny pagefil.sys and not bother with any extensions on other drives.
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4wd
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 07:50:19 AM »

AFAIK, the Primary System partition is the one that contains the Windows directory of the system you are currently running on.

If you choose to boot off of the HDD based Windows, that becomes the Primary System, if you choose to boot off of the SSD based Windows, then that becomes the Primary System.

Makes perfect sense to me, after all, if you specified that the hibernate file for the SSD is on the HDD, what stops it getting overwritten if/when the HDD based Windows goes into Hibernation?

What does Disk Management show for the characteristics of the SSD when you've booted off of it?

As stated here, the bootloader doesn't have the capacity to deal with all the various drive configurations, (RAID, etc), it contains a minimalistic filesystem driver, the driver for anything more complex is contained within the hibernate file - so what do you do?

You make sure that the bootloader can load the hibernate file and to do this you put it where it's guaranteed to be able to be read - on the drive containing the current OS.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 08:08:34 AM by 4wd » Logged

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Cloq
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 08:45:33 AM »

Honestly, I did away with the hibernate file. I hardly noticed a (boot up) speed difference. SSD is that fast.

------------------------------
Doing this fixed a number of strange issues for my laptop SSD drive (shouldn't matter what brand):

Make sure to download intel latest rst ahci drivers: Intel rst AHCI

For AMD AHCI , you may need to visit the vendors website.

------------------
Common to both AHCI platforms:

Power Management Issue LPM fix

AHCI Info SSD and AHCI

Note: If your BIOS isn't set for AHCI and you already have windows 7 installed, IDE to AHCI
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 10:21:09 AM »

Not much point in installing an Intel AHCI driver when I am using an AMD board!

It isn't a driver problem - been using AHCI / IDE mixed system (supported by the mobo) for a couple of years without issue.

WRT getting hiberfil.sys files confused - you can only hibernate one OS at a time so using the same file shouldn't cause problems (you can use the same page file - always have done on multiboot systems)  - and even on multiboot systems you don't see the OS selection menu iof the system was hibernated - it just goes straight back to the OS that was hibernated. That is correct behaviour.
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