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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Hi there

    Recently I installed an intel SSD drive in my Lenovo T500. At the same time, I made a complete reinstall of Windows 7. (Not the Lenovo preload. The install was made from a genuine retail box)
    There is a remarkable difference in performance, compared to my trusty old mechanical disk drive. However, one thing is puzzling me.
    When I boot Windows 7 (Ultimate 64-bit), I get the Lenovo boot screen, then a blank screen with a flashing white cursor at the top left corner (for about 10-15 seconds) and then I get the black screen with the Windows logo that says Starting Windows...

    I have not seen that blinking cursor on any of my other computers, also running Windows 7. As far as I can see, there are no SSD activity while the cursor flashes. It is not until the Starting Windows screen that the SSD starts "spinning".

    I would very much like to get rid of the waiting time for the flashing cursor, but I have no clue where to look.

    The computer is a ThinkPad T500 with a 160GB Intel SSD. I have a normal SATA harddisk connected instead of the cd/dvd-drive, but that is a cleanly formatted drive only containing data and no boot information at all.
    Any help is very much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

    /Simon

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Simon, and welcome to the Lounge!

    Check the BIOS on your Lenovo to see if it still looks for the cd/dvd drive you removed. It may be first in the boot list, which would explain the delay in your booting as the BIOS looks for the drive. If it is looking for it, remove or disable it in the BIOS.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thank you for your reply.
    When I read it, I was sure that would fix it. However, when I tried this morning, the flashing cursor was still there.
    Next time I reboot, I will enter the BIOS again and write down the boot order.
    I am actually quite sure that you are on the right track. It must have something to do with either the boot order or perhaps the boot information that Windows have?

    /Simon

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Here is the boot list from the BIOS settings:

    1 ATA HDD0: INTEL SSD...
    2 ATAPI CD0: <blank>
    3 USB CD: <blank>
    4 ATA HDD1: WDC WD500...
    5 PCI LAN: IBN GG SLOT
    6 -USB HDD
    7 USB FDD: <blank>

    Does this provide any clues?

    Is there anywhere in Windows 7 that I can read a log to see what it actually tries to do during the boot sequence?

    /Simon

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Simon, since your SSD is listed first in the boot priority, the CD drive should not be a factor.

    I assume you installed Windows 7 on a clean partition on your SSD.

    Do any of your other computers have an SSD as the system drive? You mentioned you did not see this "waiting" behavior on any of your other Windows 7 machines.

    Is the hard drive set in the BIOS for AHCI or IDE?

    Have you updated your BIOS since switching to an SSD? Also consider an updated chipset device driver.

    I have not seen an SSD in action, so I have no frame of reference as to its booting, but that does seem like an excessive amount of time to wait for it to start Windows.

    You can enable boot logging by tapping the F8 key when you start your computer. Select the option to "enable boot logging at boot" (paraphrasing, it might read a little differently). You can find the log in the Windows folder, and it is named "ntbtlog" and it opens in Notepad. The log will show all the drivers loaded until bootup fails (log is meant to troubleshoot boot problems). Since you are successfully booting into Windows, it may not be much help, but it is worth a try.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Yes, Windows was installed on a clean brand new SSD disk. I actually have another computer (stationary) with the same tpye of SSD disk, and no boot problems at all with that.
    Hard drive in BIOS is set to AHCI.

    I will try the boot logging option. I was not aware of that.

    Thank you for your help, it is much appreciated.

    /Simon

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    You are right, the log itself did not help me much :-)
    But, I did notice something. While waiting to press F8 during boot, I saw that pressing F8 did not do anything until the cursor was gone. This points me to a hardware 'feature' and certainly not a Windows problem. I will do a little experimenting with the different BIOS options, and also try booting without the extra harddisk - or perhaps trying with the original cd-drive attached. These things might, or might not, make a difference.

    Thank you again for your help.

    /Simon

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Good idea Simon. The problem is definitely before the BIOS hands the machine over to Windows.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    I finally solved this issue.
    It turned out to be the Intel Turbo Memory chip that registered a Disk 0 with a 1.37Gb volume.
    Physically removing this chip from the Lenovo laptop solved the problem.

    Thank you all for your help with this issue. I hope this post and my solution can help anyone else who experiences the same annoying issue.

    /Simon

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