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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives | Booting or Operation Problems ]

The system hangs up while trying to boot the hard disk when it is first booted after turning it on, but will boot after a warm reset

Explanation: The system will only boot the hard disk after a warm reset is performed when it is powered on for the first time. It will not boot the first time that the power is turned on.

Diagnosis: There are many possible reasons for a hard disk that fails to boot. If a warm reset consistently fixes the problem, however, then this implies that the system is trying to boot the hard disk before it is ready to operate. It takes several seconds for hard disks to come up to speed when they are first turned on, since they must spin up to speed, and then several internal calibrations and tests are often performed. Older BIOSes took thirty seconds or more to complete their power-on tests and boot the operating system, but newer ones can do this in ten seconds or less. Some of these BIOSes are smart enough to wait for the hard disk to signal that it is ready and then will boot, but older ones may hang up.

Recommendation:

  • Some systems have a BIOS setting to allow you to delay the booting of the hard disk by several seconds to alleviate this problem. If you have a boot delay setting then enable it and see if that fixes the problem.
  • Use other BIOS settings to make the initial boot-up take longer. For example, many BIOSes have a "Quick Boot" setting that speeds up the boot process by skipping some of the power-on tests. Disabling this will make the bootup take longer. Enabling "Floppy Drive Seek" will also cause the boot to take a few seconds longer. There may be other options as well, depending on your system.
  • If an upgrade is available, you may want to consider upgrading your system BIOS.
  • There could be a different cause of this problem; troubleshoot the hard disk here.
  • Replace the hard disk with another model that comes up to speed more quickly.

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