Slow boot: Lingering in the BIOS (Alienware Aurora)

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Slow boot: Lingering in the BIOS (Alienware Aurora)

  • I have a new Alienware Aurora, i7, 6GB memory running W7 64 bit. The monitor is also a Dell (22 inch SP2208WFP Wide Flat Panel monitor with Webcam and Mic), but was part of a previous XPS system. All were deemed by Dell as W7 64 bit ready. (And there were no issues when it was part of my XPS, Win XP SP3 system.)  BIOS: Alienware, Network:MBA v11.0.14 Slot 0400, Ver: A09,  Motherboard: Alienware, 04VWF2, S/N: CN697020920181, Ver. A02

    The monitor also serves as a USB hub, connected to the computer via a cable. One USB device is connected to this monitor hub, a printer which is usually off-line at boot time. Sometimes I insert a flash drive in this hub. Neither's presence affects the symptoms below.

    Each time I boot, if I leave the USB computer to monitor cable connected, my computer hangs at the BIOS for well over a minute during boot.  If I disconnect it, the BIOS appears for only 20 or 25 seconds (still too long, though).

    1. Dell has uninstalled and installed the latest drivers. No effect.

    2. We’ve replaced the computer-to-monitor USB cable. No effect.

    3. I’ve unplugged & tested all USB devices; only the computer-to-monitor one affects the boot time.

    Other Information: Monitor Webcam (SP2208WFP) #2 Device Kind Camera/scanner Device Name Monitor Webcam (SP2208WFP) #2 Vendor OmniVision Comment Monitor Webcam (SP2208WFP) #2 Location 0000.001a.0007.003.001.000.000.000.000

    How do I eliminate this extra boot time at the BIOS when my monitor USB cable is connected?

  • If there is also a Card Reader in the Monitor, it might have added an entry in the BIOS boot config. It then has the check the device for bootable status (and possibly give it some "spin-up time").

    Anyway ... press F2 at BIOS boot and go into "Boot Config Features". In the 3 lower groups, notice you can re-order and even Disable devices (disabled for booting only ... not from use once the OS get loaded). Likely, the only one that must be active is your P0 main HDD (and maybe your DVD-ROM if you occasionally like to boot from it). Everything else can be Disabled.

    Where some other MotherBoards provide an option to "Enable Bootable USB Devices" ... this MB does it this way.

    While testing, connect monitor's USB cable, but keep everything else completely disconnected from the monitor's USB hub. If you get that working, you can attach devices to the monitor one-at-a-time and check boot time for each new one.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

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  • There's no card reader in the monitor; just 3 or 4 USB 2.0 ports.  Based on my testing, something about the monitor is slowing down the BIOS, but nothing that requires spin up time.

    I'm not at home, but if you mean the boot sequence, I did set it to CD and then HDD.  I'm pretty sure the rest are disabled, but I'll recheck.  During the boot and just after the BIOS screen disappears, a message pops up, "CD ROM - no bootable media" (or words to that effect), indicating to me that that "check" is occurring. 

    Other thoughts?

  • If it incorrectly thinks something on the monitor's USB is bootable, I'm pretty sure it will give it some "get ready" time.

    If you set the Optical drive as #1, I think it will wait for the time-out period (default is 35 seconds). See that setting on other menu option.

    As a test, set everything to Disabled except P0: HDD, and make it first.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • WSC33,

    * The Bios Boot Configuration order should be 1st HDD, 2nd Optical or Disabled, 3rd Network or Disabled

    * The printer and Flash drive should be plugged into the PC rear USB port, not the monitor. Do this and test the bootup speed

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
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  • I rechecked boot order.  P0 was CD, P1 HDD.  Nothing connected to USB hub on monitor.  Retested.  No change in boot time at the BIOS.  None of the devices being re-attached one at time made a difference.

  • I temporarily set boot order to HDD only.  (Default time of 35 seconds for Optical had already been dropped to 5 seconds.  Didn't seem to matter.)  This hung at the BIOS about the same length of time but surprisingly hung at the "Starting Windows" screen too, may 3x or 4x as long.  Usually I pass by that in 5 seconds or less.  I'm using an SSD, BTW.

    Testing so far is saying that there is something "confusing" about the monitor itself.  It's using a standard MicroSoft driver, not a specific one.  Attempts to upgrade the driver are met by the assurance that I have the correct driver.

  • Chris M,

    I've tried that: no effect.  But, I use the other order, as I image my C drive from boot disk once a week.

    I can plug my flash and printer into the motherboard, but it also has no effect on booting.  And it didn't when I used this same monitor on another XP SP3 system.

    My driver for this SP2208WFP monitor is a generic M/S one: attempts by Dell and others to upgrade have failed: "You have the latest driver."  Could this be a problem?

  • I'm out of ideas. It seems that the BIOS incorrectly thinks the monitor's built-in USB devices are candidates to be bootable.

    Other's have posted about similar problems, but they were non-Dell USB devices (a printer ... IIRC). The bright-side here is that you have 2 Dell machines (AW desktop and Dell monitor) so Dell should be able to re-create your problem in the labs and finally figure out the problem. When and if there is ever a BIOS update issued, everyone will benefit. 


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Hmm.  It's good to know that I'm not alone with this problem.  So you think the reason for the BIOS boot-delay is that the BIOS thinks that the monitor or its webcam are candidates to be bootable and is thus lingering there for some reason?  Interesting.

    I don't know that Dell is researching this.  It would be nice if they were. 

    I did have the BIOS successor to the one I have now (it shipped with that one), but it was flawed: it wouldn't allow any keyboard action!  I couldn't get into the BIOS screen nor the boot menu.  It was weird.  Dell had to revert me back to the previous BIOS version.   So, I hope they fix that before they re-release the BIOS update.

  • I had that problem too, especially when I have a eternal hard drive attached, the BIOS either enters a reboot loop or it artifacts and freezes. the system will NEVER boot unless i remove the external hard drive. please let me know how u solved this problem. thanks!

     

    EDIT: actually both of my units have this problem (the replaced one and this one that im using now).

    Area 51 ALX
    i7 980X
    Dual 5970 CrossFire
    512GB OCZ Vertex SSD
    1200W PSU
    12GB 1600MHz RAM
    USB3.0

     


  • WSC33

    I did have the BIOS successor to the one I have now (it shipped with that one), but it was flawed: it wouldn't allow any keyboard action!  I couldn't get into the BIOS screen nor the boot menu.  It was weird.  Dell had to revert me back to the previous BIOS version.   So, I hope they fix that before they re-release the BIOS update.

    What BIOS version are you running? A09 works fine for me.

    What model keyboard do you have?


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • That's the one I have now.  The one my PC shipped with was the successor to this (and not even on the Dell driver page).  We had to roll back to A09.

  • This booting problem present in both A09 and A10

    Area 51 ALX
    i7 980X
    Dual 5970 CrossFire
    512GB OCZ Vertex SSD
    1200W PSU
    12GB 1600MHz RAM
    USB3.0

     


  • Crepoo,

    Please say more.  Where did you get your information?  Are there plans from Dell to remediate this issue?  Who else is seeing it?  What is the BIOS doing?

    Did you have A10?  If you did, could you get from the BIOS boot to the BIOS menu or the boot menu? 

    Thanks.

     

    WSC