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Intel® RST, RAID
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RAID5 causing 3+ minute boot time




I recently built a new box, and after getting things mostly set up, I have encountered a problem with my RAID5 array at boot time. RAID5 was configured using Intel RST. I am running v The "Storage Controller" drivers installed (from within windows) for my Intel Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller are v The driver for the Intel RAID5 Volume SCSI Disk Device under "Disk Drives" is v 6.1.7600.16385 (ancient with a build date of 6/21/2006).



The issue is, after getting everything up an running and most of my software installed, I started getting a 3-4 minute boot time. The night before, it was about 30 seconds. Here is what I have so far:



1. I can boot and wait the 3-4 minutes, and when windows starts, all runs fine


2. I can remove autocheck autochk * from the BootExecute registry entry and then it boots fine, but then windows is locked for 3 minutes or so. Nothing responds. After that it runs fine.

3. I can unplug the drives that are configured as a RAID5 array and the computer boots in 30 seconds and runs just fine



In investigating this situation, I first blamed SMSSinit, but I later discovered that this routine is more of a chaperone for the other processes that are running prior to Winlogon taking over those duties. Using MS SDK, I have found that it is Autochck.exe that is the culprit, taking 200-220 seconds on each boot. I have further discovered that, if I unplug my RAID5 drives and reboot, I get a 30 second boot time. I have done the following (and more) to try and address this issue:



1. Checked all drives for dirty bits - none found


2. Ran check disk on all connected drives - no errors found


3. Disabled Checkdisk in "task manager"


4. Disabled Checkdisk in registry (when I do this, I get scenario 2 from above)


5. Restarted the computer in every way I can imagine


6. Tried a windows repair with my UEFI stick (no love - says it found no issues)


7. Tried reverting to an earlier restore point (I only had one and it did not solve)


8. Removed all windows updates I had done (it is an SP1 install, so that is set and all Win updates are set to manual only)


9. Grabbed autochk.exe from another install and put it in the Windows/system32 folder with a new name autochk_safe.exe and pointed registry BootExecute entry to that checkdisk application (thought that was a clever try that I found at another forum)


10. I set the BootExecute registry entry to " autocheck autochk /k:C /k:G /k:M /k:R /k:S * ". I tried this (which should skip autocheck at startup for drives C, G, M, R and S) but it changed nothing. And that is all the drives in the system including the RAID5 array which is assigned the drive letter R.



So someone suggested that what is happening is, the RAID drivers are not being installed until windows starts up, and therefore, during the windows startup, autocheck is not able to see these drives as an array, creating confusion and the long autocheck.exe times. He mentioned something about 0x0 identifiers on drivers at BIOS level and 0x1 identifier for drivers at Windows level being a possible culprit. Consequently it would appear that I need to get drivers loaded prior to windows startup, and I am not sure how to do that. I heard that I might be able to do it by faking an install and when it comes time to choose the drive to install too, install the RAID drivers and then cancel out of the install. I am fine trying that, but would like any feedback on that option that anyone can give me.



If anyone knows of any other steps I can take here to stop this autocheck.exe from taking so long, it sure would be appreciated.



Loving this box once it is up and running, but really don't want a 4 minute boot time ;~))








Build Specs:


Windows 7 Pro 64 bit SP1 (all critical updates installed)


ASUS X99 Sabertooth


i7-5820 CPU


M.2 SM951 Samsung 256GB (Main drive)


Corsair ForceGT 128GB SSD (secondary drive and scratch disk when running on main)


4TB WD Red


4x4TB WD Red in RAID5 configuration (fully initialized and running quite well)


Crucial RAM - 2 x 8GB - 2133Mhz


FireGL Pro V8700 GPU (the elder in this system from 2010)


EVGA Supernova 1000 G2 PSU

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1 Reply

The boot time will depend on the number of drives, Capacity of the HDDs and the Raid type. The driver you mentioned is not necessary to loaded it in Windows 7 but in previous versions like XP or Older.

You can try enabling the Disk Write Caching that will improve system performance. Here you have a link with the instructions:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/259716 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/259716

NOTE: These links are being offered for your convenience and should not be viewed as an endorsement by Intel of the content, products, or services offered there.