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[SOLVED] BIOS runs slow, loads fine...

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] BIOS runs slow, loads fine... within the Motherboards, Bios|UEFI & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. This is a complex problem that is baffling me, and DELL is not helping at all because they are idiots


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Old 01-25-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
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This is a complex problem that is baffling me, and DELL is not helping at all because they are idiots reading from a script that does not cover my problem:

I am having an issue with my Dell Inspiron 15 N5010 series Notebook Laptop. Here are the specs:

- BIOS version A15, updated from A09 today (problem existed prior to update).
- RAM slot 1 has 4096MB Module installed
- RAM slot 2 has 2048MB Module installed
- 500GB hard drive
- Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 installed
- All other hardware is default and original

First off, before I describe the problem, I would like to make it known that my issue is NOT with Windows at all, but with the BIOS running and other op code being run. Although this problem does cause Windows to take an extremely long time to cold boot or perform system resume (hibernation), I have concluded that the problem is BIOS related only, because the problem is no longer apparent once the OS is fully loaded. This problem occurs everytime I reboot, hibernate and resume, or shut down completely. I have a backup image copy of my entire hard disk, so there should be no problems with reloading my hard disk, albiet it will take some time to complete that process. I want to stress that this issue is occurring regardless of my boot option as I have booted ISO Linux with the same issue and end result as booting Windows, and even my Command line Boot disc does not seem to make any difference when booting from it as the problem occurs before any storge medium is booted from BIOS.

When the BIOS first loads and performs POST, it seems like the screen draws very slow from top to bottom (takes like 25 seconds) before going to the next screen, and takes a significantly long time to load and operate (with the exception of loading BIOS initially prior to POST). For instance, when I have the option to press F2 or F12 for settings or boot options, the screen being drawn is clearly visible (but is the fastest of any other screen draws). Also while in BIOS settings, moving from one item to another seems to take significantly longer than usual (obvious lag), or when I boot the OS the Animated Windows 7 Logo (the logo that has the four light particles that swirl around and then form the windows logo) animate and move very choppy, and takes like 5-10x longer to load, but after the OS loads, everything seems fine and runs normally. OS driven diagnostics report no problems or issues (it's obvious why, the issue is in BIOS hardware, not in the HDD).

Here is what I have deduced via process of elimination and logical thought:

- BIOS firmaware is not to blame as I just upgraded from A09 to A15, and the problem still persists.
- HDD is fine, it was tested under a VM with no problems.
- RAM is fine, running at same clock speed it was before.
- CPU is ok and free of obvious damage, and clocked at original settings.
- GPU is ok as it is running 3DS Max studio without problems (High-end 3D graphics design software)
- FBS seems ok
- Motherboard seems to be intact and free of damage or malfunction
- Battery and AC charger are working fine, as reported by both BIOS and siw.exe

All of the items below BIOS are not to blame because once Windows eventually loads, there is seemingly no problem. Programs run just fine and at optimal speeds, there is no lag, my battery charges just fine (new AC charger), my DVD drive functions just fine, CPU is clocked normally, I can retrieve files from my HDD without error or problem, and because all of this is true, logically FBS and Mobo are functioning correctly (if either were to blame, OS would act just like BIOS does at all times).

After quite a bit of thought, I have deduced that the issue could really only be one of two possibilities (or both combined): The BIOS hardware is having issues that aren't being reported to the PC system (either one of the BIOS chips is damaged or hindered, or the BIOS controller is being flaky), or the CMOS is damaged, dying, dead (doubt it as my BIOS settings are still intact), or hindered in its attempts to load its stored info to the BIOS controller for operation. This would explain why BIOS POST takes so long, why even in BIOS setup it still seems to lag, why loading the OS takes forever (even the animation is laggy because of the system BIOS running op code to the RAM while trying to load settings stored in CMOS), but all seems fine once BIOS is out of the picture (BIOS pretty much idles once the OS is fully loaded, taking it out of the equation).

I tried calling DELL, but the only people who will pick up are people in other countries who know next to nothing about hardware, software, and how one affects the other, and they only read from a script. Their "best" solution they gave me is to reinstall the OS, but I will not waste 10 hours of my time just to discover what I already know. My Laptop is out of warranty, so I can't send it to a repair shop even if I wanted to without paying money I do not have.

I only want to hear from techs who know exactly what is causing the issue and how it can be remedied, or from others who have had this EXACT issue and know what the real problem is. If you are a person who had this problem fixed, but the tech who fixed it did a ton of things and you aren't sure what actually fixed it, just list everything and I will try everything that I haven't already done or eliminated. Don't worry about listing things that I clearly will not try, I need to know everything that was done in the order it was done so I can isolate the problem.

To all of you techs out there who want to try a guided troubleshooting with me, remember that this is a laptop, and I am not properly equipped to disassemble and reassemble this computer correctly without causing damage somehow (I am only really that good with desktops because almost nothing is integrated and it isn't tiny as hell, plus I know where everything is supposed to be on a Desktop model).

I am kind of on a time limit with classes, and I need to know if this was also caused by malware so I can keep it from happening again. I am in the process of switching over to Ubuntu and fully VMing my hard disk image, but I need to resolve this BIOS issue first before I try loading another OS permanently. thanks for any help, and feel free to email me if you want to help out on a faster scale, just be sure to post what you suggest or any answers that you come up with.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:05 PM   #2
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just to clarify:

if you list what a tech did to solve the issue but don't know what actually fixed it, list everything, regardless of whether I said it has nothing to do with it, and in the order it was done. I will filter out what is irrelevant.

If your solution requires me to open my laptop, I can do that to apply the fix. I will not open the laptop to help diagnose the issue or report back what I see as I cannot afford to open and close this thing repeatedly and risk damaging anything else.

If for any reason you have fixed this issue before and believe my elimination or findings to be inaccurate or totally wrong, don't be afraid to say so. I have been wrong before, but it happens less often than I get speeding tickets (only 2 in my entire 5 years of driving).
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:02 PM   #3
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okay, I finally did some more digging, and it is the system interval clock timer. It failed the diagnostic test with an error code 2000-0221. I managed to get ahold of an old acquaintance that refurbishes dell computers, and he believes that is a motherboard issue to the BIOS clock on boot only. He is going to do more research on this error, as am I now that I know more about what I am dealing with. I may be closing this thread if I get my answer, but I will post my answer when I get it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Alrighty then, here is the issue broken down, and the fix options:

The BIOS Pre-boot System Analysis tests were run on all hardware. When it got to the internal clock and its sub clock hardware, the interval timer that introduces pauses in op code during boot sequencing and handles the display of items and system values after the screen is drawn is not functioning at all, meaning that the BIOS controller and System Cache are having to draw each screen during BIOS without the interval timer telling them when to halt before reporting values, which causes the items, screen redraw, passover, and reported values to all come in at once to the BIOS controller. This is causing massive lag since everything is trying to do this at the same time, and the BIOS controller is working overtime to sort things out via the CPU. This is kind of like when a 4-way intersection that is controlled by a traffic light just shows green on all lights, and the vehicle drivers don't know to adapt to this problem. Congestion ensues, and it is up to a traffic director to decide who goes where and when, which makes things considerably slower than usual. This can cause the BIOS to not be able to boot from external devices, ISO boot discs (Linux Ubuntu, Windows installation CD, Hirens Boot CD, etc.)

The upside to this (if you want to consider it an upside) is that this interval timer is only used during BIOS boot, and goes idle once an OS has taken over the use of the FBS, RAM, and CPU. Upgrading the BIOS in this condition WILL NOT cause damage to the computer since the OS is running the code to flash the BIOS, and thus the system clock is being utilized, and the OS is controlling the interrupt processes.

So now to the options for fixing the issue:

Since the problem is a physical piece of hardware not functioning (for whatever reason), this means that there is damage or a disconnect of the integrated piece to the Mobo. One option that may be worth checking into is to look around the Mobo (maybe with a magnifying glass) to see if there are any IC's, components, chips, leads, or holes that are in one way or another obstructing the completed circuit between wherever the interval timer device is located and the device clock/BIOS controller. The BIOS chipset is easily located as it is clearly labeled with the BIOS vendor and default build printed on top of it (just like the VG chipset is). If there is a simple fix that you spot, try to reestablish that connection and boot it up and see if the problem is magically gone.

If there is obvious damage (burn marks, holes in an IC, or a melted IC) visible on an IC, then another option is to find that EXACT SAME IC and replace it with a micro soldering iron/gun. Experienced hands only please, amateurs should not attempt this unless they are willing to screw it up and lose everything. If you want to get some experience, get ahold of an OLD desktop PC system, bare minimum requirements, and try removing and replacing an IC, this way you only lose what you bought (hopefully a few bucks will buy you some PC from the 90's). Don't forget to test it and know it runs before you remove an IC, this way you know what result you should get after you do something to it.

The final Option here is to just take everything off of the mobo (CPU, RAM, HDD, removable GFX card, fans, etc.) and buy the same mobo from somewhere (you might be able to find one from a broken laptop in someone's garage). Attach everything onto the replacement mobo, put it all back together the way it was before, fire it up, and run the BIOS Diagnostics to double check if this one works (Inspiron N5010 series is F12 during initial boot -> diagnostics). Also for newer models you can call the company that sells the laptops and request a quote for just the motherboard (give them the express service tag so you get the EXACT same mobo), and have it shipped to you, but this model laptop mobo runs at $255 plus shipping.

All of this can be done for you if you prefer not to open the laptop yourself by calling in the warranty, but be sure to make a backup of you hard drive before you send it in (see HDD backup for details on this). Remember to tell them that your Interval clock hardware is toast and they will replace the Mobo. If your warranty is expired, you can reinstate it for about $168 including the mailing in of the laptop, or for about $270 a tech will come to your house and replace it in front of you (includes the warranty extension for 1 yr). The warranty extension is only going to be possible IF and only IF there are no open cases on your laptop, meaning you don't have any open claims or problems that help was requested on. If you have an open case and still have your laptop, call them back and tell them the problem is fixed and you no longer need their services. Don't tell them any work was done on the hardware because this will void any warranty you have and will exclude you from any future warranty on this device just say you wiped the hard drive and reinstalled the OS and its fine now (they won't know that it isn't possible to do that, they read from a script and write down "resolved" and "case closed". Once there are no open cases, wait a few days or so and extend your warranty. Once you have your warranty extended, wait a few days and call back and tell them you cannot boot your PC at all. Best option is to copy your HDD (see below), then corrupt your HDD installation, and now you cannot boot the installation disc or run your OS. Now they will work on it.

When you are backing up your HDD, most people don't know that you can't just copy all of the folders and files to another HDD an have it work later. You have to CLONE the disk using external software that is not running on the device you are cloning to or from. You can download free bootable software that can copy the entire disk to another disk (only if you have the exact same size disk, not another partition), or to an image file on a disk that can hold a file the size of the entire hard disk you are cloning. cloning will copy the MBR, partition table, and ALL data bits from the HDD into a raw disk image (.img or .dd). Hirens boot CD (questionable as it is) has the tools needed to do this, but Linux has an option as well known as GParted, which can copy the partition or entire disk to a file, or vice versa from a disk image to a hard disk (entire disk will be used no matter what, so it is best used to backup and restore disk images to and from the same disk). Remember that you must boot the software from another device that will not be used to read or write to the image being created. If your laptop cannot boot this kind of software due to the mobo acting up in BIOS (like mine), you must use another computer that has a spare SATA power and data port. Your laptop HDD is exactly the same as a desktop HDD when it comes to the power and data connectors, its just smaller. you won't be able to mount it without a mount adapter, but you can CAREFULLY rest it on the mount cage with the desktop on its side (so that if you look into the case, you should be able to see every component and the mobo is right-side up), after you connect the SATA power and data plugs in (connect only when the PC is powered off and the power is disconnected from the wall/power strip). DO NOT LET ANY METAL TOUCH THE METAL LEADS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE HDD IF THERE ARE ANY EXPOSED, OR IT WILL NEVER WORK AGAIN. If you have it, use an electrostatic discharge bag to set the HDD on, or a rubber glove. Don't use any kind of cloth as it can have static buildup. once the Drive is connected, it is just another hard disk on your system. Boot up the software and copy the disk image from the HDD to another source (FAT32 cannot hold files bigger than 4GB, so make sure you copy to a filesystem formatted in NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, or some other readable format that your software can read and write on). Once backed up, you are safe to put the HDD back in the laptop, do whatever you deem necessary, and send it in for work to be done. When you get your working system back, just boot the software that can write your disk image to a hard disk using your laptop and clone the image file to the disk, reboot from HDD, and voila! Back in the game.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:35 AM   #5
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thanks a loooooooooooooooootttt ..
I wld have done wild things like updating bios or so .... but thanks ..
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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So I'm assuming your problem is resolved?



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Old 01-26-2013, 07:27 AM   #7
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yes It was .. :)
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamaprogrammer View Post
yes It was .. :)
Sorry for not being more definitive.
My question was to the OP.



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Old 01-26-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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I dont get uh ?
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:23 PM   #10
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Hello, i had the same problem and i created this account to tell how i solved it. It was a laptop so i took out the battery, disconected from power supply and pressed the power button for 30 sec to reset the internal clock. It worked like a charm. Hope this helps someone.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:34 AM   #11
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first of all i would like to thank you all of you guys your discussion was very helpful to me ...in my case my problem was as i think with the power botton because i have connected the power pins manually with a piece of metal ..
excuse me for my english language and thaks again ....adelbenyahia from algeria .
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrgl View Post
Hello, i had the same problem and i created this account to tell how i solved it. It was a laptop so i took out the battery, disconected from power supply and pressed the power button for 30 sec to reset the internal clock. It worked like a charm. Hope this helps someone.
This man. Right here... Genius.

I had a failed Linux install completely crash my laptop. I knew there was no hardware damage! This fixed my issue in a snap! Well in about 30 seconds at least.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:47 PM   #13
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Can someone tell me what to do when the same thing happens on a desktop pc. In my case the bios screen hangs around for about 3 minutes before it progresses to the windows loading screen. Windows then loads in the usual way. Only just started happening after loading individual updates to get win 7 up to date.
Any ideas?
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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Thumbs Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrgl View Post
Hello, i had the same problem and i created this account to tell how i solved it. It was a laptop so i took out the battery, disconected from power supply and pressed the power button for 30 sec to reset the internal clock. It worked like a charm. Hope this helps someone.
==============================================

vrgl, thank you so much for your post.
KMatsumari final conclusion that the problem was in hardware seemed correct, but the proposed fix, besides being inapplicable for my 6 year old laptop, seemed also a bit drastic.
When I read your post it made sense and the solution was so easy to try.
It did work so far in my case, so I myself created an account so I could thank YOU for posting.
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