Highlighted
2 Bronze

XPS 8910, long boot time

Jump to solution

I bought the XPS 8910 from Dell in November 2016, and the PC worked well for about three months.

Then, in mid-February, it stuck on the Dell logo for about 20 minutes on start-up, a fan then operated, and the PC completed the boot a few seconds later.

Between February and March 2017 there were continuing issues on start-up, some delays lasting almost an hour. What was noticeable was that the delay always ended when a fan operated. What was particularly frustrating was that at other times the PC would boot-up in about 20 seconds!

I had four chats with Dell Tech Support during this time, lasting several hours in total. They updated BIOS two or three times, completed PC diagnostics, disabled app start-ups etc etc.

In the end they suspected an additional hard drive I’d fitted. They changed ‘Raid On’ to ‘AHCI’, and this appeared to stop the long start-up times. I could not explain why the drive caused issues as I’d fitted it in November 2016!

The PC seemed to work well for the next few months, but in December 2017 the long boot-up issues returned. I’d had enough by January 2018, when start times were typically over an hour.

I removed the additional drive, did a Windows 10 clean install, updated to the latest BIOS and reinstalled all app software. This corrected the issues, and up until late April boot times were typically 20 seconds. [BIOS times have always been about 10 seconds]

Needless to say, the slow boot-up time issues have now returned. At worst it stuck on the Dell screen for 89 minutes, but after I turned the PC off / on it started in 20 seconds.

Now I wait no longer than a couple of minutes – if there is no action after that time I’ll switch off / on and try again.

I’ve now come to the end of my tether! I’ve owned several Dell desktops / laptops since the 1990s, and the start-up times have never been an issue previously.

Can anyone advise?

For info, the spec of my PC is: I7-6700, 256GB SSD + 2TB HD, 16GB RAM, CTX960 graphics

Labels (2)
Reply
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8910, long boot time

Jump to solution

Hi, thanks for the quick reply.

Looking at your suggestions I see I've investigated all these points previously. No errors are reported, and no reason for the delay found, there aren't any tasks running that I don't want, and Norton is regularly updated and scans run.

I'm more than happy with the usual boot time of 18 to 22 secs, it's when it occasionally extends to tens on minutes that it gets a pain! 

The Dell spec is far superior to the Acer. The Dell has an i7 processor, the Acer an i5, the Dell has more and faster RAM, and the Dell has a separate graphic card with its own RAM, the Acer doesn't. Finally, the Dell has no bloatware - this I got rid of when I did a clean install of Windows 10. The Acer wins hands down!

From extensive discussions previously I suspect I'm never going to discover the cause, and therefore I'll close this discussion again. Thanks once again to all who've contributed.

 

 

View solution in original post

Reply
33 Replies
Highlighted
7 Thorium

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

Does machine pass ePSA?

I've seen this before. Usually, it's a bad boot HDD/SSD ... or even a bad secondary SATA drive holding down the SATA bus. Maybe even a bad SATA-cable but I think you get the idea.

What does Crystal Disk-Info say about the drives and their SMART status?

Do you get appropriate speed for each with Crystal Disk-Mark?

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
Reply
Highlighted
2 Bronze

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

Hi, thanks for your quick response. Crystal Disk-Info says drive C is 'Good 100%' and 41 Dec C. Drive D is 42 Deg C. I don't know about SMART, but against 'Features' is shown 'S.M.A.R.T.'...

I'll investigate further asap.

Reply
Highlighted
8 Krypton

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

When was last time you replaced the motherboard battery? CR2032, 3-volt coin cell, ~US$2.00. I'd replace that first before going any further, if nothing else than to rule the battery out.

And what happens if you remove the add-in video card, assuming you have one, and revert to onboard Intel Graphics?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

Reply
Highlighted
2 Bronze

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

Hi Ron, thanks for your assistance.

I didn't suspect the battery as the initial problems occurred on a three month old PC. After the Dell 'fix' it lasted about nine months before issues returned, and after my clean install it lasted a further three months. I haven't noted any obvious battery related issues such as loss of date / time etc, but will look at a replacement if there are no other solutions.

Reply
Highlighted
7 Thorium

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

Is machine still under Dell Extended Warranty?

You never said if machine passes ePSA Diagnostic Test. At least do the Full Test ... with 4 hour RAM test also if you have time.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
Reply
Highlighted
8 Krypton

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

You may not see any date/time issues even if the battery is weak because most PCs automatically update those every time you connect to the internet.

And reseat RAM and PCI cards in their slots before running the full diagnostics...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

Reply
Highlighted
2 Bronze

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

I'm not sure, but I suspect I don't have the ePSA Diagnostic Test on my PC. Also, following the clean install of Windows 10, I don't appear to have recognition by Dell of the PC Service Tag. Certainly, when I tried to do diagnostic tests it didn't play ball - I can enter tag details, but it doesn't do much else.

Things were pretty desperate at the time of the clean install. The PC was refusing to boot at all, and I apparently had no option but to install Windows 10 from a flash drive - and then I found that only a clean install would work. Even the recovery drive I'd previously made didn't work.

Of course, the problems recurred just one month outside the 12 month warranty.

I thought things were improving earlier today when I'd done four switch-ons at different times this AM and PM. It started in between 19 and 23 secs. However, when I tried this evening it was up to its old tricks again and took several minutes.

Reply
Highlighted
2 Bronze

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

Thanks Ron,

It looks like I'll be delving inside the PC fairly soon to check connections, disconnecting the D drive, etc, and I'll take the opportunity of getting a replacement battery.

It's not going to be an easy fix as I don't always have start-up problems (see earlier post).  

Reply
Highlighted
8 Krypton

Re: XPS8910 long boot time

Jump to solution

Reboot and immediately press F12. Look for the option to run the diagnostics from that menu.

Here are 2 dumb questions...

  1. Does the boot time depend on what USB devices are connected to the PC? If you only have USB mouse and keyboard connected, will you have an occasional long boot too? Or does it only happen when -say- a USB printer or external USB HDD is connected and powered on?
  2. And have you checked the boot sequence in BIOS setup (reboot and immediately press F2), to make sure the boot drive is first in the boot sequence.
  3. Are USB mouse and keyboard connected to rear USB2 ports?

(OK, that's 3 dumb ?s...)

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

Reply