Question PC slow boot times on SSD

kapul4

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Oct 17, 2014
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Greetings, a year ago I got myself an 480GB SSD from Kingston. Boot times and overall responsiveness improved by a large margin and I was very happy with it. About a month ago, I noticed everything slowed down, boot times became slower than on my old failing hard drive and after finally getting into Windows, not all icons appear instantly and I have to wait for system to become useable. What I noticed is that initial Windows loading is fast, by that I mean the phase that shows the blue Windows logo(I'm using 10 btw) and spinning dots under it, that phase finishes in 5-10 seconds, but I noticed that after that phase there is other one, after the initial Windows logo with spinning dots gets finished, it doesn't go to welcome screen, instead it will repeat the loading again(at least I think) but this time without the blue Windows logo, just the spinning dots, but compared to the first phase, these dots have lower "framerate". This phase lasts about 30 seconds, after that finishes, it will finally move to login screen that shows your username while loading the desktop, that phase lasts about a minute or so, and finally after getting into desktop, it takes another minute or so for everything to become responsive. After everything loads up, everything is back to SSD speeds, browser and games load up in moments and there are no more slowdowns. I have Kingston utility and it shows everything is good with no errors. I did some tests on my own via Crystalmark and found something interesting. This are the results as soon as I managed to start up Crystalmark after boot
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 382.416 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 3.198 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 163.576 MB/s [ 39935.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 9.028 MB/s [ 2204.1 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 168.016 MB/s [ 41019.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 132.950 MB/s [ 32458.5 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 1.920 MB/s [ 468.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 3.196 MB/s [ 780.3 IOPS]

and this are after I waited for a minute or so

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 452.687 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 296.956 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 202.904 MB/s [ 49537.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 9.582 MB/s [ 2339.4 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 182.563 MB/s [ 44571.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 152.417 MB/s [ 37211.2 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 30.207 MB/s [ 7374.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 89.152 MB/s [ 21765.6 IOPS]

After that, I restarted the system to check is everything selected correctly in the bios and it is, again repeated the test as soon as the Windows managed to become responsive

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 332.292 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 187.877 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 133.580 MB/s [ 32612.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 4.498 MB/s [ 1098.1 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 82.863 MB/s [ 20230.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 33.091 MB/s [ 8078.9 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.031 MB/s [ 7.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 74.150 MB/s [ 18103.0 IOPS]

and again after a minute or so

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 539.780 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 451.266 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 207.780 MB/s [ 50727.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 40.977 MB/s [ 10004.2 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 189.942 MB/s [ 46372.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 158.394 MB/s [ 38670.4 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 30.225 MB/s [ 7379.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 71.114 MB/s [ 17361.8 IOPS]

Faulty SSD or Windows update messed up something? Oh and only startup item enabled is Afterburner so nothing external is hanging the system. SSD has 33% free space on that partition, and about 60% free space overall.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I would suspect the problem is....
"480GB SSD from Kingston "

Of all the SSD's I've had, the only one that eventually slowed way down was a Kingston.
And Kingstons seem to be far overrepresented here, in terms of problems people have.
 

kapul4

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Oct 17, 2014
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I would suspect the problem is....
"480GB SSD from Kingston "

Of all the SSD's I've had, the only one that eventually slowed way down was a Kingston.
And Kingstons seem to be far overrepresented here, in terms of problems people have.
It's A400 480gb model, I searched reviews before buying at it seemed like it's an ok drive, I mean it still hits advertised speeds of 500mb read 450mb write after the initial hanging stops, idk is that cuz of windows or the drive.
 
The A400 is a value ssd, meaning that it functions, but is not a top performing model.

The big question is, what might have changed between the time when all was well and now? Your observation of what appears to be a double load is a clue.
I have no idea of what that might be.
Sometimes, windows updates install some less than good drivers during the process.
If you can, try using system restore to reset the pc back to a time when all was well.
If, for example the availability of the trim command was compromised, performance will suffer.

One reason for a ssd to lose performance over time is that the availability of free nand blocks has been reduced. Excessive writes can use up the blocks. 60% available space
would seem like plenty.
Possibly, if you have been running synthetic ssd benchmarks, that has contributed to using up nand blocks.
Such apps write files to test with.

ssd devices will have buffering composed of ram and faster slc nand blocks to absorb a flush of incoming writes. when the writes overwhelm that, the write process slows down.

The solution to slow boot times as asked can be simple.
Do not normally boot at all.
Use sleep to ram(no hibernate) instead.
That puts the pc and monitor into a very low power state similar to full power off.
sleep/wake becomes only a handful of seconds.
 

kapul4

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Oct 17, 2014
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I would like to report that I have decided to contact Kingston support because PC keeps getting slower, they sent me benchmark tool of their own and they say Nand cells are RIP... 967 power on count...
 
If you do cold boots instead of sleep/wake, I would not find 967 power on count surprising.
You would likely find sleep/wake to be faster anyway.

Does Kingston think your ssd is defective and offer you a RMA?
 

kapul4

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Oct 17, 2014
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If you do cold boots instead of sleep/wake, I would not find 967 power on count surprising.
You would likely find sleep/wake to be faster anyway.

Does Kingston think your ssd is defective and offer you a RMA?
I wanted to say that 967 power count is pretty low and SSD failed already, total power on hours 2400. Yes they instantly said after I sent them the benchmark results to send them my address for an RMA.
 

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