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philip42h_2
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HP Envy Restart is Slow or Hangs

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HP ENVY Desktop - 795-0017na
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

If I Shut Down the PC and turn it back on via the Power Button it shuts down and boots as quickly as one would expect.

 

If I Restart the PC it shuts down, restarts and gets to the black screen with the HP logo and the circulating dots and just sits there ... this morning for about 2 minutes before starting normally; yesterday for around 20 minutes before crashing out with "Driver power state failure". Can anyone tell me what the PC is supposed to be doing while displaying the HP logo screen?

 

It's been doing this for about the last month - I didn't notice this behaviour at all for the first six months of this PCs life, and first began to notice this behaviour after reinstalling Windows following May's KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED 'disaster'. I've no real reason to suspect these events are connected other than timing.

 

I do know how to snap it out of its 'lethargy' and/or avoid it happening - I noticed that the USB connected external drive showed signs of activity (LED flashing) during the hang. If I power off the external drive before restarting it doesn't hang; if I power off the external drive whilst it is hanging normal service resumes.

 

The drive is permanently powered-on and connected, and used for backups overnight.  It performs well and is error free. So I find it hard to believe that the drive is at fault per se. The configuration of the PC is unchanged though I did temporarily transfer the external drive to another machine during the KMODE issue - so it may not be back in exactly the same USB slot it was before.

 

I can clearly work round the issue but I would appreciate a resolution that maintained the current configuration (external drive permanently connected) and ensured that any restart initiated out of hours by Windows Update would complete normally. Suggestions appreciated ... 🙂

Philip
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philip42h_2
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@TheOldMan wrote:

Well, taking this external drive away and using a NAS would be a good idea and probably would solve the problem. 

 

I have a WD My Cloud that acts very similar to a NAS.  I've had it for several years and use as a NAS.  It is on my network and all of my computers can see it.  My smart TV's can see it and use it as movie source or picture source.  I am happy with the performance, while not quite a NAS, it acts the same and has a reliable interface.  That would be a way to go without a going into the expense of a full blown NAS.   IMHO, Good alternative.


As with one mind ... thinking about it overnight I realised that I had overlooked the obvious and, as a last resort, ought to try the most obvious solution and connect the external drive via the network - exactly as you say, as a 'free' alternative to buying a proper NAS device right now.

 

So it's now plugged into the one USB slot on the back of my router, mapped as as a network drive and working perfectly. OK, it's not as fast as it was when directly connected but it's perfectly satisfactory for overnight backups. Whatever it was that was confusing the BIOS and Windows has 'gone' and the Restart delay is down to around five seconds - so that's a good result. 🙂

 

Now, at this point I have to add that @TheOldMan was [probably] right ... viewing it as a mapped drive via the router I can see a couple of extra folders that weren't visible (or 'hidden') when viewed as directly connected. Namely,

  • $RECYCLE.BIN - we can easily guess what that was when managed by Windows
  • System Volume Information

Looking at the later I can see two 'obscurely' named files of around 1GB and 49GB respectively. The dates suggest that they could only have been created by Windows File History and I conclude that Windows, in its infinite wisdom, was attempting to mount a File History volume even after I'd stopped using File History. This is consistent with the problem timeline - I started using File History (again) to establish a back-up after rebuilding the PC in May; the Restart issue occurred around that time; and, while I suspected File History from the outset, stopping using File History didn't resolve the problem - and I think we now know why ...

 

That doesn't explain why the BIOS was seeing a 'phantom' drive and I rather suspect that UEFI vs legacy BIOS and/or MBR vs GPT formatting comes into play here but life's too short to resolve that conundrum. I have a working PC that's configured as HP delivered it, and a working backup solution using the kit I already had.

 

So, with that, thanks once again for all your time and assistance, and I'll mark this problem as 'solved' ... 🙂

Philip

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TheOldMan
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The experience seems to indicate that something has changed with the exchange between the external hard drive and the host.  Perhaps when the drive was connected elsewhere, the other computer made a slight alteration to the file structure, or added something to the root directory that this computer is now trying to resolve.  The pause seems to indicate that the host is waiting for a resolution to an inquiry made during the boot sequence.

First check the boot sequence in this PC - making the SSD drive the first choice, then the USB the last choice.  See if that alters the boot speed.

Next look at the external drive file structure to verify that it does not look as a possible boot choice.


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philip42h_2
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@TheOldMan wrote:

The experience seems to indicate that something has changed with the exchange between the external hard drive and the host.  Perhaps when the drive was connected elsewhere, the other computer made a slight alteration to the file structure, or added something to the root directory that this computer is now trying to resolve.  The pause seems to indicate that the host is waiting for a resolution to an inquiry made during the boot sequence.

First check the boot sequence in this PC - making the SSD drive the first choice, then the USB the last choice.  See if that alters the boot speed.

Next look at the external drive file structure to verify that it does not look as a possible boot choice.


The PC is using the default UEFI boot order which certainly appears to put the SSD first. Either way, I've disabled booting from a USB attached external drive (so not last choice but rather 'no choice') and the problem persists ...

 

I don't believe that the external drive is bootable - I have only ever used it to store data and have never attempted to put an OS on it. It's a WD MyBook.

 

So, thanks very much for the suggestion[s] - I think that is the first possibility eliminated?

Philip
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TheOldMan
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Be that is it may, if the drive is connected and it causes a boot delay or no boot at all but everything if OK with it disconnected, then something was added or altered to make the host think it has to wait for a reply during the boot process. 

If you cannot find what it is/was then it will need to be disconnected or powered down to fix the delay/hang.

 

Something from this "The configuration of the PC is unchanged though I did temporarily transfer the external drive to another machine " has changed the way the drive reacts with the system.  It does not not need to be made bootable for the host to find a process that is causing it to delay.  I suggest you find what that was/is,  if you do not wish to this behavior to continue.


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philip42h_2
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Folowing on from @TheOldMan's original post I did the following:

  1. Uninstalled the external drive from the PC (Device Manager) and disconnected it - PC restarts normally as expected.
  2. Reconnected the external drive and allowed the PC to rediscover and reinstall it - PC restarts with a hang of about 3 minutes. The hang seems to be a variable amount of time ...

Now, looking in the Device Configuration screen at startup I see a 'phantom' 256 TB USB attached Hard Disk:

20200614_184555 (2).jpg

This was there before I uninstalled the external drive, was gone once I had uninstalled the external drive, and is now back again with the drive reconnected and reinstalled.

 

I rather suspect that this has something to do with the issue but at the moment I really can't see where this 'phantom' has come from. Ideas? ...

Philip
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philip42h_2
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@TheOldMan wrote:

Be that is it may, if the drive is connected and it causes a boot delay or no boot at all but everything if OK with it disconnected, then something was added or altered to make the host think it has to wait for a reply during the boot process. 

If you cannot find what it is/was then it will need to be disconnected or powered down to fix the delay/hang.

 

Something from this "The configuration of the PC is unchanged though I did temporarily transfer the external drive to another machine " has changed the way the drive reacts with the system.  It does not not need to be made bootable for the host to find a process that is causing it to delay.  I suggest you find what that was/is,  if you do not wish to this behavior to continue.


I was posting my follow-up (above) when your reply came in ... I tend to agree with your analysis ... so ...

 

When my Envy was down with KMODE problems I attached the external drive to my laptop to access some files in the misguided believe that a File History backup would make that a simple process. It doesn't. I didn't mess with it but merely copied a couple of files to my laptop. I didn't write anything to the external drive from the laptop. I really can't see this as having done anything untoward to the external HDD.

Since then:

  • I have re-established the external HDD as a File History backup and subsequently stooped using the external HDD for File History, stopped using File History altogether and deleted the File History backup folder from the external HDD.
  • I have written a System Image Backup (Windows 7 Image Backup) to the external HDD.
  • Other than that I have simply written files to and deleted files from the external HDD in a normal fashion

Does anything in the above look as though it might have caused this issue?

Philip
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philip42h_2
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I've been thinking about this overnight and did some more checking this morning ...

 

The BIOS 'sees' the 'phantom' drive consistently - both when powering-up from cold and on a warm restart. This is perhaps 'obvious' and what you'd expect but I double checked to make sure. This means that the problem could be either with the drive - being wrongly configured and/or presenting incorrect information - or with the BIOS which is identified in System Information as AMI F.40, 21/11/2019. This version of the BIOS was installed last December when it was offered / recommended by HPSA. It is perfectly possible that this issue arrived with the upgrade to F.40 and I didn't notice for six months - I don't tend to restart that often. Equally, this is no more than a possibility.

 

I 'never' have an issue on a cold start; I 'always' have the issue on a warm restart - where 'never' and 'always' are defined within the bounds of recent observation. And I still had the issue after I checked that the BIOS was set to boot from the SSD, and even after I disabled boot from a USB connected device. So, while it is still possible that the BIOS is so corrupt and wilful that it won't do as it's told, I am confident that the BIOS is NOT attempting to boot from the USB connected external drive and is, ALWAYS, booting  from the SSD as it should.

 

This then suggests that the hang / delay comes from Windows behaviour rather than directly from the action of the BIOS ... Does this make sense so far?

 

But that then leaves the question as to why Windows 'gets it wrong' of a warm restart but 'gets it right' on a cold start. I do have Windows 10 Fast Startup enabled - might that explain it? Can anyone think of a[nother] difference in Windows behaviour between a cold start and a warm start that might explain what is going on?

 

When Windows is up and running, as far as I can tell, it doesn't see the 'phantom' drive - File Explorer and, more importantly, Disk Manager show only the SSD, the HDD, the external HDD and the DVD with partitions exactly as one would expect. Does anyone know of an audit tool that will run under windows and inspect the drives at the hardware level (i.e. without reference to the Windows registry et al)?

Philip
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TheOldMan
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Now that last post sure adds to the confusion about Windows acting differently, in respect to the external drive.

The difference between a cold boot and a warm boot -  Simple explanation found here

https://www.upgradenrepair.com/Howtodoandinfo/rebootcoldwarm.htm

The only reason for a different reaction, that I can think of, is there is something being retained in memory in regards to the external drive during the warm boot.  Something that Windows remembers and is waiting for a reply before going on with the booting process.

 

As far as the "phantom drive" - Have you run a application where a drive is loaded as a virtual drive?  Where the virtual drive is "mounted", thus giving access to the drive where is treated differently than the physical drive?  Depending, maybe, on the software that made the Windows 7 image and then went to look at it, it might have done that.  When looking in "This PC" in Windows 10, is the phantom drive showing up in that view as a repeat of the drive?


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philip42h_2
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@TheOldMan wrote:

Now that last post sure adds to the confusion about Windows acting differently, in respect to the external drive.

The difference between a cold boot and a warm boot -  Simple explanation found here

https://www.upgradenrepair.com/Howtodoandinfo/rebootcoldwarm.htm

The only reason for a different reaction, that I can think of, is there is something being retained in memory in regards to the external drive during the warm boot.  Something that Windows remembers and is waiting for a reply before going on with the booting process.

 

As far as the "phantom drive" - Have you run a application where a drive is loaded as a virtual drive?  Where the virtual drive is "mounted", thus giving access to the drive where is treated differently than the physical drive?  Depending, maybe, on the software that made the Windows 7 image and then went to look at it, it might have done that.  When looking in "This PC" in Windows 10, is the phantom drive showing up in that view as a repeat of the drive?


This is starting to make my head hurt! ... 🙂

I think I understand the key difference between a cold boot and a warm restart. With a warm restart the PC certainly drops into  a low power state (the fans stop) but I can well believe that memory content is maintained. However, the whole point of a restart is that current processes are stopped, forcibly if necessary and the state of the system rebuilt from scratch. With W10 and Fast Startup a power down is effectively a hibernate with the power off - on a cold boot Windows restores its state from hiberfil.sys

 

While I have never, on this machine, to my knowledge mounted a virtual drive but, as you suggest, the Windows 7 backup function does indeed create its image backups as .vhdx files. I've deleted the lot from the external drive and the problem still persists - the BIOS sees the 'phantom' drive and restart is still slow or hangs.

 

I haven't found any way to see the phantom drive from Windows: File Explorer / This PC doesn't show it. Disk Manager doesn't show it. I've downloaded and installed the WD Drive Utilities and that doesn't show it. As far as Windows is concerned (once booted) there is a 2TB external drive as it should be.

 

I need to work out what to try next - other than just buy myself a NAS and be done with it!  I don't like IT things that I don't understand ... 🙂

Philip
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TheOldMan
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Yes, making my head hurt too!!  I do not have any other ideas.  The NAS seems good, though. 

 

About the only other thing would be to back up the data from the external drive - as data files - and then format the drive and transfer the data back, as files.  Thus deleting whatever is causing the problem. It must be a hidden partition or file that is causing this. That is about the only thing I can recommend.

 


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