Just got a new Z230 workstation with Win7 Pro. System came with a 1TB HDD and I immediately cloned a 256GB Crucial SSD from the HD (50GB worth). The SSD was on my old computer and worked fine (15-20 second boot ). After the cloning I downloaded and installed Windows updates and then used only the SSD and got about 40-50 boot times after the Starting Windows appeared on the screen. I updated firmware - no help. I changed the BIOS to RAID, back to ACHI and did all the things suggested in many post - no help. The SSD was the first unit in the boot order.
I called HP Support and they remotely downloaded a number of hardware drivers and upgraded the BIOS. The boot time reduced to 15 seconds and remained that way for about 5 boots as I kept testing. Feeling that I had achieved success I shut off the machine and added the original 1TB HD. Boot time went back to 50 seconds. Removed the HD but the boot time stayed at 50 seconds.
I started fiddling around and the machine went totally dead. Called HP again and they had me reset the CMOS, which worked perfectly and the boot times had again dropped to 15 seconds. This time after a number of test boots I added the 650GB HD from my old computer. Same scenario - boot times went up to 50 seconds and stayed there after I removed the HD.
Called HP again and they pretty much threw their hands up and told me to reinstall Windows. Tried this - no joy.
I bought the computer last week new from Staples and I've just about given up hope and will return the machine unless one of you smart people can figure out what is happening. I don't understand how the computer can go from a fast boot to a slow boot when a HDD is added and then stay at the slow boot after it is removed.