Second HD Increases Boot to 15 minutes

I have an old (2007) Gateway GM5457E that came with a 500 Gig hard drive (WD5000AAKS-22TMAO) with Vista Premium installed.
About a year ago I installed a 2T internal drive (WD20EARS-00MVWBO). I did not reinstall Vista at that time and
things were OK until I recently noticed that as I added files to the 2T disk, now 85% full, my boot time has increased to
a whopping 15 minutes! After trying all the usual approaches, I finally decided to do a complete vista reinstall since it
was about time to clean house anyway. So I formatted the 500 (yes eveything is backed up) and only loaded Vista on it…nothing
else, no other programs (OK, Chrome) and no antivirus. To my surprise my boot time was still 15 min! Sooo I opened the
hood and removed the power and control cables to the 2T disk…That got my boot to 1 minute! But of course 2T disk was not
operating. So I figured my problem might be the BIOS.

Bios choices in drive configuration are:

Use Automatic Mode: Enable or disable

ATA/IDE Mode: Native or Legacy
Config SATA as either IDE, Raid or AHCI

My disks are both SATA, so I kinda wondered why I can’t configure them as SATA but I guess that in auto mode that is done for you?. I read about RAID which apparently groups
the two disks together so I figure I definitely don’t want that. So I disabled auto mode and picked configure as IDE. I reconnected the cables to the
2T disk (Yes, I turned the power off first and grounded myself). My computer booted in 1 min and I thought I was home free, but to my shock I could not see
the 2T disk, not on explorer or on device manager. When I enable auto mode I can see all the disks but it takes 15 min to boot!!!

I guess what is going on is the bootup is looking over the 2T disk and that takes a while…is there some way to prevent this or is that just the penalty for having a lot of files???


Additional Info:

In My BIOS boot sequence the two HDs are both listed together and can’t be separated. I would like to just eliminate the 2T disk from the boot sequence but I can’t. Is it possible that the BIOS was set to config as RAID when I reinstalled Vista and so that glued the two disks together? I don’t know what the BIOS settings were when I reinstalled the OS.

Hi ok for sata to work properly it needs to be in  AHCI or Raid if you don’t want to use Raid you choose AHCI, IDE is a compatibility mode and the drive will work but not to it’s full potential. Now the sata plugs on the motherboard are numbered some go from 1 to what ever some start at zero your main boot drive needs to be plugged into the first sata port. Now when you format and reinstall windows all drives but the main boot drive should be disconnected once the windows install is done and you have rebooted then shut down the pc and reconnect the other drives. But first of all you need to test the drive before you do anything you can do this with WD data life guard tools or use a copy of Hard Drive Sentinel. You can get the WD tools here.  so run a test on the drive and see if it has any errors.

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the hammey answered correctly
configure in ahci mode

you have a very good drive… that wd5000AAKS is a very reliable model

WOW! Thank you, Hammey! I had no idea that when I load Windows my second drive should be disconnected!!!

Sooo how should I set my BIOS?

The choices are:

Use Automatic Mode: Enable or disable

ATA/IDE Mode: Native or Legacy
Config SATA as either IDE, Raid or AHCI

You are telling me that AHCI should the choice for how to config SATA, but how about the first two choices?

My SATA ports are 0,1,2,4. I have 500 Gig (with Vista) on the Port 0 (I guess this is the first port ,must be since that is how the computer came from Gateway). The 2T is on Port 2…should it be on Port 1 or does that not matter?

Finally, I thought I read somewhere that AHCI requires special drivers…are they just in Vista or do I have to download?

So I suppose my sequence is as follows.

  1. Disconnect 2T drive

  2. Start computer and set BIOS correctly (see my questions above)

  3. Format and Install Vista on  500Gig

  4. Restart and then shutdown

5 Reconnect 2T Drive.


I am in the process of backing up 2T (very slow probably because it is not opeating optimally) when that is done I will test it for errors as you recommend and then proceed with the sequence above unless I screwed that up too.

Thank you so much!!!


Thank you, David, for your encouragement…I need all I can get.


Hi yes you have it all in the right order. You need to set your bios sata to AHCI and yes you are right at times a OS will not have the sata drivers but since you have a gateway, does it have recovery disks if so the sata drivers will be on those or vista may have them. ATA/IDE is a older style of transfer you remember maybe the hard drives that used a big wide ribbon cable to connect that was IDE and does not support all the functions of sata the problem with auto mode is that if the install OS does not have the sata drivers it may auto switch to IDE mode. So use sata 0 for the main drive and the sata one port for the 2tb. If you need to get the sata driver’s I would think they would be on one of the gateway cd’s if not post back with the model number of the gateway and I will look them up for you. They are easy to install and you are offered a chance to install 3rd party drivers during windows setup. Remember before you start and are finished backing up the drive use WD data lifeguard tools to test the drive for errors.

Hello Hammey,

So I will set the BIOS like this:

Use Automatic Mode:  Disable

Config SATA as AHCI

But how do I set this???

ATA/IDE Mode: Native or Legacy

Yes, I have Gateway recovery disks…I will let you know if I need help with drivers.

Boy, You guys are on the ball…it’s Saturday for gosh sakes!

Thanks Again,


I guess Native since Legacy means out of date?

Hi Some bios give you the option under controller to choose AHCI raid or ide native or legacy in that case you would choose AHCI.  Now if yours has a separate part for ide well really do you have any ide hardware like a dvdrom ide drive or is it a sata drive. If you don’t then it makes no difference and in bios you could turn off the ide ports . A bit off topic if your bios lists com ports and LPT port’s those are only to use if you have a modem or a com mouse and can be turned off also. Doing this saves resource’s and gives the pc less to load. 

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Ok …I have to check if my DVD is SATA or IDE.

Plesase don’t give up on me, Hammey…I am still in the process of backing up the 2T disk before I do anything!

It is taking days…Transfer rate is a puny 4Mb/s…YUK!!! USB 2.0 but still should not be that bad. I even have write caching enabled. When I am all backed up I will try all the good recommendations you gave me.

One Bios choice is still not clear to me:

The 3 choices are:

Use Automatic Mode: Enable or disable…so I will pick disable


Config SATA as either IDE, Raid or AHCI…I will select AHCI


Hi no I will be here. Remember once you get the drive backed up test the drive for errors with WD data lifeguard tools. If you have any ide devices choose Legacy.

OK I get it. Don’t worry I will not forget everything you told me…I am a retired structural engineer and believe in following proceedures exactly.

Think I should make the 2T disk have Windows on it (be startup) and the 500 G be the second disk? 

My thinking as follows:

 I was burned once long ago on XP with losing data (since my last back up…I ALWAYS back up!!) when I had to reinstall the os and discovered that when you do that all your data disappears. Since then I put all my data (except Outlook, favorites etc…which I also backup) on my second disk and only Windows and programs on my startup disk disk. When I reloaded Vista I discovered that you can reinstall Vista and your data does not disappear…I bet the result of a lot of people complaining. I also figured that having data on second disk made it safer from Virus attacks.

AM I too paranoid? I suppose having most everything on disk with windows makes things work faster, but I don’t play games, number crunch etc so speed not that important…maintainence of data integrity is paramont for me.


how many GB and time remaning ?

Hi I would keep the 500 gig drive as your boot drive, the green drives are meant for a storage drive. And no you are not to paranoid you need to keep a backup. You don’t really need to have programs on a backup just the data. So for example with MS Word you can install it on the 500 gig but change the save folder location to a folder you made on the 2tb backup because no matter what if the 500 gig went down you would have to reinstall word anyway but you would have all the files on the 2tb same with your pictures and other stuff put them on the 2tb. I have backup’s of my stuff on 3 drives as I found out if you lose pictures the wife gets upset LOL. So in the future a external drive that you write your backups to also is a good idea. Also a reinstall of any OS that keeps your files only replaces windows files registry information is kept plus a lot of other stuff so it is always better to do a full reinstall and reinstall your programs less chance of problems that way.

Hi David,

Thanks for your interest…was a lot more when you wrote that…but now just 20 minutes and 5 gigs…it has taken a few days and nights.


Hi Hammey,

Very good advice…did not know that about Green drives. Sooo I will keep 500 gig as startup. You don’t have to encourage me to backup…I will always backup data and not programs. And yes, I backup on external drives.

As far as the CD/DVD being IDE or not, my guess is it is IDE see if you agree:

In hardware profile it’s properties are:

“TSST Corp CD/DVDW TS-H652D ATA Drive”

Also it has a wide ribbon connector for data.

Therfore in the BIOS choice:

ATA/IDE Mode: Native or Legacy

I will choose Legacy

How did your student do?


Hi yes with the wide ribbon cable it is IDE and legacy is fine. You have done well, I am the type that likes to learn new stuff every day better than watching TV LOL.

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