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Windows boot takes very long due to the number of NICs


I have two identical DELL Precision 5820 Workstations (i9-10940X @ 3.3GHz, 32GB RAM, NVME-SSDs, RTX 4070Ti), both running under windows 10.

The only difference is:
In workstation A, an intel PT1000 Dual NIC is added to the basic setup.
In workstation B, two intel I350 Quad NICs are added to the basic setup.

Unfortunately, all these NICs are necessary as we are developing a medical imaging solution where xray-hardware is connected via Ethernet and the requirements of the hardware make point-to-point-connections necessary.

Workstation A with 3 NICs (onboard plus intel dual) takes an okayish 1min12sec to boot from power button to windows desktop.
Workstation B with 9 NICs (onboard plus 2 intel quad) takes almost 4 minutes to boot.

My suspicion was that the workstation searching for boot media on all 9 NICs takes such a long time, but deactivating PXE on all NICs (it is possible to do so for the intel card using a command line tool, https://www.intel.de/content/www/de/de/support/articles/000005626/ethern ..) didn't really improve the bootup time, although it removed all NIC-entries from the boot sequence screen in the UEFI setup.

On Workstation B after ~3 minutes, the screen goes black and says "no signal". Right after that, the Dell boot logo reappears and from that point on, it takes about 1 minute until the windows-desktop appears. Somehow it looks like at that point, a complete restart happens and the actual booting up after that takes a reasonable time.

Does anybody have an idea where the cause of this might be?

Content-Key: 33634763115

Url: https://administrator.de/contentid/33634763115

Printed on: March 1, 2024 at 01:03 o'clock

Member: GrueneSosseMitSpeck
GrueneSosseMitSpeck Nov 09, 2023 at 09:20:44 (UTC)
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I would just accept the boot up times. In case there are requirements to have the system up and running within 30 or 60 seconds I suggest to use standby mode - wake up from standby happens immediately.
Mitglied: 8030021182
Solution 8030021182 Nov 09, 2023 updated at 09:31:36 (UTC)
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  • does every NIC has a static IP assigned to it, or are you using DHCP?
  • are there NICs/Ports wich are hanging in the air? No IP assigned etc.?
  • have you tried disabling APIPA on the NICs in the registry?
  • are you using recent drivers?

Get Process Monitor and enable Boot-Logging under Options, after a reboot you can analyze the boot in Process-Monitor in a graphical manner with the process tree (CTRL-T) to see what's really causing the delay.

Regards Katrin
Member: zimbosmurf
Solution zimbosmurf Nov 09, 2023 at 11:30:03 (UTC)
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Problem solved!

FYI: All Ports were hanging in the air, nothing was connected to any port. I had deactivated DHCP with no effect. I had not thought of deactivating APIPA until you suggested it, but it also had no effect.

The culprit was the combination of PCIe-slots!

Exchanging the slots of the NICs and an additional videograbber card (That I forgot to mention) shortened booting up from 4 minutes to 45 seconds!

Thanks for the process monitor hint, it didn`t help this time, but the tool looks great and I will keep it in mind!

Thanks, Thomas