[Fixed] M.2 SSD Slow Boot

Some users find M.2 SSD slow boot issue on their PC. How does this happen? How can you fix it? In this post, you’ll learn why M.2 drive slow boot and how to fix this problem.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Scenario: M.2 SSD slow boot

“I put a new m.2 SSD on which I installed Windows 10 a few months back. It started up swiftly at first within just a few seconds. However, booting now takes 2 minutes or more. It's too lengthy for an M.2 SSD; could somebody explain why and how to resolve this issue? Thanks.”

About M.2 SSD

Many users are not quite clear about the relation of NVMe, SATA, and M.2. To understand why M.2 SSD is now the best you can choose and why your M.2 SSD has a slow boot problem, first, we need to know the SSD technology.

▶ NVMe
NVMe, Non-Volatile Memory Express, is a communications interface and driver for PCIe-based SSDs that defines a command set and feature set. It's specifically created for SSDs to enhance efficient performance and interoperability across a wide variety of corporate and client systems.

This communications interface uses high-speed PCIe sockets to connect the storage interface and the System CPU. So, the input and output activities performed with NVMe drivers start faster, which means they can send more data and finish faster.

The SATA interface connects host bus adapters to mass storage devices.  AHCI is its standard host controller interface that allows computer hardware vendors to transmit data between host system memory and attached storage devices, as well as program SATA/AHCI devices. AHCI defines a method for software developers and hardware designers to identify and configure devices.

AHCI defines a method for software developers and hardware designers to identify and configure devices but it's surpassed by NVMe.

▶ M.2
M.2 is a standard for internally mounted computer expansion cards and interfaces. It replaces the SATA standard and allows for different module widths and lengths, which, combined with the availability of more advanced interfacing features, makes M.2 more suitable for solid-state storage applications in general than mSATA, particularly in smaller devices such as ultrabooks and tablets.

Usually, the M.2 connection supports PCI Express x4 (up to four lanes), Serial ATA 3.0, and USB 3.0 computer bus interfaces. The manufacturer of the M.2 host or module decides which interfaces to support based on the desired degree of host support and the module type. Different M.2 connection keying notches represent different objectives and capabilities of both M.2 hosts and modules, as well as preventing M.2 modules from being placed into incompatible host connectors.

AHCI and NVME are communication protocols. AHCI is older and slower and can be found on both SATA and some PCIE/M.2 SSDs. NVME is newer and faster, and can only be found on some PCIE/M.2 SSDs.

Here’s a picture to simplify the reasons why M.2 PCIE/NVME SSD is faster.


Now, you can check your SSD if it’s an M.2 PCIE/NVME SSD or not, then, we can move to the methods to fix M.2 SSD slow boot issue.

How to fix M.2 SSD slow boot

If your M.2 SSD is an M.2 PCIE/NVME SSD but it has a slow boot problem, now we can start to try some solutions to optimize it. In common cases, SSD boot slow might be caused by Issues with ULPS, outdated drivers, and so on, the solutions are also carious.

Way 1. Disable ULPS

According to the many feedback, disabling ULPS is perhaps the most popular and successful solution for this problem. ULPS stands for Ultra-Low Power States and is a graphics card energy saver. Disabling ULPS will improve wake-up and startup performances, so this solution should be your first call.

Step 1. Go to Search, type regedit, and open the Registry Editor.

Step 2. To avoid digging through numerous registry paths, click Edit, Find, enter EnableUlps, and press Enter.

Step 3. Alternatively, you may navigate to the path below to locate EnableUlps: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000

Step 4. Now, double-click on EnableUlps and change its value to 0.

Disable ULPS

After performing this way, try to restart your computer, and it will boot at least a little faster.

Way 2. Disable some services

Step 1. Type task manager in the Windows search bar and select "Task Manager".

Step 2. In the "Startup" tab, choose the process to be disabled.


Way 3. Enable Fast Startup

Step 1. Press Windows + X or right-click your Start menu and select "Power Options". In this Window, select "Additional power settings".

Step 2. Select "Choose what the power buttons do" from the menu on the left.

What the power bottons do

Step 3. Click "Change settings that are currently unavailable". Then, make sure that "turn on fast startup (recommended)" is checked. Click "Save changes".

Turn on fast startup

Way 4. Adjust virtual memory settings

Step 1. Press Windows Key + S and enter advanced. Choose View advanced system settings.

Step 2. In the Performance section, click on the Settings button.

Step 3. Go to the Advanced tab and click on Change.

Virutual memory change

Step 4. When the Virtual Memory window opens, uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives and select your System drive.

Set virtual memory

Step 5. Select the Custom size option and set Initial size and Maximum size in MB. You can use any value for the Initial size, but as for the Maximum size, use 1.5x or 2x the size of your RAM in MB. Click on Set and OK to save changes.

Way 5. Use SSD 4K Alignment

The hard disk's capacity is constantly increasing with time. Previously, one sector of a standard HDD was fixed at 512 bytes. The 512 bytes in SSDs that use NAND flash memory have been increased to 4K. We've dubbed it the "4K Sector" now.

4K alignment is aligning a hard drive partition to the physical storage capacity on a disk to process data more effectively. If the partition is not properly aligned, the SSD must access twice as many physical areas of the SSD for any file operations. In this instance, the reading and writing times may be longer, and the SSD may not function optimally.

To make an SSD 4K alignment, you can choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a disk and partition manager for Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP users. Its “Partition Alignment” function allows you to set sectors by yourself. And it has many other handy functions to help you optimize disks like moving installed apps from C drive to release more system drive space.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional and all your disks and partitions will appear.

Step 2. Select the partition that you want to align and right-click on it.

Step 3. Move the cursor to “Advanced” and select “Partition Alignment” which appears on the right.

Partition Alignment

Step 4. In the popup window, set partition alignment to “4096 Sector” or you can also set it to the default one. Click on “OK” to proceed.

choose 4096 sactor

Step 5. Click on “Apply” on the upper left of the screen to start the alignment.

Apply alignment

Now you need to reboot your PC to finish the operation.

Way 6. Stop startup apps

Step 1. Press and hold the "Ctrl + Shift + Del" keys simultaneously to invoke Task Manager.

Step 2. Then select the "Startup" tab and find out the unnecessary process with high startup impact and then hit the "Disable" button.

Disable startup apps

To sum up

The factors that cause M.2 SSD slow boot are multifarious. If your SSD is in service for a long time, then you might take SSD performance decrease for SSD running out of lifespan into consideration. AOMEI Partition Assistant can also clone disks, so you can also easily upgrade your SSD without data loss.

Besides the multiple functions, this tool also has different editions for different users, you can check more on compare page to choose a suitable edition for your devices.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.