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what did hwinfo do to my machine?

After I ran hwinfo (to detect a modem), my machine runs very slowly at
the beginning of booting.

(GRUB takes about 8 seconds between displaying the the "Welcome to GRUB!"
text and the "error: fd0 read error." text, and another 25 seconds for
the screen to go blank on the way to displaying the menu.

Kernel booting might be slow for the first dozen or so messages; after
that, everything seems to be fine.)

What the heck did hwinfo do to my machine?

I thought hwinfo's probing changed some BIOS setting that maybe slowed
down the CPU, but I reset the BIOS to default and re-set what I had
set before, but that didn't seem to make any difference.

Now I wonder if hwinfo changed some persistent setting in my disks.

What tools are there to look at any settings of SATA disks?

(This is all in Squeeze.)


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