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I have a used quantum Fireball4320AT 4.3G HD that takes 3 or 4 minutes to start win98 after the bios reports recognizing the drive.

I have bios set to auto.

It is important to understand the mechanisms at work here so please, either be explicit or send links to info I can research.
 

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The 3-4 minutes you are experiencing could be from device drivers loading at startup. It will take a really long time if you have unnecessary network protocols in your networking setup. I would suggest setting your BIOS to a hard setting opposed to an AUTO setting. It will help your boot up time a bit.
 
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