Please do un-instal
l the driver for the 20 buck card, don't just delete things! Yipes!
Download, install and run the registry section of Ccleaner, to get the crap the uninstaller missed.http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner
The hard drive, ssd or mechanical has nothing to do with how fast you can download, it is how fast a service you have and how much someones server lets you download per second. Some servers are blasting fast, like Microsofts sites or just plain slow like Cnet, they throttle how fast you can download.
Look in the Event Viewer for problems, you may get a clue there why your system is having a hard time booting.
Look in the Device Manager and see if there are any errors there, if so reload the driver for the device.
I think you may be right, during booting the system is looking for a driver that may be in the wrong place or is corrupt and must use a generic driver to run.