20 minute startup, about 10% of the time RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm not yet sure if this is a hardware issue, a Vista issue, or a combination of the two. Every so often when I reboot this desktop it will come to a crawl when it hits the Microsoft splash page with the yellow loading bar. I can see the loading bar slowly adding/removing yellow bars at the bottom of the screen, and eventually the computer starts up and works fine.

    Note that there appears to be no history of the slow startup time in Event Viewer (Apps > Microsoft > Windows > Diagnostics-Performance > Operational), and 90% of the time the system starts up very quickly. When this happens, I've timed it at just over 22 minutes to get passed the Microsoft splash screen. This happened before and after installing Vista updates (plus SP1), and it also happened before/after connecting it to the local LAN after a fresh format, so I can rule out malware.

    One other factor is that the hardware is all new, and I suspect it might just be a hardware problem, although this is the only issue I've had in nearly a month of use. Here are the system specs:

    450 Watt PSU
    Asus M3A motherboard
    Western Digital 250 GB SATA2 drive
    3 GiB DDR2, 800 MHz RAM
    Phenom quad-core processor, 2.3 GHz x 4 (1.7 GHz FSB)
    Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Sunday, November 30, 2008 8:03 PM

All replies




    Regarding the issue, it can be caused by multiple factors. Please refer to the following suggestions to narrow down this issue:


    1.   There is a software conflict on the system and this affected the normal startup process of Windows Vista. Please perform a Clean Boot environment to check our issue:


    Clean Boot


    1) Click Start, type "MSCONFIG" (without the quotations) in the Search Bar and Press "Enter" to start the System Configuration Utility.

    2) Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).

    3) Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".

    4) Restart the computer and test the issue.


    NOTE: we can go back to normal boot by running msconfig again and checking on Normal Startup in the General tab. If you see the System Configuration Utility, check the box of "Don't show this message" and then click "OK".


    2.   There is a hardware conflict. Please check if the computer has second hard drive, Optical Disk Drive or some particular specifications. If so, please temporarily unplug the devices to test the issue again. In other words, we can remove all the unnecessary hardware and only leave the essential one on the computer to have a test.


    3.   The issue also can be caused by the factor that the BIOS settings are not proper. Please check your BIOS settings; and if it is possible, please try to reload the BIOS settings to default as a test as well.


    If the issue persists, please check the event log to see if there are some related error messages received such as the following:


    Boot Performance events:

    Event ID 101 - An application took longer than usual to start up.

    Event ID 102 - A service took longer than expected to startup.


    Please also send the “Microsoft-Windows-Diagnostics-Performance” log to me at nicolesli@hotmail.com.



    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 11:40 AM
  • Hello,

    I believe I answered most of those questions in the original post. For the suggestion of running in selective startup, one problem with this error is that it only happens periodically (thus successful startup does not neccessarily narrow down the issue). During my earlier troubleshooting I booted into safe mode a few times, and I didn't see the startup problem at that point, but again that doesn't rule out very much since booting normally usually doesn't recreate the problem.

    As for hardware, I'm more concerned with the possibility of a hardware defect than a hardware conflict. I'm running with a single optical drive and one physical hard disk (no RAID setup of any sort). I also tend to discount defective RAM as a possible issue since I'd likely be experiencing larger problems (also RAM tests fine for physical errors). The BIOS has never been altered from factory defaults, other than changing the boot order to boot only from the hard disk, and an added password to lock out the MBR.

    Also, as I said, Event Viewer does not record any long boot times. The only error entries in the Diagnostics-Performance log are marginally slow shutdown times caused by iTunes, which I don't believe is relevant.

    Usually I prefer Vista's Event Viewer over XP alternatives for this like BootVIS, but in this case it's not telling me very much. Since this only happens every once in a while I'm starting to suspect a power supply issue, but I've had no blue screens or unwanted shutdowns of any sort, and the 450 watt PSU should be sufficient for the hardware. If no one has any other suggestions I might try testing the PSU against a multimeter, or just putting one with more wattage in there, but this slow startup is virtually the only symptom so I'm sceptical if that's the issue either.

    Thanks for any insight anyone has on this.
    Wednesday, December 3, 2008 2:41 AM



    Thanks for your update. Based on the current situation, I understand that the issue occurs not very often. Therefore, let’s keep monitoring the computer. If the issue reoccurs, please help collect the required information as mentioned in previous replies.




    Thursday, December 4, 2008 11:07 AM
  • Nic, what information are you talking about? When the slow startup occurs, there is no entry referencing it in Event Viewer's normal startup section, and no new information to collect.
    Thursday, December 4, 2008 8:28 PM



    If the issue occurs and the “Microsoft-Windows-Diagnostics-Performance” of the event log is enabled, we can find the related information in the event log. At this time, please check if the  Microsoft-Windows-Diagnostics-Performance is enabled and monitor the computer to see if the issue reoccurs.


    Keep in touch.



    Friday, December 5, 2008 9:49 AM
  • As I said, and as is the case by default, Event Viewer is set up to record long startups and shutdowns. For whatever reason, Event Viewer is not considering this to be a long startup, and is not recording such, adding to the mystery.
    Friday, December 5, 2008 8:48 PM