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slow boot/startup RRS feed

  • Question

  • For some reason since recent Windows upgrades/SR1 the bootup of my W7 has become very slow.  After the BIOS displays (as usual too fast to see what is happening) the cursor sits on a black screen for about 80 seconds.  During this time there is no sound of any disk movement (I do not have a disk activity light to monitor) and the machine appears to be 'thinking' without any obvious activity.  I cannot find a boot log which I can look at to identify the delay.  Once the machine brings up the Windows 7 logo and login prompt, the machine appears to operate as normal.

    I have done all the usual things (disk cleanup, disk defragmentation) which make no difference.  There are only a minimum number of programs in the Startup tab of msconfig, but a large number in the Services (about 150).

    Any suggestions?


    Thursday, March 31, 2011 3:42 PM

Answers

  • Solved it!

    This entry is solely to thank everyone for their contribution and to outline the problem and solution.  As I was trying to convey, the problem was because of a long delay after the initial eprom BIOS before the disk was ever accessed.  It had nothing to do with the list of services or startup programs because these were not addressed until after the delay.

    The problem turned out to be an alteration to my BIOS, which was attempting to boot from a primary source which was actually an USB port.  Presumably this timed out eventually and the system then booted (correctly) from my disk.  I have absolutely no idea how this change in BIOS boot priority came about (I had certainly not changed the BIOS parameters), but now the startup/boot process is as it was a couple of weeks ago.

     

    • Marked as answer by rattlingroger Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:35 PM
    Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:34 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    make sure you have the service Superfetch running and next try to speed up the boot with the help of my guide [1]. This trains the advanced prefetcher in Windows 7. This increase the boot performance a lot. All other tweaking tools are useless. Only use this method with this Microsoft Toolkit.

    If this doesn't speed up the boot process, follow my guide [2] to make a xboot boot trace. Create the summary XML and follow the rest of my guide to see what the values mean.

    André

    [1] http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=140262
    [2] http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=140247
    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    I'm going to leave the forum on 31th March 2011 if I don't get a Feedback about the SPAM of 2 MVPs. So if you want an answer, be fast so that I can help you before I leave the Technet forum.
    Thursday, March 31, 2011 9:37 PM
  • On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 15:42:45 +0000, rattlingroger wrote:

    For some reason since recent Windows upgrades/SR1 the bootup of my W7 has become very slow.  After the BIOS displays (as usual too fast to see what is happening) the cursor sits on a black screen for about 80 seconds.  During this time there is no sound of any disk movement (I do not have a disk activity light to monitor) and the machine appears to be 'thinking' without any obvious activity.  I cannot find a boot log which I can look at to identify the delay.  Once the machine brings up the Windows 7 logo and login prompt, the machine appears to operate as normal.

    How slow is "very slow." Please put a number on it, even if
    approximate.

    My personal view is that the attention many people pay to how long it
    takes to boot is unwarranted. Assuming that the computer's speed is
    otherwise satisfactory, it is not generally worth worrying about. Most
    people start their computers once a day or even less frequently. In
    the overall scheme of things, even a few minutes to start up isn't
    very important. Personally I power on my computer when I get up in the
    morning, then go get my coffee. When I come back, it's done booting. I
    don't know how long it took to boot and I don't care.

    However if you do want to address it, it may be because of what
    programs start automatically, and you may want to stop some of them
    from starting that way. On each program you don't want to start
    automatically, check its Options to see if it has the choice not to
    start (make sure you actually choose the option not to run it, not
    just a "don't show icon" option). Many can easily and best be stopped
    that way. If that doesn't work, run MSCONFIG from the Start | Run
    line, and on the Startup tab, uncheck the programs you don't want to
    start automatically.

    However, if I were you, I wouldn't do this just for the purpose of
    running the minimum number of programs. Despite what many people tell
    you, you should be concerned, not with how many of these programs
    you run, but which. Some of them can hurt performance severely, but
    others have no effect on performance.

    Don't just stop programs from running willy-nilly. What you should do
    is determine what each program is, what its value is to you, and what
    the cost in performance is of its running all the time. You can get
    more information about these with internet searches and asking about
    specifics here.

    Once you have that information, you can make an intelligent informed
    decision about what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of.


    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
    Friday, April 1, 2011 2:07 PM
  • Very slow is 80 seconds between BIOS and discernible disk activity (as I said in my original post).  I understand what you say about the startup time being a once-a-day thing, but I would like to understand why the system now takes about 50 seconds longer than a week ago - particularly as this seems to be simply an inbuilt waiting time (at least I can hear no disc activity at all).

    Like most numpty users, I am in no position to know what each of the 150-odd services are doing, what they are for or when they were added as part of my startup routine (certainly, I have no knowledge of having instigated them).  Whilst I can see their names in msconfig, I certainly would not attempt to disable any of them without knowing what I am doing.  Like most numpty users, I have no idea what MS Windows updates are doing to my machine, but have the feeling that a coat which has been patched as often as my update list suggests is unlikely to be as pristine as it once was!

    I tried to follow Andre's guide(1), but after laborious downloading of the Windows 7 SDK, my attempt to run his command prompt resulted only in 'bootmgr' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.  It all looks too difficult for me, so I suspect I will just have to put up with the slower boot and hope it doesn't get worse.


    Friday, April 1, 2011 6:42 PM
  • On Fri, 1 Apr 2011 18:42:42 +0000, rattlingroger wrote:

    Very slow is 80 seconds between BIOS and discernible disk activity (as I said in my original post).  I understand what you say about the startup time being a once-a-day thing, but I would like to understand why the system now takes about 50 seconds longer than a week ago - particularly as this seems to be simply an inbuilt waiting time (at least I can hear no disc activity at all).

    Like most numpty users, I am in no position to know what each of the 150-odd services are doing, what they are for or when they were added as part of my startup routine (certainly, I have no knowledge of having instigated them).  Whilst I can see their names in msconfig, I certainly would not attempt to disable any of them without knowing what I am doing.  Like most numpty users, I have no idea what MS Windows updates are doing to my machine, but have the feeling that a coat which has been patched as often as my update list suggests is unlikely to be as pristine as it once was!

    There are essentially only two possible reasons for it's taking long
    (and I don't think 80 seconds is very long at all): what programs
    start automatically and malware infection. Since you are not having
    problems after booting, it's more likely to be the former than the
    latter.


    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
    Friday, April 1, 2011 7:04 PM
  • Windows 7 is known to boot and login slower than Windows XP, especially if Readyboot isn't optimized.  Try booting and logging in six times. 

     

    Friday, April 1, 2011 7:48 PM
  • Hi,

    You can use these to control what programs startup. Many that install themselves into StartUp do not
    really need to be there. Such as Acrobat Reader (Adobe), WinAmp Agent, and many others which
    load pieces of themselves to start faster (not an issue on today's machines) and to be sure they
    can control the files they support (to be sure you continue to use only them). Those are only common examples and not meant as a slam on those fine programs.

    How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or Windows 7
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    How to Change, Add, or Remove Startup Programs in Windows 7
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1401-startup-programs-change.html

    Autoruns - Free - See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots
    and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can
    configure auto-start settings.
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Performance and Maintenance Tips
    http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7performance/thread/19e5d6c3-bf07-49ac-a2fa-6718c988f125

    Hope this helps.


    Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP <- profile - Windows Expert - Consumer : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
    Friday, April 1, 2011 9:51 PM
  • Windows 7 is known to boot and login slower than Windows XP, especially if Readyboot isn't optimized.  Try booting and logging in six times. 

     

    I have tried to boot and login many times, without any noticeable difference.  The whole point is that the delay is not at the boot-up per se, it is a long wait from BIOS to the process of startup and login (when the 'lights' start to appear to form the Windows logo).  Once the startup process begins I can hear the disc churning away (no doubt loading all these services etc.), but prior to that point the computer is silently sitting there, doing nothing for 80 seconds, presumably counting off an enormous delay period.  I cannot imagine that this is a deliberate feature of W7, but then what do I know? 

    • Marked as answer by rattlingroger Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:34 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by rattlingroger Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:35 PM
    Saturday, April 2, 2011 2:58 PM
  • Solved it!

    This entry is solely to thank everyone for their contribution and to outline the problem and solution.  As I was trying to convey, the problem was because of a long delay after the initial eprom BIOS before the disk was ever accessed.  It had nothing to do with the list of services or startup programs because these were not addressed until after the delay.

    The problem turned out to be an alteration to my BIOS, which was attempting to boot from a primary source which was actually an USB port.  Presumably this timed out eventually and the system then booted (correctly) from my disk.  I have absolutely no idea how this change in BIOS boot priority came about (I had certainly not changed the BIOS parameters), but now the startup/boot process is as it was a couple of weeks ago.

     

    • Marked as answer by rattlingroger Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:35 PM
    Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:34 PM