Laptop boots with heavy disk I/O - suspect Windows Update. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have observed that a latop computer running Windows 7 Professional x64 consistently experiences excessive disk activity on boot. For this machine the initial installation of Window 7 did not produce this behavior. I estimate that approximately one month ago it began running the hard drive at 100% utilization on every boot for approximately 5 minutes. This is problematic since it has a single drive and the high utilization prevents efficient response to user requests for the first 5 minutes after the boot. A workstation machine with a nearly identical software stack and an identical Window 7 Professional x64 installation does not exhibit this behavior. Upon boot the workstation quickly completes heavy I/O operations and is responsive to user requests.

    On the laptop I find that Windows Update reports the "Most recent check for updates" to be about the same time as the boot. This leads me to believe the laptop is executing an inefficient Windows Update check on each boot even when the user has begun user operations (as opposed to sitting idle).

    I would appreciate any suggestions on settings I should check or other debugging techniques to determine if Windows Update is indeed the problem, and if so, how I could fix it.

    Test System: Windows 7 Professional x64 on laptop hardware. All updates applied as of November 21, 2010. Member of a homegroup, not a member of a domain. Norton Security Suite installed.

    Monday, November 22, 2010 1:51 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    follow my guide [1] to make a boot trace (add this command parameter: -postBootDelay 300 and add this to traceFlags +FileIO ) and compress the trace file (etl) as 7z or RAR and upload it to your Skydrive [2] and post the link here. The 2 addintions trace 300s (5minutes after boot and log IO activity a bit more in detail)

    I take a look at the trace, maybe I see what's wrong with your Windows.


    [1] http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=140247
    [2] http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/4fc10639-02db-4665-993a-08d865088d65

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Monday, November 22, 2010 11:50 AM
  • Thanks for the links and guidance. I will set aside some time to get the machine setup with the SDK tools and perform the boot IO tracing. This looks like a solid debugging strategy.
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 5:36 PM
  • I have posted the results of the boot trace to [http://www.donpellegrino.com/TechNet/boot_trace.zip]. I used the following command for collection:

    C:\>xbootmgr -trace boot -traceFlags FILEIO -resultPath C:\TEMP -postBootDelay 300

    I used Windows Performance Analyzer to browse the data but nothing jumped out at me as the obvious cause of the heavy disk IO. I'd really appreciate your assessment of the trace data.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 7:06 PM
  • Remove Norton Security Suite and try again. Also Windows Live Mesh causes a huge IO activity.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 9:02 PM