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Extremely slow boot RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have about 350 computers in an enterprise environment, running XP Pro, of those about 1/3 are Dell Optiplex 790s with the same XP SP3 image, and of those maybe about 10 have experienced an extremely long span ( up to 30 mins) between the windows XP Splash screen and the domain login screen. I am speculating that a power interruption has something to do with it based solely on when we are made aware of these computers - maybe 1 or two at a time - whenever we experience a big storm or power interruption - so it is not all computers and it is not all the time and it does not appear to be predictable. Event logs only indicate services terminated and restarting, with the occasional w32 time error. Running chkdsk /r from a recovery console, and doing a systemn restore also has no effect.

    The resolution we have invoked at this time is to reimage and redeploy these computers – this leads me to believe that it has to be some file / OS / registry corruption issue, but identifying the problem would lead to a better resolution and perhaps some preventative measures.

    I did see something interesting though - c:\windows\system32\autochk.exe loads at 09:40:29 and then "nothing happens" until 10:11:27 when c:\windows\system32\csrss.exe loads. The only other processes during this lag period is SYSTEM (which takes 419.252 seconds) and c:\windows\system32\smss.exe which runs for 140.005 seconds). These times are comparable with a freshly imaged machine that boots up fine

    So .... delving deeper I see that loading ProcessID 4 c:\windows\system32\drivers\videoprt.sys starts at 09:40:25 (corresponds with the SYSTEM loading) and proceeds to load numerous drivers until 9:40:30 when cdfs.sys loads but the next driver, ndisuio.sys doesn't load until 10:11:36

    During this same time frame – ProcessId 696 c:\system32\smss.exe begins loading at 9:40:29 – loads several drivers until it loads c:\windows\system32\drivers\atapi.sys at 9:40:30 and the next file – c:\windows\system32\drivers\dxapi.sys - doesn’t load until 10:11:27

    After that 30 minute delay, the login screen comes up within 5 mins.

    While I am not a Novice to computers, windows OS, and troubleshooting, I do plead a sufficient lack of understanding of programming and the windows boot process to make sense of this data and was hoping that someone who understands the minutia of what occurs during the boot process could point me in the right direction

    Friday, August 3, 2012 4:10 PM

Answers

  • Check the size of this file

    C:Windows\system32\config\default

    File size should be 512kb (and never increase), however Dell's chipset driver has two services installed LMS and UNS that for some unknown

    reason start modifying this file size.  I had over 20 790's that had huge default file sizes...like 150-300MB which equated to 15-45 minutes of black screen after the XP Splash screen.

    Use BART PE or pull the hard drive (Sata/USB adapter) and replace that file.  After I did so our 790's booted properly, then I disabled the two culprit servies

    and the problem has not returned.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:46 AM

All replies

  • Perhaps before windows starts to load, press F8 and then select last known good configuration.  If that doesn't help, then nothing probably will.

    If it is after a power disruption, it is possible that some files have become corrupt because the computer doesn't shut down properly... I'd say your best bet is to just reimage them. Especially if you have a complete image with programs and the sort.

    Someone else might have something better to add, but this appears to be the best solution.

    Friday, August 3, 2012 7:00 PM
  • Most of the time we have just re-imaged the asset and redeployed it without incident.  On a couple occasions the user has some specialty software installed to where the standard image was only a prelude to additional, unique or custom software installs or configurations.  In these instances it would be nice if running chkdsk or some similar less drastic fix resolved the issue quicker than a reimage - but alas, this is not a perfect world, is it?
    Friday, August 3, 2012 9:52 PM
  • Like i said, next time it happens, try the last known good configuration... it might work.

    And, no, it is not a perfect world... I wish it were, though.

    Friday, August 3, 2012 11:11 PM
  • Another storm, another machine taking 20 mins to boot to login.

    Booting to last known config has no effect on the boot time, although I suspect that the users shutting down and restarting the computer several times before it letting it proceed long enough may have altered the last known config registry entries sufficiently to spread the corruption to all the currentcontrolsets - but again, I could be ignorant enough of the process to be incorrectly rationalizing.

    Another machine (same model) is displaying a blue screen with a tantalizing breadcrumb, "cannot load hive SystemRoot\System32\Config\Software, corrupt, absent, or not writable.  Since this hive is suspect in the slow boot machines, I will tinker around to verify but perhaps someone can tell me if this makes sense or am I just chasing shadows

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 5:32 PM
  • I don't remember exactly when the backup is taken... i thought it was when the user logged in, but i could be wrong.

    The Sysroot\system32\config\software is part of the registry.  If the machine was powered down incorrectly, this could cause the problem.  Have you tried last known good config on that machine?  If yes, and it didn't work, the only other thing I can think of to do on it is to wipe it and reinstall.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 5:37 PM
  • I don't remember exactly when the backup is taken... i thought it was when the user logged in, but i could be wrong.

    The Sysroot\system32\config\software is part of the registry.  If the machine was powered down incorrectly, this could cause the problem.  Have you tried last known good config on that machine?  If yes, and it didn't work, the only other thing I can think of to do on it is to wipe it and reinstall.

    Yeah, tried last known config with no luck. I was able to rename the windows\system32\config\system and add the system.bak, which brought me up to a login screen, but otherwise not very useful since it is an early copy of the hive and all the configuration info is absent - at least I think I am on the right track. 

    On many of the machines it is just as easy to reimage and move on, but with some specialty configurations and installs it would be nice to be able to just restore a workable backup from somewhere.

    I seem to remember seeing somewhere where you can run system restore from a command line, or recovery console, (not the renaming the files in the system32/config directory route), without being able to get into any windows or safe mode

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 10:42 PM
  • I've used bartPE before... I think it might do what you want.

    http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 10:55 PM
  • I don't remember exactly when the backup is taken... i thought it was when the user logged in, but i could be wrong.

    The Sysroot\system32\config\software is part of the registry.  If the machine was powered down incorrectly, this could cause the problem.  Have you tried last known good config on that machine?  If yes, and it didn't work, the only other thing I can think of to do on it is to wipe it and reinstall.

    Yeah, tried last known config with no luck. I was able to rename the windows\system32\config\system and add the system.bak, which brought me up to a login screen, but otherwise not very useful since it is an early copy of the hive and all the configuration info is absent - at least I think I am on the right track. 

    On many of the machines it is just as easy to reimage and move on, but with some specialty configurations and installs it would be nice to be able to just restore a workable backup from somewhere.

    I seem to remember seeing somewhere where you can run system restore from a command line, or recovery console, (not the renaming the files in the system32/config directory route), without being able to get into any windows or safe mode


    Well, for the blue screen machine where SYSTEM was corrupt or missing, following the instructions at

    http://ramanathan.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/system-restore-from-recovery-console/ I was able to restore this computer to operational status.  In short, this process is the same as the KB article renaming the registry files from system32/config from the .sav files only instead, copying them from the system restore directory.

    Unfortunately, this still has no effect on my slow boot machines.

    Friday, August 10, 2012 4:53 PM
  • Check the size of this file

    C:Windows\system32\config\default

    File size should be 512kb (and never increase), however Dell's chipset driver has two services installed LMS and UNS that for some unknown

    reason start modifying this file size.  I had over 20 790's that had huge default file sizes...like 150-300MB which equated to 15-45 minutes of black screen after the XP Splash screen.

    Use BART PE or pull the hard drive (Sata/USB adapter) and replace that file.  After I did so our 790's booted properly, then I disabled the two culprit servies

    and the problem has not returned.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:46 AM
  • That's great.

    The solution that you pushed to here very exactly.

    I was facing with this probem some days ago and I'm trying find the solutions on the internet for fix this issue but almost the solutions could not be done.

    But, when I performed following this solution and then the problem has been resolved on my computer.

    This size " Default" file on my computer is 1,5gb and the seem the window could not be started.

    I have been replaced with new file with 512kb size and everything is ok right now.

    Thank you so much.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 9:43 AM