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Windows 7: Windows 7 Ultimate Boot

21 Oct 2011   #31
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

According to this, the delay is actually not entirely winlogon (the logon screen), it's starting Explorer itself that takes the most time. Here's what I see - note I will be nitpicking anything that takes what I consider to be, anyway, a long time to start or run, or consumes a lot of disk or CPU time, etc:
  • FontCache3.0.0.0 service is taking 3 seconds to start - you should boot into Safe Mode and delete the fontcache3.0.0.0.dat file, which will cause it to be recreated and (hopefully) not take more than a second or two to parse after that first creation.
  • StacSV service takes 3 seconds to start - it looks like you have Sigmatel Audio, so removal of the sigmatel suite (software *and* drivers) and installing the very latest from your vendor should improve this start time.
  • McAfee services take (cumulatively) approximately 11 seconds to start, and once they finish (and I do believe this is exactly where you are seeing delays, given your initial description) the McAfee driver and process kick off a tremendous amount of disk utilization on it's .dat file and quick scan.
  • This wouldn't necessarily be all that bad, but it appears to also be exacerbated by the fact you have the ATI control center (CCC.exe) running, which is also trying to utilize disk and CPU resources at the exact same time (it's a .NET application, and you can see all kinds of loading of processes and .dlls responsible for loading with this application consuming disk and CPU time at the same time as well).
  • Also, once the McAfee core firewall and service host processes start (mfefire.exe and McSvHost.exe), CPU time is fairly monopolized by the McAfee processes, slowing the overall progress of the system down.
Here are my suggestions to you, in order of importance:
  • Remove McAfee completely, and use something much lighter in it's place. Lots of folks here will recommend Microsoft Security Essentials paired with the built-in firewall, and I tend to agree. There are others as well, but this one is proven (and plays nicely with other tools like MBAM if necessary).
  • If you do not need the ATI control panel's functionality, remove your current ATI driver + Control Panel combination and install just the latest ATI drivers (without the control panel or other frills) in their place. The ATI control panel is a well-known CPU and disk hog, not to mention it's not the most stable application out there either.
  • If you do not need or do not use the Alienware tools that shipped with the machine (like StartupOrchestrator, ServiceController, etc), remove them.
  • If you don't sync your Apple i-device regularly, remove all of the "helper" applications required to use iTunes (Bojour service, apple updater, etc).
  • RealPlayer is installed, running, and checking for updates. If you aren't using RealPlayer, remove.
  • The same goes for Roxio's media burning software and the Cyberlink software - if you aren't using them, remove them.
These are all consuming disk, CPU, and network time during boot that could otherwise be used by the system to actually, you know, boot .


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Oct 2011   #32
Scottyboy99

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Cluberti,

Thank you so much. That all sounds like excellent advice. I am very appreciative. I will work through all of this at the weekend and let you know how I get on. Sounds like mcafee is the chief offender! Unfortunately I did already update the sound drivers to latest version but after that there were some audio bugs so had to roll back. The other suggestions are fair game though.

I did read something about a command prompt where you force ready boot to retrain itself.

'Xbootmgr -traceboot -prepsystem -verboseReadyBoot'

The system restarts about 6 times after which boot should be faster. I think I saw a chap called magicandre post it. Are you aware of this? Would you recommend it?
Is it likely to have any effect on my specific setup?

Many thanks,
Wayne
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #33
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

PrepSystem does indeed cause prefetch to "reset" itself, but no different than going into the Prefetcher folder, deleting all of the *.pf files manually, and rebooting 5 times .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Oct 2011   #34
Scottyboy99

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Ok thanks. For the hell of it I started running the tool a while ago. It's on reboot 2 out of 6 but the box is showing 'preparing system' and has been on screen for about 20 minutes now. Do you know if it normally takes this long? Is it doing a defrag?

Thanks,
Wayne
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #35
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Nope, that's not normal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #36
Scottyboy99

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

It's ok. It's finished now. Every subsequent reboot on the next few steps went through fine. Boot is a bit quicker but I am going to uninstall McAfee tomorrow and hopefully improve things even more.

Thanks,
Wayne
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #37
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Note you'd be wise to do a full defrag as well, although that's not critical at this point. Your disk is a little scatterbrained, though - gray lines are head movements, red lines are cache flushes, and the dots are files on the disk. While things are orderly, the files themselves are fragmented quite a bit amongst the order. It would behoove you to download a disk defragmenter (I'm preferable to defraggler and Puran, but any will work) and run it once against the hard disk to clean it up, then run the inbox defrag.exe to update superfetch/readyboot information. See for yourself:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #38
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

So, McAffee was the main culprit then? Wayne, try MSE and Malwarebytes as suggested bu cluberti.

Great job cluberti (again).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #39
gregrocker

 

Hardly a week passes where uninstalling MucAfee solves problems with Win7.

Many users also unknowingly install the Catalyst or other bloatware display software which does nothing but cause issues and is totally unneeded if you don't require special graphics settings for overclocking, etc. Just use the driver delivered by installer or optional Updates, or if forced to download the whole package choose Custom install to uncheck Catalyst and only select the driver for install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2011   #40
Scottyboy99

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 
Thanks!

Guys, you are all fantastic and extremely knowledgeable. My boot is much improved. Aside from getting an SSD I don't think it can get much better now. But a 1 minute boot is so much better than the previous 2 minutes I had! My thanks to you all (especially cluberti) again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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