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Windows 7: Yet another slow boot thread

26 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Yet another slow boot thread

Hi
I'm using the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate edition, and for some reason the boot time is quite slow (much slower than when I was using Ubuntu Linux for instance). But it's a bit more complicated than just 'slow boot', I'll explain to make it clearer:

If I boot up the computer to the login screen, when it's at the login screen there's still constant HDD access for about a minute, and if I try logging in while there's still this HDD access, it takes forever to get to a usable desktop (the only startup items I have enabled are Pidgin instant messenger and MS security essentials AV).

However, if I wait at the login screen for this HDD access to finally stop, logging in is quick, about 5-10 seconds.

The only services I have enabled (apart from the default microsoft ones of course) are Bonjour and the licensing service for the Adobe suite (it won't work without it). I've tried disabling both of these services and it doesn't make a difference. I've also tried disabling superfetch and windows search (no difference there either).

Ideally I'd like to be able to analyze exactly what the computer is doing while booting up, what it's accessing on the HDD mainly - I don't see what it could be loading that could be taking that long - yes my HDD is defragmented, that's not the problem either.

It's kind of driving me up the wall, mainly because I don't know what's causing it (I can live with a slow-ish boot but I can't live without knowing the cause of it ).

Thanks alot for any help with this


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Welcome to SevenForums.

1.a) Are all drivers and BIOS up to date? 1.b) Have you and do you run Windows Disk Defragmenter regularly? 1.c) Are you using ReadyBoost by any chance?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nemix77 View Post
Welcome to SevenForums.

1.a) Are all drivers and BIOS up to date? 1.b) Have you and do you run Windows Disk Defragmenter regularly? 1.c) Are you using ReadyBoost by any chance?


Hi, thanks for the reply
Yes my drivers and BIOS are all up to date (well as up to date as windows update which has all drivers for my PC anyway) - the disk is defragged, if it wasn't then I'd probably get poor performance in general (which isn't the problem here).

I'm not running readyboost - having your program data stored on a drive that can get kicked out of the system by a stray foot never seemed like a good idea to me

I think the best thing to do really would be to somehow analyze what is being accessed and just what is happening in general while the PC starts up - I know there's a tool for linux called bootchart but I'm not sure of an alternative for Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Maybe one hard drive is faulty, is the main hard drive with Windows installed 750GB or 250GB?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Just to satisfy my curiosity,
use MSCONFIG to disable all non-microsoft programs. Don't worry, disabling them does not remove them and you can always go back and reenable.

Now with all disabled except for the MS stuff, shutdown your computer. Power your computer back on. You will notice some improvement. But this time, no matter how long it takes, wait for that hard disk activity light to relax.

Ok now with that over. Do the same shutdown, restart, wail drill again.

I hope you are not running still another av program in addition to MSE. More that one av program at a time causes problems.

Go to the MSE settings and uncheck Run a scheduled scan. This is to help locate the problem. If every morning when you turn your computer on, MSE is running a scan and updating (if internet connection exists) then that will cause a startup delay. Personally, I leave that unchecked and simply run update and scan when I have some free time.

Now let's go after another one. The default with Microsoft is that they decide when and how updates should be done. Once again we will disable this. Go to windows update (using the Start Menu or the Control Panel).

In the task pane of Windows Update, select "Change Settings"
Put a checkmark in all of the boxes.
Now, in the dropdown combo box, select "Never check for updates (not recommended).
Be sure to click on OK button at the very bottom.

This will cause a dire warning pop-up from the "Action Center". This dire warning can be disabled there.

Now you, and not MS, is going to be determining when your computer is updated.

I keep this disabled because I do not enjoy turning on my computer and then having things just about come to a standstill as updates are downloaded and installed. I also want to choose whether updates are iinstalled, although I've never rejected one yet. I just want to know what MS is updating.

Also you will be given, frequently, the choice to do a restart of update installation. ALWAYS restart.

Oh yes, be sure to install the optional updates (except for the language ones and perhaps the "Live" ones). There is where the updates for drivers and MS office will be.

Now also a word to updates (don't I ever quit?) Tuesdays are known as Update Tuesday. Why, Tuesday mornings is when MS releases the new updates. Thus, you only need to manually run Windows Update once a week and I would suggest after what would be 11:00 PST (sometimes they are a little slow releasing the updates). Once every bluemoon, MS will release an "out-of-cycle" update to immediately fix a new security problem but only if the press has let everyone know about the security problem.

Ok, enough for now. Actually, my wife was complaining about slow starts before I showed her how to take back control of when MS updates.

karl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nemix77 View Post
Maybe one hard drive is faulty, is the main hard drive with Windows installed 750GB or 250GB?

Well windows is installed to the 250GB drive but I *think* the bootloader is on the 750GB drive as it *might* have been my primary drive in the BIOS settings when I installed windows.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
Just to satisfy my curiosity,
use MSCONFIG to disable all non-microsoft programs. Don't worry, disabling them does not remove them and you can always go back and reenable.
Yes, the only programs enabled (and have ever been enabled - I hate applications that just add themselves to the startup list willy nilly) are MSE and pidgin (pidgin wasn't until a few days ago).

Quote:
Now with all disabled except for the MS stuff, shutdown your computer. Power your computer back on. You will notice some improvement. But this time, no matter how long it takes, wait for that hard disk activity light to relax.

Ok now with that over. Do the same shutdown, restart, wail drill again.

I hope you are not running still another av program in addition to MSE. More that one av program at a time causes problems.
As I said, just MSE

Thing is, the problem doesn't lie in stuff that runs when logging in. If I wait for everything to load before entering my password and logging in (everything loaded as in no HDD light anymore) then login is quick.

Quote:
Go to the MSE settings and uncheck Run a scheduled scan. This is to help locate the problem. If every morning when you turn your computer on, MSE is running a scan and updating (if internet connection exists) then that will cause a startup delay. Personally, I leave that unchecked and simply run update and scan when I have some free time.
This doesn't actually seem to be a problem...

Quote:
Now let's go after another one. The default with Microsoft is that they decide when and how updates should be done. Once again we will disable this. Go to windows update (using the Start Menu or the Control Panel).

In the task pane of Windows Update, select "Change Settings"
Put a checkmark in all of the boxes.
Now, in the dropdown combo box, select "Never check for updates (not recommended).
Be sure to click on OK button at the very bottom.

This will cause a dire warning pop-up from the "Action Center". This dire warning can be disabled there.

Now you, and not MS, is going to be determining when your computer is updated.

I keep this disabled because I do not enjoy turning on my computer and then having things just about come to a standstill as updates are downloaded and installed. I also want to choose whether updates are iinstalled, although I've never rejected one yet. I just want to know what MS is updating.
I've actually never had automatic updates enabled - I share your opinion and want to know what my PC is doing.

I think the problem must be lower level, I wish I could actually see exactly what my PC is doing when it is booting up - do any of you guys know of a way to do this? As in, if possible, down to every last process and its every last property.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Yet another slow boot thread




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