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Windows 7: Windows 7 Startup

05 Aug 2014   #1
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
Windows 7 Startup

Good article about how Windows 7 starts up

This article is primarily aimed at interested users ... but it still helps to be more expert

This article is written for Windows users who want to know what is happening during Windows startup. My goal is to make Windows startup more easily understood by the average user. So I have provided a lot of basic information for those of you who aren't familiar with Windows terminology. This article will be most useful to advanced users because it provides detailed startup sequences and examples. This could be helpful if you are trying to troubleshoot Windows startup problems so I have included some pointers for where to look for particular problems.

The article moves from background material to a simple overview which is expanded upon by looking at the various Windows processes with examples of their processing steps. Wherever possible I have confirmed the steps in a real example but I've still had to rely on other commentaries as I've only used the tools that would be used by a confident user. That's why there is no mention of advanced tools for programmers like kernel debuggers or the special debug version of Windows (a checked build).

At present this article is a work in progress with more detail to be added. It does not include Windows 8 which might be added later. At this stage, I don't intend to add information on resuming Windows from sleep or hibernation, Windows installation, safe mode and the other startup options. This keeps the guide a lot simpler.

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2014   #2

Win 7 Home Premium x64

pfft, who would ever find something like this interesting?

Except me because I totally found this interesting! What I took from this is that there are many layers to the boot up process as indicated by Table 1. I use an SSD so my boot times are considerably lower than most people's *closes eyes and looks smug while saying it*

On my old Dell I would get errors saying explorer.exe has stopped working. So is explorer just a program that everything happens in? So like does my Firefox run inside of explorer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2014   #3
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

Browsers run in Windows, but not inside Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer is the operating system's file and folder manager. It lists the files, folders, and drives on your computer, or any networked drives. It let's you copy, move, rename, and search for files on your system. It is also the user shell, which includes the taskbar, desktop, and other interfaces. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Aug 2014   #4

Windows 10 Pro

Here is a pdf of it if anyone is interested and would like it in a cleaner way.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf windows 7 startup detailed.pdf (178.2 KB, 326 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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