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Windows 7: Tweaking boot time (classpnp.sys?)

09 Aug 2010   #21
madtownidiot

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
Quote:
or there are too many processes running at startup.
Now wait! What's to say "too many"? And what's to say a lot is "bad"? Many folks have cameras, card readers, external drives, printers, email programs, PDA devices, various security programs including AV, AS, FW programs, HW monitors, special mouse and keyboard programs, dual monitors, networked/mapped drives, etc. that start at boot. I say again, as long as the system is running fine once it is fully booted, then a long (3 - 4 minutes) boot time does not indicate a "problem". Some XP systems can take 5 - 6 minutes to boot, then run great all day long.

There is no harm in having many processes run at startup as long as you have the resources (namely RAM) to support them after the boot is complete.
Most people I know get really annoyed and impatient when their system takes too long to boot, no matter how well it performs once it's running. Everything in the startup tab of MSconfig can be disabled without affecting functionality. What's wrong with not wanting programs to run until you click on them? I just built a desktop today that runs 2 HDDs in RAID 0 (see system specs) and still starts up in less than 40 seconds.. sounds like everyone else is just making excuses. I mean, really, who's going to print something, send a fax, copy some pictures from their camera, send an instant message, sync their ipod or PDA, run a virus scan, download a java update, and upgrade to limewire pro their all in the first 2 minutes after they start their computer? Most people I know want to get on the internet first thing after they turn their computer on. Disabling all startup items only stops gui apps from starting. It doesn't affect the drivers for a dual display setup, printers, special mice, keyboards or hardware based raid or any security software installed. Yahoo messenger will still work if you have to click on the icon to get it started. Your networked resources will still be there. Your AV is still working, even if nothing pops up 3 seconds after the desktop. telling you to run a scan
When I start my computer, I want to decide what applications to run, not have 15 or 20 different things pop up at once and then have to decide which things to shut down before I can do anything useful. I'm also not one of those people who leaves their computer on all day. When I'm not using it, I shut it off, no different than turning off a light or the television when I leave the room. Sometimes I'm in a hurry and just want to get a quick email out before I run off somewhere.. so yeah.. in my opinion, if a computer takes more than a minute to boot, it's too slow, no matter what it's got for hardware.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Aug 2010   #22
flez

win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
Quote:
my raid needs nothing
Not true! It is setup in the BIOS and is loaded every time it boots.
Loading the raid driver into windows takes less than a few seconds, all the works already been done.


And with only 2 drives mine takes less than 10-15 seconds extra to post, takes about 20 for it to recognise the 6 i currently have connected, in different modes, but the modes there are in make no difference to post times, its still 3-4 seconds per drive as it identifies each one.

This seems to be a flaw in that it allows spinup time for each drive on every boot, which is totally not needed, although i have seen that if there has been a bsod and the drives halt, then they do come back on one at a time, so for that, individual waits are needed.

I suppose it all depends on your raid chipset manufacturer, and how much software support it needs/uses as to how much longer it adds to true loading times, not post times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #23
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
Yes, you have stated your point several times now.
Ummm, yes, but not because I wanted to repeat myself. It was you who were confused. And "twisting" might imply an intentional misrepresentation of what I was saying. I don't believe you were intentionally "twisting" my words around to change my message. That was a poor choice of words on my part. Sorry. I should have used "confused". I trust now you are not.
Quote:
I am attempting to understand whether a raid set up add significant time to the booting of a Windows 7 OS? If so how much time... 10, 30, 60 seconds? Would you be willing to provide an answer?
That's hard to answer. As I mentioned earlier, much of the setup for RAID is done in the BIOS, before the hard drive (and Windows drivers) are even touched. And as flez reiterated, it depends on the RAID chipset used by the motherboard maker, where most of the setup work is done. It also depends on the motherboard's clock speeds and CPU. I can see it adding 30 seconds, but 60 seems a bit long. And note too that some RAIDs are setup in software, and some RAID controllers are true hardware devices. Windows 7's own RAID controller is software based.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by madtownidiot
Most people I know get really annoyed and impatient when their system takes too long to boot
No doubt. But I've been using personal computers since before IBM introduced the "Personal Computer" and the normal practice has always been you turn it on first thing in the morning, then go get your cup of coffee, donut or whatever, then come back and get to work. That assumes you even turned it off the night before and don't leave it on 24/7, as many did and still do.

Even if you have nothing extra loading at boot, today's motherboards are MUCH MORE than one piece of hardware. And each of these devices are much more sophisticated too. Integrated devices included with today's motherboards include:
  • Chipset - which includes the BIOS itself, plus the CMOS information, plus more
  • PATA controller (phasing out but still here)
  • SATA controller
  • Floppy controller (phasing out, but most boards still have floppy conntrollers)
  • USB controller (necessary today for keyboards and mice support) often multiple controllers for 6, 8, or even 10 ports)
  • IEEE1394 (Firewire)
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Network Interface 10/100
  • Network Interface 10/100/1000
  • Memory Controller (Dual or Triple Channel)
  • PCI Bus Controller
  • PCIe Bus Controller
  • Sound
  • Hardware Monitor (to read fan speeds and temps in BIOS)

  • If on-board graphics, that must be loaded, if graphics card, the graphics BIOS must be loaded.
That's just to get started, and BEFORE touching the hard drive for drivers; I am sure I have missed some. Then, for a "normal boot" you need to start, at a minimum, your graphics drivers. If you are connected to a network with Internet access, you also must load a firewall, and anti-malware solution, and of course, an operating system.

Windows 7 has made it better because it makes your computer available for use much earlier than previous versions (even though it is still loading stuff in the back ground). And certainly, if a Windows 7 machine was taking 4 minutes, I would be looking for a bad driver or some other problem. But taking less than 2 minutes to fully boot from a cold start should not be considered "bad".

Once again, if your computer is running fine once it is fully booted, don't worry so much about boot times. Sure, you can trim down what loads at boot, but think about what that means. It means later in the day when you click on something that needs it, you have to wait. Then when you click on something else that needs something else you trimmed, you have to wait again. To me, if I have to wait in the middle of the day, that's annoying.

I would suggest if boot times are that important to you, and if using Windows 7, use Windows 7's "Hybrid Sleep" mode. My machine is ready to go in about 15 seconds, and that includes me fumbling around with my password.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Aug 2010   #24
madtownidiot

 

The raid setup on the system in my specs, adds about 10-15 seconds to post time, but cuts the time it takes to boot windows after POST by more than 20 seconds. The point of spending money on RAID 0, quad or six core processors, huge amounts of memory and dual graphics cards is to make your system faster right? Windows doesn't even have to load any drivers for the RAID array. Those were installed before the OS, which sees my two HDDs as a single 3TB HDD divided into 3 partitions. All that extra performance would be wasted if I added another 400-800 MB of applications, gadgets to the overall system load. Where's the progress if it still takes just as long, if not longer, to get on the internet or play your favorite game when you get home from work as it did back in the days of windows 2000 and XP SP1? When you increase the system load in greater proportion than it's capabilities, you're not making it faster, you're making it slower
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #25
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
Windows doesn't even have to load any drivers for the RAID array.
That's not true. Drivers must still be loaded, just as they are for SATA, IDE or whatever. They may be natively supported in later versions of Windows, thus automatically loaded, but they still must be loaded.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #26
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@Digerati: I think what madtownidiot is saying is that there are no special drivers that are getting loaded from within Windows to support his RAID configuration which are noticeably slowing down boot times. His RAID system initializes at boot time and as far as Windows is concerned, it's just a single hard drive that it's running from.

@madtownidiot: I get what you are saying about performance. Although, I don't think everybody agrees with the process of tweaking everything to make it even faster @boot, etc. Some people are perfectly happy and content with a slightly slower bootup, but with software and such preloaded and ready to go at a later time. It doesn't mean they are wrong, or incompetent....just different than you. Perhaps they use fancy graphics cards to play games at high resolution and use RAID0 configurations for working with and editing huge video files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #27
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
@Digerati: I think what madtownidiot is saying is that there are no special drivers that are getting loaded from within Windows to support his RAID configuration which are noticeably slowing down boot times.
The special drivers part would be easy to tell - look in device manager and if you see Promise or some other brand RAID controller besides Microsoft, drivers were loaded. Now if they are the cause of slow boot times, I don't know. Over the years I have looked for a program that measures the load time for each program loaded at boot, but as far as I know, there is no such beast.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #28
madtownidiot

 

I guess I go with a minimalist approach when setting up a system, making it as quick and light as possible, because the end user probably isn't going to know half of what I know about how to clean and speed it up again when it eventually gets bogged down with new processes, poorly written or badly uninstalled software... And even a system with SSDs in raid 0 will probably slow down as windows 7 grows. XP started out with a minimum req of 64 MB ram, 1.5GB HDD space, and a 233Mhz CPU and ran very well with the recommended hardware or better, but even a bare bones XP SP3 is dog slow on a system with those specs now.. (yes I still have a working PIII box now running xubuntu that makes a pretty good media server for my home network)

I should clarify that I'm talking about when a computer has a newly installed OS, it shouldn't take more than a minute to boot. Believe me when I tell you, that's what people want. I've sold more computers on that point than anything else, mainly laptops to business professionals and college students who've previously owned a factory configured vista or xp machine that took something like 3 minutes to boot and 6 to shut down and are impressed when I show them a slightly newer machine running windows 7 and running snappier than anything you'll find at a big box store.

Instead of having everything run at startup, I advise people to pin the apps they use most often to the taskbar, which then loads them into superfetch after the 1st run. Even games like Crysis 2 start with almost no delay, especially because there aren't 115 other processes already loaded into memory... (or worse... paged but still active).

edit... @digerati, I'm using WD RE4 drives, (the RE stands for RAID Edition) which are configured at the hardware level for RAID 0 and need no additional drivers in windows. R/W speeds are averaging 250 MB/s read and 190 MB/s write
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #29
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by madtownidiot View Post
I should clarify that I'm talking about when a computer has a newly installed OS, it shouldn't take more than a minute to boot. Believe me when I tell you, that's what people want. I've sold more computers on that point than anything else, mainly laptops to business professionals and college students who've previously owned a factory configured vista or xp machine that took something like 3 minutes to boot and 6 to shut down and are impressed when I show them a slightly newer machine running windows 7 and running snappier than anything you'll find at a big box store.
In my experience, the slow booting and performance issues almost always start AFTER the end-user spends some time installing a bunch of garbage. Even the factory configured machines are denoted as snappy and fast when brand new...but given time....with all of the crap that people install without giving it a second thought and their new computer slows to a crawl.

My work computer running Windows 7 since Jan 4, 2010 and it's pretty much just as fast 8 months later then it was at the start. Of course, I've only loaded what I needed to do my job. That makes a big difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #30
Laker

W7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Digerati - Confused no, uniformed and curious... YES!

Raid may add an extra 10-30 seconds for the system to boot according to you and others here. Thank you for your answer & apology.

It seems some may not be concerned with boot times due to their regular daily routine. Yet biding time by getting a cup of coffee while your system boots doesn't mesh with most people's expectation of today's technology. Wouldn't you rather have your system boot up in less than 20 seconds? I know I would and think others do too. Why else would 'Instant On' be so thoroughly sought after. 'Hybrid Sleep' being a by product of this search.

Is it an indication of your systems performance? Here we disagree. No, it's not a CrystalDiskMark benchmark. In truth though, it is part of the real world performance. Just consider what is required during a windows install, program or driver troubleshoot - multiple reboots. 20 seconds or less definitely better than 60, 120 or even 240 seconds which is then multiplied during these situations. As madtownidiot mentioned this extended and unneeded time frustrates most people.

Some experts believe that your boot time can be an indicator of your system's health. I'll refer those interested to this thread over at NotebookReview.com. See page 33, post #2: Post your Windows 7 Boot Time (tweaks allowed). By the way this boot time tweaking is good fun and very educational. The person quoted (Les) is an SSD/HDD reviewer. He claims to have been the first to review an SSD on the internet over at NBR. Check him & his articles out if you like: The SSD Review

I'm a firm believer in 'Less is More'. Although this doesn't apply to all circumstances, here it fits. Less applications loading at start up & therefore less time time to boot = more time to use the machine. Programs are loaded as needed just not at start up.

Some may disagree as their computer is used for different purposes or prefer it be run a certain way. Great! That is the fun in optimizing your system to your personal tastes. Let's acknowledge though that most would prefer faster rather than slower & appreciate help to get there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Tweaking boot time (classpnp.sys?)




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