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Windows 7: slow laptop; need help understanding boot trace

04 Mar 2013   #1

Win 7
slow laptop; need help understanding boot trace

I have a Toshiba Tecra A10 laptop, and it has gotten noticeably slow. It came with both Windows XP and Windows 7. First it had Windows XP Pro, and everything seemed to take a long time (launching programs, boot, shutdown, hibernate, etc.). Then I installed Windows 7 Pro, and with a clean install and very few apps installed (basically just Firefox) it was still slow. I am wondering if there is some kind of hardware failure. Seems difficult to believe it's just software because it was slow after a new install of Win 7.

By the way, Toshiba laptops come with an unbelievable number of extra programs and processes that run at startup, so it has never been swift to boot. I've disabled a lot of these. But when I say it's slow, I mean compared to when it was new.

I'm focusing on booting for now. I measured some times, such as reboot.

When I initiate a reboot, measuring from the time the "logging off" screen appears to the time the desktop appears again is 2:06. However, the post-boot activity seems to take a while... if I launch Firefox as soon as the taskbar appears, it takes another 1:15 for the Firefox window to appear (with no tabs).

I ran some benchmarks. CPU and memory seem to be running at rated speeds. I used HDTune to measure the disk speed, and HDTune reports an average read of somewhere around 50 MB/s and a burst rate of 80 MB/s. Note, this is when I run HDTune at least 15 minutes after booting and when no other apps are running. If I run HDTune within a few minutes after booting then I get an average read of 8 MB/s, so it seems that the post-boot activity is still going on.

In case it would tell me something, I ran xbootmgr and got a boot trace. The summary (as an XML file) is attached. It says that nearly every process took an "unexpected" long time, but I'm not sure what the significance of that is. Does anyone spot anything telling in this trace?


Attached Files
File Type: zip (21.3 KB, 2 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


If you upgraded from XP to Win7 on the Toshiba then none of its crapware should have survived, and hopefully you didn't import any. If so then start over and follow these steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 making sure to follow the Best Practices for drivers, establishing a Clean Boot, and the tools and methods which keep the best install.

Win7 should never hang or slow with a perfect install on adequate hardware. Did you run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if hardware is adequate? A quick search for that model's specs appear to be adequate. If not then edit Visual Effects of fading, sliding, animation, ddragging intact and seletion rectangle from Optimize Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums.

If problems persist work through the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 to check it over thoroughly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2013   #3

Win 7

Thanks, I'll look into the clean installation idea. Note that my Win 7 installation was from the OEM install disks supplied with the laptop; both XP and 7 install disks were provided, and both installed all the bloatware. I'm sure the hardware is sufficient because the manufacturer supplied the 7 installation disk.

I'm looking more for hardware problems right now than software problems, because when the laptop was new, it never seemed slow. When it was new, XP was installed. After a few years, it started to boot and run slowly. Then I put 7 on it, and it is still sluggish. Maybe it's a software issue... hmmm... maybe the XP installation was getting bogged down with too many processes, and then maybe the 7 issue is just happening because the OEM 7 installation has a particularly large amount of bloatware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Mar 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP


The factory bloatware provides the worst posssible Win7 install, corrupt from the start. You can try to ameliorate it some using Clean Up Factory Bloatware but it will never be native Win7.

However if you want to test hardware first the steps are given in Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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