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Windows 7: 3 minutes "Windows Starting" delay due to Autochk

02 Jun 2015   #1
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 
3 minutes "Windows Starting" delay due to Autochk

Hi All;

Please forgive me if I have missed the thread that is going to solve this problem, but I have literally spent this entire day trying to fix it, searching, reading, trying and then repeating the same routine dozens of times. Here is the deal.

As of this morning, my boot times went from about 30 seconds to 3-4 minutes. This is a fresh build (see specs below signature), not a lot installed here and most of the components are new and compatible from the research I have done. System has been up for about 4 days and has been running great. Last night, I had left the computer on (which I usually do not do) as there was 1.5 TB of files being transferred. This morning, it was all done, and I decided to do whatever "Windows Updates" I had not done yet. Did these and decided to give it a restart. As expected, shutdown and restart took a considerable amount of time as "Windows was being configured" with the updates. After that reboot, I checked for updates again, none available and I did another restart. This was my first experience of the 3-4 minute boot. I of course wanted to blame the updates I did, and consequently removed them all. It did not fix the issue. I went through many scenarios and options, and none have resolved the issue. I currently have two choices based on what I have tried and actually makes a difference:
  1. Deal with a VERY long start up time (all runs fine once in Windows)
  2. Get normal boot time, but deal with a delay once windows has started (once it starts it runs fine)
Option one happens when I do a Selective Startup (which is all I have done for many years) with all things loading, but the time from "Windows Starting" to seeing a logon screen is 3+ minutes. The MS Windows Performance Toolkit finally let me see what was going on, and it seems to be Autochk.exe taking 200+ seconds on each startup. I was originally blaming smssinit, but that was before I was able to see the detail in the xbootmgr screens after generating a report. I also learned that smssinit was more of a chaperone for other things that needed to run before winlogon takes over. I have done "Dirty Bit" checks on ALL drives in the system, all showing none. I have run check disk in windows on all drives and none came back with any errors. I ran another checkdisk on an external drive (the one I was transferring 1.5 TB from overnight), and it did find a problem and fixed it on that drive. That drive however, was turned off on my first restart at the beginning of all of this, so it should not have been affecting the startup times as it was off and disconnected. After the checkdisk on this drive fixed some errors, I did the dirty bit check and it said clean. I did NOT check for a dirty bit on this drive before I ran the checkdisk, simply forgot to.


Second scenario happens when I take out ALL entries in the "BootExecute" registry entry. Default entry is autocheck autochk * . If I remove that and restart, I then get normal boot times, but once I logon and windows starts, I have to wait about 3 minutes for anything to react. I can point with mouse and click on stuff, keyboard shortcuts will give me choices and menus, but if I try to click or start anything, it just does nothing, until about 3 minutes later when everything I have clicked on or tried to do all starts at once.


List of other things I have tried:
1. Windows repair using USB flash drive
2. Registry setting changes to other possibly relevant bits
3. Disconnection of all external drives ( I have not disconnected all internal drives but it is on my list of things to try if I can not get this resolved in a more peaceful fashion)
4. Hotfix updates
5. Driver updates from ASUS for certain components (already installed, but not updated after some of the windows updates so thought I should reinstall them - no love)
6. Other stuff I can not remember, it's been a long day ;~(((



So, any suggestions. Of course, I have not tried everything, and am just looking for that silver bullet that can put down this beast for a good nights rest (and a quick start first thing tomorrow ;~))). The way I see it, autocheck is looking to do some kind of run on startup and I have disabled it using multiple methods (registry and services and disabling in task manager) to no avail. When it does give me a faster boot time, I suspect that my delay in Windows is caused by the same issue (autocheck running) but I am not positive. I guess I should increase my time to let xbootmgr continue to record for that 3 minutes of windows time to see what is running there and preventing me from doing anything else. I will try that along with anything else y'all can suggest (if I have not tried it already).


Thanks for any help you can give me on this. I really don't want to spend Tuesday as well trying to figure this out, so hopefully someone will be my savior.



Cheers~
C


Build Specs:
Windows 7 Pro 64bit (UEFI installation)
i7-5820k

ASUS X99 Sabertooth
M.2 SM951 SSD 256 GB (main system drive)

Corsair ForceGT 128 GB (secondary system drive and scratch disk when using main drive)
4TB WD Red
16TB WD Red RAID5 (4x4TB Red's)
Corsair RAM 2133Mhz 16GB (2x8GB in B1 and D1)

Noctua NH-D15
EVGA Supernova 1000 G2 PSU

Antec Eleven case


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
02 Jun 2015   #2
Windows Sniper

Windows 8.1
 
 

Welcome to Sevenforums!

Long boot times after large file transfers are not uncommon. Usually it is Windows re-indexing the changes in the drives and ensuring there are no drive errors. Which is why the Autochk occurs. (This occurs during boot every time anyway, so disabling it is a bad idea)

As for removing the updates, that won't actually assist with the boot times, rather you will continue to fight them as they will re-install after each reboot (depending on your update settings).

Have you tried leaving it alone, then restarting again once the initial boot has finished?

Unless I am missing something that you have pointed out in your post?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2015   #3
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Hi Windows Sniper;

Yes, I restarted the computer after it had fully loaded.

Regarding the Win Updates, I have them all turned off and do it manually, so I am not worried about them reinserting themselves with each startup.

As for the drive indexing, maybe on the first startup or two, that may have been an issue, but not after the dozens I did yesterday, some of them having an hour or more with system up and running to do their thing. I think the indexing would have went pretty quickly anyway as these were all large video files and therefore, a lot less files to index.

Thanks for you input. Back on it to try and resolve. Hopefully this does not eat my Tuesday as well.

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

03 Jun 2015   #4
Windows Sniper

Windows 8.1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cadillac1960 View Post
Hi Windows Sniper;

Yes, I restarted the computer after it had fully loaded.

Regarding the Win Updates, I have them all turned off and do it manually, so I am not worried about them reinserting themselves with each startup.

As for the drive indexing, maybe on the first startup or two, that may have been an issue, but not after the dozens I did yesterday, some of them having an hour or more with system up and running to do their thing. I think the indexing would have went pretty quickly anyway as these were all large video files and therefore, a lot less files to index.

Thanks for you input. Back on it to try and resolve. Hopefully this does not eat my Tuesday as well.

Cheers~
C
Ok, so just in summary then. Your issue is that your machine is running Chkdsk on each startup now?


Have you also tried trimming down your startup options through MSCONFIG? -- Startup Programs - Change
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2015   #5
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for chiming in Windows Sniper. Summary would be more like, Autochk.exe (which from my understanding is a variation of chkdsk) is running on each startup, but as you stated in your first reply, that is normal. And it is happening in the background. Not your normal checkdisk screen that you get when Win has been shut down improperly. I have also tried modifying the BootExecute registry entry to a statement that should prevent it from checking all drives listed (which is all drives on the system) " autocheck autochk /k:C /k:G /k:M /k:R /k:S * ". This did not help. Same problem at startup.

I have not run a normal startup in many years, I always strip down my startup options and use a selective startup. So yes, I have trimmed my startup options using msconfig.

I am beginning to think that something is "stuck" in the autocheck.exe file execution call, like history of a dirty bit or something, but I have no way of verifying that theory. Just a thought.

Anyway, if you can think of anything else, your input is appreciated.

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2015   #6
Windows Sniper

Windows 8.1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cadillac1960 View Post
Thanks for chiming in Windows Sniper. Summary would be more like, Autochk.exe (which from my understanding is a variation of chkdsk) is running on each startup, but as you stated in your first reply, that is normal. And it is happening in the background. Not your normal checkdisk screen that you get when Win has been shut down improperly. I have also tried modifying the BootExecute registry entry to a statement that should prevent it from checking all drives listed (which is all drives on the system) " autocheck autochk /k:C /k:G /k:M /k:R /k:S * ". This did not help. Same problem at startup.

I have not run a normal startup in many years, I always strip down my startup options and use a selective startup. So yes, I have trimmed my startup options using msconfig.

I am beginning to think that something is "stuck" in the autocheck.exe file execution call, like history of a dirty bit or something, but I have no way of verifying that theory. Just a thought.

Anyway, if you can think of anything else, your input is appreciated.

Cheers~
C
It might be worth running an SFC /Scannow to ensure that the windows files integrity is safe.. SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

If there is an issue loading some of the Sys32 or Sys64 files, that should fix it.


I'll keep thinking and read back over what you have posted to make sure i've not missed anything. Could I just ask taht if you try other steps, that you post them here also. So we know what does / does not help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2015   #7
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Here are the results from SFC (note I ran verify only so as to not loose any settings):

C:\Windows\system32>sfc /verifyonly

Beginning system scan. This process will take some time.

Beginning verification phase of system scan.
Verification 100% complete.

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

C:\Windows\system32>

Thanks for all your help Windows Sniper.

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2015   #8
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Well it looks like RAID5 array is the culprit here, causing Autochk.exe to take 3 to 3.5 minutes to run on each startup (thanks goes out to John John MVP at MS Community who suggested that the RAID may be what is hanging it up). When I unplug those 4 drives, I get a 20 second boot time, but no RAID5 array of course. Plug them back in and boot time is 3 to 3.5 minutes.

I have tried modifying the BootExecute registry entry to exclude drive R (which is the drive letter assigned to the RAID5 array which could be the problem). So if anyone has the silver bullet on this one, sure would love to fire it so I can put this build to bed.

I have a couple of thoughts of things to try:
1. Figure out how to ensure the RAID5 array has that drive letter specification BEFORE windows starts (my thinking is, that letter R may be assigned in Windows so while Windows is starting, it has not yet recognized this RAID5 array as drive R. The Intel RST software running this RAID5 array is inside windows.

2. The Intel RST software is on a delayed start (by default as far as I know, I do not recall changing it). Perhaps a change in that setting could get the drive letter in time to prevent autochk.exe doing a fruitless and extended search.

If anyone has other thoughts or options, would love to hear them. I am not very well versed in RAID, so I am sure there is plenty here I am missing.

Thanks in advance for your time and mind power.

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2015   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I notice you have a Red WD hard drive.
Is that one of WD hard drive that auto encrypts?
Are these hard drives 5400 rpm.

I notice also that you are using Raid which can also slow down things.

Indexing on a 4 tb. hard drive the first time could take many many hours or even days. It all depends on the amount of data.

You could set indexing manually and just wait until it states it's completed.

After installed that much data (1.5 tb)I would also recommend a defrag the hard drives. It will also take a long time.

Your first post is so long I might of missed something that you have already tried.

I think this is worth reading.

WD's Red 4TB hard drive reviewed - The Tech Report - Page 1
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2015   #10
cadillac1960

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for the feedback Layback Bear. Very much appreciated.

As I mentioned in the most recent post, things are pointing directly at the RAID5 array. If I unplug those drives, I get a 25-30 second boot time. That is with the single WD Red still plugged in, so it is clearly not the problem. John John at Microsoft Community I think has identified what is doing it, but does not have an easy solution for the problem. According to him, the drivers being loaded for the RAID5 array which was set up within the windows environment, loads with a 0x1 identifier. Until windows starts, they system (from the way I read this) is reading only the 0x0 identified drivers, which these are not. So basically, the RAID is not being recognized on a BIOS level, and therefore, until windows starts, the proper drivers for it are not yet loaded and therefore, the Autochk.exe is looking at drives that make no sense to it.

Now the solution that was offered with this explanation is to do an "in place upgrade" to my windows install, loading the iastor drivers at install time so that it sees the drivers on a 0x0 identifier level. Now this might work, but if anyone knows an easier solution to resolve this problem, it would be most appreciated.

Thanks to everyone for their time and feedback.

BTW, I have had the system running now for almost two weeks with this problem, so any indexing, etc. that needed to be done would be done by now after hundreds of hours of up time. Initializing the RAID5 array took about 40 hours.

Cheers~
C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 3 minutes "Windows Starting" delay due to Autochk




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