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Windows 7: Very long cold boot (10 minutes)

11 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Very long cold boot (10 minutes)

My machine seems to work just fine, but it does an odd thing that I don't understand: when booting after a power-down, the Windows 7 boot takes more than 10 minutes. I get the "Starting Windows" screen, and then there's 10 minutes of continuous disk activity, and then finally a login screen.

It does not do this on a reboot---a reboot, without a power-down, takes less than a minute.

I've tried updating my BIOS and my SATA drivers, and these changes do change the behavior somewhat: sometimes the 10 minute delay is before the apperance of the Windows flag, sometimes after. But the fundamental behavior is unchanged. I attach an ntbtlog.txt file from an instance were the delay occurs. The only difference in the boot log between the 10 minute boot and the 1 minute boot is the last line: the loading of "asyncmac.sys" occurs for the 10 minute boot but not the 1 minute boot. I know that this driver is sometimes infected, but my copy checks out fine according to both my antivirus and its MD5 signature.

So maybe this is normal, somehow? Does anyone know what my computer is doing during those 10 minutes of furious disk access?

Attached Files
File Type: txt ntbtlog.cold.txt (18.4 KB, 61 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Do you have AV installed? if yes run a full scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2010   #3

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Do you have a floppy drive installed ? If not is it disabled in the Bios setup ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit

MSE will pick it up if it is infected.
It is a driver for NICs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Probably not a virus.

Yes, of course I have antivirus, Norton Internet security. There are no indications of any infection problem with any system checker (I've used various free check-for-problems one-time scans), and in fact no indication of anything wrong with the system at all, aside from this long boot time problem.

I'm not even sure this is a problem, but it does seem like odd behavior.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2010   #6

7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Here is an important question... have you EVER shut down the computer without telling Windows to shut down the computer? By this, I mean did you ever at any point perform a "cold shut down" by physically depressing the computer's power button? (A definite no-no unless in the case of emergencies, such as 100% computer freezes).

I only ask that because sometimes when you do this it results in corruption of the HDD, because this is absolutely an improper shut down method. I do this sometimes when the computer freezes up, and did it all the time on my old Dell because of that and it had a slew of problems with corruption and bad clusters as a result. It only takes one time for this to start happening in unusual cases, but it can happen at any time this is performed.

This definitely would cause slow boots as the computer muddled through all of those bad sectors on the disk, eventually getting them to let the system boot. I'd say this is likely your issue, unless you have some dodgy BIOS boot orders or other BIOS related conflicts.

So, the only thing for you to do in this case of possible disk corruption and other errors and also to make absolutely sure that this isn't the problem is to perform a "Check Disk". Go to...

Start>Computer> left click "C:" (or whichever Drive it is that houses the OS)>"Properties">"Tools"> click on "Error-Checking"> click "Check Now" > tick "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors"> Start.

That should sort out most minor problems on the disk if any are discovered at all, but for really badly corrupted disks it will require you to reformat the drive and start over.

Hopefully that solves your problem... if not, the next step is to meticulously check and re-check your BIOS settings, particularly the Boot Sector and the order of what Boots first versus what Boots last. This, I am absolutely not familiar with as I've only ever dealt with OEM systems before so somebody else would have to step in from there.

Good luck, and I really hope this issue is resolved soon.

EDIT: Just noticed yours is a self-built system. Did you systematically check and double check each and every hardware component when you installed them, to ensure that they were all functioning correctly? If nothing is found to be the cause via software, I'd start looking at the hardware... bad PSU, RAM or Mobo can cause some strange, even selective problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7

i feel there is some bad sectors in yur hard disk.. dude... try doin disk checkin .. mostly it ll solve yur prob :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Here's a progress report:

1) Holly C***! Apparently much of my problem was the solid color background delay

Solid Color Background Causes 30 Seconds Delay During the Logon Process in Windows 7 | Windows7hacker

I changed the background of my Aero desktop to a tiled solid-color bitmap that I created myself, instead of selecting a solid background and my system is greatly improved! It had been hanging multiple times a day, for about 30 seconds, during screen re-draws. Apparently this bug was affecting my system more than most. These annoying hangs have completely stopped. I had thought this problem was related to my boot-up problem, since the symptoms were similar (continuous disk activity, display working but otherwise hung).

2) However, the boot process still varies from 10 minutes to less than a minute. The 10 minute involves getting to the Windows flag on boot-up, and then there's 10 minutes of continuous disk access, and then it goes to the login screen. Upon reboot (or sometimes even just the second boot of the day), it will boot up in less than a minute.

3) It's not my disks. I've done a thorough check with Microsoft, Seagate, and WD software. There's no indication that my disks are in any way bad, and there is no significant re-mapping of bad sectors.

4) It's probably not a virus. I've got Norton Internet Security, and it seems to work fine and has no problems. A Malwarebytes scan also shows no problems.

So, any further suggestions? Note that my ntbtlog is posted above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #9

W7 Prof 64 bit

Is there a bios update for the mobo?
Is there a motherboard chipset update?

Could try clearing and re-setting up the bios.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium

Did it always take 10min to boot first time...
If not, did it by any chance relate to a Norton Update?

Hate to say it because I hear it's greatly improved but I always suspect Norton of bad behavior, it was often worse than the virus itself.

Could it be Norton scanning the disk before boot. Have you checked Norton's preferences and see if there's a rootkit scan going on. I would even try temporarily disabling some of Norton's features just to see if boot times drop.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Very long cold boot (10 minutes)

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