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I'm running Windows 7 Pro 64bit on a Dell Precision M4400 laptop and whenever I boot it it takes ages ( >5mins average).

This doesn't seem right as it's a fairly beasty piece of kit, It get's a 5.9 on the WEI with the lowest score being the Hard disk.

Core 2 Duo P8600 @ 2.4GHz
4GB RAM
150GB 7200RPM Hard Disk with 16MB buffer

How can I tell which part(s) of the boot sequence it taking so long so I might disable / avert the issue and improve the boot time?

The machine is part of a Windows Active Directory and I regularly use it outside the corporate network. Neither situation improves performance.

In my user profile on the AD have a login script which mounts 12 network drives using the following commands

net use I: /delete
net use I: \\machine\share /persistent:no

In the startup folder on the start menu I have Sophos and Dropbox. I do have a bunch of services as I'm a developer. There are 2 versions of SQL server, Microsoft Azure developer tools and a few other bits and pieces. Ideally I'd like not to have to disable these; I'd like to see exactly how long each item is taking during boot and make educated decisions from there.

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marked as duplicate by techie007, Kevin Panko, Tog, Tanner, random Jan 14 at 17:48

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It might help if you would tell us your computer's "Windows Experience Index". –  Hello71 Jul 14 '10 at 14:27
    
@Hello71 I already did. 2nd paragraph "It get's a 5.9 on the WEI with the lowest score being the Hard disk." –  Greg B Jul 14 '10 at 20:00
    
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5 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Actions:

  • Clean up your hard drive, use Disk Cleanup and CCleaner.
  • Defragment your hard drive, try MyDefrag.
  • You could set services to start delayed, so they don't interrupt your boot.
  • You could set services to start manual, some can run on demand or you can create a start script.

Analyzing:

Soluto is indeed great although it can not be used for troubleshooting every boot-related problem...

Autoruns will allow you to check what starts up in more broadly and in detail, Soluto doesn't show everything.

But if you want to go more low-level you should check out this document about on/off transitions from Microsoft, which you can read to improve your boot by analyzing low-level stuff with XBootMgr from the Windows Performance Toolkit; which can be installed with an installer in the Windows SDK.

For a more high-level approach you could use Process Monitor which also supports boot logging.

Some examples: Did you know that immunizing your computer by blocking a lot of domains through the ZoneDomains registry key or the Hosts file slows down your boot? Did you know that a lot of fonts can also slow down your boot? Did you know that driver X or library Y is causing some delay? Maybe the files being loaded at boot are so defragmented and not placed close to each other? And so on... ;-)

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XBootMgr is a very detailed booting analyzing toolkit, with a heavy amount of documentation. Just beware, is it NOT at all user friendly. –  KronoS Apr 5 '11 at 15:25
    
@KronoS: Indeed, Soluto is easy, Autoruns is medium; and as I mentioned XBootMgr is hard because you go to a low-level where you can see about any information of the boot, for example it allows you to see that driver X waits for Y and thus delays your boot by Z seconds... –  Tom Wijsman Apr 5 '11 at 15:28
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Take a look at http://soluto.com/. One of the devs is a member of this site and posted the link a while back. It seems nice to me and it shows how much each service takes to start. Nothing that msconfig and services.msc can't do, but it's more user-friendly and memorizes changer so you can easily revert.

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Soluto allows you to start non-requred services after boot. –  Scott Jul 14 '10 at 14:50
    
@Scott Is that different from automatic delayed from services.msc? –  AndrejaKo Jul 14 '10 at 15:34
    
+1. I am a user who saw that post and have started using Soluto. I find it very helpful. –  Xavierjazz Jul 15 '10 at 19:47
    
I don't know. It works for XP which doesn't have delayed-start services. –  Scott Jul 22 '10 at 21:29
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if the hardrive is the lowert score then this could be it as windows loads up from the hardrive, but this doesnt make sense because its 7200 rpm, but however if the hardrive is not a good make then this could be the problem.

However with a slow process..

Only 2 factors..

1) Your machine has a virus 2) Hardware problems (Harddisk, Video Card, Motherboard, Memory, etc).

For virus, i suggest that you do an online virus/spyware scan. http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

Or any free antivirus online scan (try searching google for the link on mcaffee, etc).

If its hardware, best bet is to bring it to a shop for diagnostics. Or if you are a techy, diagnose it one by one.

Also try simple things like defragging your harddrive etc,

if none of this works then im afraid you are going to have to format your computer

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The disk is Seagate. If that makes any differnce... –  Greg B Jul 16 '10 at 7:56
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Soluto is a good piece of software. It analyzes the amount of time each program takes during startup so that you can pare down to only the necessities.

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The Soluto guys seem to have really impressed superusers! Three answers recommending it less than 10 seconds from one another. –  AndrejaKo Jul 14 '10 at 13:25
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Try Soluto. It should show you how long each stage takes. The beta version is the only one that has a desktop app. The normal one just opens a web page.

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