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From time to time, let's say once every 4 days, ever since I have had this Vista machine, Vista takes 15 to 30 minutes to restart. Sometimes it leaves me in doubt as to whether it actually will and I simply forcefully shutdown by holding down the power button for a few seconds until it powers off (when it starts back up after this it always asks if I want to "start Windows normally").

This just happened during the last hour and I waited for it to restart by going to the supermarket. When I returned home it had restarted but a little dialog window was waiting for me to say "Windows has recovered from a serious error".

Following this I restarted and everything started up correctly.

Is this a normal part of using Windows Vista or is there anything I can do to address this?

I'm running Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit: Version 6.0 (Build 6002: Service Pack 2)

EDIT:

Good tip, Jared. Thanks. Lots of errors in the Event Viewer but only one critical one ->

Boot Performance Monitoring/Diagnostics Performance: 
[Boot Duration:117838ms; IsDegradation:false]

Also a lot of errors for failed attempts to start the Defragmenter:

Task Scheduler failed to start "\Microsoft\Windows\Defrag\ScheduledDefrag" 
task for user "NT AUTHORITY\System". Additional Data: Error Value: 2147750687.

And for CertificateServicesClient:

Task Scheduler failed to start 
"\Microsoft\Windows\CertificateServicesClient\SystemTask" 
task for user "NT AUTHORITY\System". Additional Data: Error Value: 2147750692.
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I am a heavy user of Vista, with virtually hundreds of applications installed including several antiviruses, anti-intrusion and firewall, among others. Yet my Vista Iltimate boot-time is about 4 minutes, and I consider this to be slow.

So my answer is that what's happening on your computer is a quite abnormal behavior.
Since this seems to be a new machine, it's entirely possible that there's a hardware problem. Or some installed product blocks the boot. The message you're getting just informs you that you had a Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD), normally before the current boot, not during it.

I would advise as first step to boot a few times in safe mode. If this goes ok, then it isn't your computer but some installed application that's causing this. You'll need to find out which one by a hit and miss method (start with uninstalling all applications that seem useless). But start first by running some antivirus tests, just to be sure.

If booting in safe mode doesn't go well, then the trouble begins. The next step is to run hardware diagnostics, especially on the hard disk, hoping that if a hardware problem exists then it will show up. If you find nothing, try to find if you have the latest version of all the drivers for all your devices. Make sure as well that your Vista is fully patched. If this doesn't work, try to use the furnished operating system CD to restore the computer to its state as when you bought it (you will lose all your data and installed products). After that, the only thing left is to have the computer verified and repaired by whoever you bought it from.

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In addition to this, pull up your event viewer in Vista (Start -> Type in "Event Viewer") and take a look at the logs. They may be able to point you to what's causing the BSOD (google error codes you find on critical errors) –  Jared Harley Aug 30 '09 at 18:54
    
Jolly good advice, Jared. If there's anything suspicious in the event log, please edit it into your question. –  harrymc Aug 30 '09 at 19:40
    
Good tip, Jared. Thanks. Lots of errors in the Event Viewer but only one critical one -> Boot Performance Monitoring/Diagnostics Performance: [Boot Duration:117838ms; IsDegradation:false]. I'll start googling. –  lipton Aug 30 '09 at 21:30
    
The error log only shows that something is very wrong with your computer. A wild guess would be registry errors. What happens when you do a safe boot (F8 during the boot) ? –  harrymc Aug 31 '09 at 6:01

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