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I recently noticed that my PC has become very long to boot or, more precisely, to open my session... I probably installed some software that has a problem, but I don't know which one because I don't reboot very often. Here is what happens:

  • I power up the PC
  • I enter my login/password
  • The desktop background image is displayed, but nothing else.
  • The desktop stays empty for around 1 min, then the task bar and the icons from the desktop appear, and everything continues normally.

Is there a log of what happens during this period that I could look at to determine what's going wrong? Any other tip I should know to solve this issue?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This usually happens because Windows waits for the network when you open your session. It is probably waiting for an answer from a DHCP server or a network share but doesn't get it, so it gives up after a certain amount of time.

Disable all your network connections, then reboot. If it works, you just uncovered the source of the problem.

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That was it! A mapped network drive was the culprit... But why on earth does it take so long to find this other computer on the same network? :( – Xavier Nodet Sep 8 '09 at 11:41
A good idea would be to use a sniffer such as Wireshark on the computer hosting the network share. This way you can analyse the exchange and hopefully see what your client computer is waiting for. It can also be DHCP (before mounting the network share). – e-t172 Sep 8 '09 at 11:42
Oh, another advice: if you're using NetBIOS names (computer names) to mount the network share, don't. Remap the network share using an IP address, like this: \\\foobar. It should be much faster. – e-t172 Sep 8 '09 at 11:43
Tried it, but this did not seem to help. Thanks anyway. – Xavier Nodet Sep 9 '09 at 7:52

Try running BootVis. It's an old application originally created by Microsoft that is now abandonware. It's old, but works very well at tracing exactly what happens when you start your PC. It will give you an idea about what's slowing down your PC.

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I highly recommend this... You can enable boot-tracing to see exactly how long each driver and application takes to load. Not only that, you can optimize the boot process to try to offset the loading time. – Breakthrough Sep 8 '09 at 10:38
I've used it as well. If you put a little effort into using it, it really helps. – alex Sep 8 '09 at 11:17

Open msconfig utility and disable all unnecessary applications that starts on boot. It should be the starting point to identify the program that makes the troubles.

Pressing F8 on startup and choosing a different mode will help you to deal with most Driver problems :)

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Removed all the applications and services. Did not help. This was a network issue, actually. – Xavier Nodet Sep 8 '09 at 11:39
Actually, I used Autoruns, from – Xavier Nodet Sep 8 '09 at 11:42

Check your Event Log.

Start > Run

type "eventvwr.msc", then press Enter.

Go through the logs to find out what exactly is taking so long. Post your findings here if you need further assistance.

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'Enable Boot Logging' may help. It's in the startup menu that's available after pressing F8 during the boot. This creates an ntbootlog.txt in the c:\windows or c:\winnt folder.

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