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TL;DR Extremely slow boot off SSD, took a trace, trace extra big, crashes analyzer. Out of ideas.

For a while now my computer has had a problem with booting, in that it takes an extremely long time. Recently this has gotten extremely bad, to the point of a boot taking on the order of 15 minutes.

Here is all the information and observations I can offer:

  1. The system boots of an SSD drive.
  2. Most of the time is spent on the spinny wheel, blue-screen stage (before the spinny wheel, rotating pictures stage).
  3. This is not new - it has been going on for a while now(going on a year or more now). (It didn't use to bother me when it was like 5 minutes - I can go get a coffee or something and be back to desktop).
  4. It has a strange interaction with major OS upgrades(i.e. Creator's update, or what was the last one exactly?). I think this holds for the last two upgrades, but I am certain only about the very last one. After it, boot time improved to what is expected from a fast SSD - to less than a minute from power on to desktop. After this it has been steadily deteriorating.

Now, investigating boot problems isn't new to me. So I thought I'd use the Windows Performance Toolkit to analyze what is going on. I set it to record a boot run and left it to run. After it finished it produced a trace that is 27GB in size. The Windows Performance Analyzer reaches something like 20% and ~3GB memory usage, then silently crashes when trying to open that file.

I am out of ideas. Help.

  • If something like this happened to me, I would just reinstall windows. An upgrade does not fully reinstall windows, so the underlying problem is likely to migrate from upgrade to upgrade but just gets worse along the way. Also, how is the performance of the SSD if you don't consider booting? It may be that your SSD is either dying or very fragmented due to low storage space. – LPChip Sep 19 '18 at 10:38
  • SSD performance is great. Read #4 again with regard to upgrades(it gets better when I upgrade). Getting suggestions to "just reinstall windows" make me wanna tear my hair out. – martixy Sep 19 '18 at 10:45
  • 1 minute boot is still pretty slow for Windows 10 with an SSD. It should normally boot in 10 to 20 seconds. Something under a big barrier is definitely causing havoc, and a clean windows reinstall is possibly the only way to find out what it is. You may get really fast performance and suddenly something happens that makes it slow again, and this time, you notice it in time and can track it down to the last 5 things you installed. A driver or program and find the root cause. Or it may be gone forever. – LPChip Sep 19 '18 at 11:15
  • If it remained gone after an upgrade, I would never suggest a reinstall. An upgrade basically refreshes windows, and installs new core element, but not everything is reinstalled. This also means that certain cache gets emptied etc. And given that you are out of ideas, this is definitely an idea. – LPChip Sep 19 '18 at 11:16
  • One other thing you can try is to refresh windows. This basically reinstalls the core similar to an upgrade without removing your programs, files and settings. Windows should boot fast again for a short period, but this will likely allow you to do that trace and analyse it without crashing. – LPChip Sep 19 '18 at 11:17

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