Where can I find a step-by-step boot log of my Windows XP machine? I'm looking for something akin to the boot log you would get in Linux (with what is running at what times, how long it is running, etc).

I am specifically interested in the what is happening after I get out of initial boot phase (AKA, the Windows XP logo goes away and I move to the generic blue background, and as I log in as a user onto the machine).


Sysinternals' Process Monitor can do boot logging, though I've never tried it to see what the result looks like. Source

If you can hunt down a download link, Microsoft's deprecated BootVis tool would give you something to look at as well.

Finally, there's the freeware Soluto.

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    +1 Process Monitor will sure do the job. Please note that BootVis is indeed deprecated and has been replaced by XBootMgr.exe available for later editions of Windows, although that BootVis should still work for Windows XP. And indeed, for the KISS principle experience, Soluto is indeed the way to go... :-) – Tamara Wijsman Feb 18 '11 at 21:30

For a simple approach, see afrazier's answer and its comments as it suffices as an answer.

If you want to really deep-dive this, read the on/off transition performance analysis document by WHDC, it uses XBootMgr.exe from XPerf as found in the Windows Performance Toolkit in the Windows SDK.

Unless you want to go through the hassle of downloading the Windows SDK and searching the setup, I've uploaded a mirror of the setup so that you can use XBootMgr.exe straight away after installion...

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    +1 for mentioning tools for Vista & 7, and hunting up the links I was too lazy to in my answer. :-) – afrazier Feb 18 '11 at 21:40

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