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I'm having troubles to load Visual Studio 2010 for the first time. It takes more than 40 seconds to load for the first time, after the first time it loads in 12 seconds. the machine is core i5-520M with 4GB Ram, HDD 7200RPM, OS is WIN7 Home Premium

Is it normal? Are there any recommended tools I can investigate why it takes so long?

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    Is it any quicker if you disable installed extensions? Have you tried timing starting it with Devenv /SafeMode? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 29 '12 at 15:52
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Are there any recommended tools I can investigate why it takes so long?

Process Monitor
If you're wondering how to use it to investigate your issue, I would recommend you watch the "Case of the Unexplained" webcasts by the author of Process Monitor.

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  • @Tamir Finally, what was the root cause for the delay? – Ganesh R. Jan 29 '12 at 16:11
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Because your HDD is slow. You've got two options:
Cheaper (?): Get two WD Black Caviar, use them in RAID0. (More chance of a data loss, but you will have more space, with faster speed.)
Costs more, but better: buy an SSD. (Faster IOPS, faster IO (modern SSDs), so this is the fastest option. But costs a bit more, and you will hvae to manage your stuff between your HDD and SSD.)

(First start is called "Cold startup", the others are called "Warm startup". Because the first time Windows needs to load everything. At the next ones, it can re-use stuff left in memory.)

[SU question] Warm vs Cold start

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  • @Tamir - No prob. Hope it helps. – Apache Jan 29 '12 at 15:07
  • @Shiki: An Intel 320 series 500 GB SSD cost 900€!!!! – Gigamegs Jan 29 '12 at 16:12
  • @David - Sure, but you don't need 500gb for source codes, a Windows 7 and VStudio. That's maybe 30 gig or 40-50. An 80gb SSD is quite affordable. Also, you can use NTFS compression on them, making the source files shrink too. – Apache Jan 29 '12 at 19:09
  • @Shiki: If you add some virtual machines and the windows driver kit 80gb can be very small. – Gigamegs Jan 29 '12 at 19:13
  • @David - Why would you keep virtual machines on an SSD? Driver kit still fits. – Apache Feb 1 '12 at 20:02
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I use Process Monitor to read load pattern: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645. PM logs every system calls but you can use a filter by process name to limit the log file. After you have load VC you go to Menu/Tools/File Summary and list all the log. There you can sort for many breakpoints.

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