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When I start up Windows 7 Professional on my laptop, it starts OK, but after login it takes a long time to show the desktop, 3-4 minutes of waiting with a black screen and hourglass. After that it works OK. I am looking for a way to trace which service or application is causing this so that I can take care of this or disable it.

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Have you tried checking the event logs for the computer looking for errors and warnings. These are excellent ways to find issues any windows based computer may be having.

Good luck

To get to event logs: Right click "Computer", go to Manage. On the left under "Computer Managment", "System Tools", "Event Viewer". the one your probably want to be focused in is Application under "Windows Logs". Take note of time stamps. Try to fix any issues you see with the system.

Note: Sorry, I cannot yet comment as being new to super user

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Sounds like you have some sort of problem with a program starting up. Have you installed any new programs that could have made this happen?

The best answer i can give (as a place to start at least) would be to check out what programs your computer is loading at startup and disable them. Then reboot and see if the problem still persists. If it does than you know that its not a program thats the problem.

If it alleviates the problem then go ahead and begin adding the programs to the startup list one by one and hopefully you can pinpoint what program is causing it.

A good way of doing this would be to use a program like CCleaner. One of the options that program has is to see and select what programs startup.

You can download the CCleaner program here: http://www.piriform.com/download

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As other users suggested you can view this in Event Viewer. You will want to go to Applications and Service Logs, then into the Microsoft folder and Windows. There will be the option to go to Diagnostics-Performances in the middle pane now. Click that, open the Operational log and click on the Task Category to sort it by Boot Performance. It clicking on the Error items should give you a service that causes the slowness. In some cases (like the one pictured) there isn't much you can do because it is a vital Windows function service runing.

Note: This will only return results of problematic applications and services. If the application is slow normally, there isn't much you can do except stopping it from running at start up.

enter image description here

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I have been looking into the same, and have found an interesting issue. I had planned to track down which service was slow to start by using msconfig.exe (search in the Start menu) by disabling group of services at a time until the one with the issue showed up. Unintentionally, I have disabled all services, including Microsoft services. Next time when I enabled all of them (nothing else), the boot-time was good again.

This is probably not a solution, but another thing to try.

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