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Solved: Slow Vista Boot

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by onefistedboxer, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    Hi, i am experiencing a suspiciously long startup time during the part with the three green bars going across the screen, about a minute and a half. The rest of my startup is very fast. My computer is reasonably high-end (2gb ram, e6750 cpu) but not overclocked and my hard drive is fully defragmented. The long startup has been present since i first got the pc about a year ago and my current efforts suggest that it is not due to any software i’ve installed. My motherboard is a p5w dh deluxe and i’m running Vista 32bit SP1. This is what i’ve done so far:

    1. I have trimmed all my non-microsoft services and startup items down to a minimum, along with unused drivers (through autoruns), although the wait is still there whether i use diagnostic startup or even safemode.

    2. Furthermore I have checked the event viewer for startup problems. The events which denote my startup time have warning or critical symbols but there are no other warnings referring to specific trouble processes, therefore I do not believe my slow boot is the result of startup applications or services.

    3. I have tried selecting “os boot information” in ms-config to find a trouble driver, but all the drivers load quickly when they are listed, during the period with the long wait (when the green bar is usually loading) there is little information, it reads something like “checking hard disk C”.

    4. I have run the command line utility to check all system files for errors, but it was fine.

    5. I have tried disabling all non-essential devices in my motherboard bios to find any possible problem but this makes no difference.

    6. I finally created a Vista recovery disk to run the startup repair utility, but the test does not last longer than a few seconds before telling me that i must remove a recently installed removable device (or words to that effect). I then checked the log which defined the device as “diskdrive0”. I have tried again with nothing but my mouse/keyboard connected but it does not help, therefore i presume this is referring to my hard drive which is described as being in location 0 in the device manager. I have run chkdsk reasonably recently with no errors, but not within the past month. My hard drive is in ahci mode. I believe a possible explanation may lie in the way it has been setup.

    I’ve been trying to sort this out for quite a while so i’ve probably tried some other things as well, if you don’t have any ideas it would even be helpful if you could just give me an idea about what Windows is doing at this point in the boot process.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ben
     
  2. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Most PCs with Vista that came with Symantec as a preinstalled AV suffer this fate. Other security applications can also be culprits However if you saw this problem in Diagnostic mode, that's probably not it.

    Post a HijackThis scanlog >>


    Download and install HijackThis. Run it and select "do a system scan and save the log file". Then copy/paste the contents of the log to a reply

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/download5554.html


    If you open the Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools > Advanced, are you seeing any issues flagged there? Usually an unusual performance delay, either for startup or shutdown would be noted.
     
  3. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    I have no anti-virus software currently installed, and have never used any Symantec software.
    There are no clues in the control panel.

    LOG

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    I know you've said you tried a diagnostic startup, but can you try a "clean boot".

    I don't know why you would want to have some thing like the "welcome center" remain as startup, there are also some other items there that could be issues.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    Also open the event viewer and drill down to > Applications and Service Logs > Microsoft > Windows > Diagnostic - Performance > Operational.

    You will see a lot of warnings and errors there, most of which will be indecipherable or irrelevant. But look at the details of both the warnings and errors that indicate "boot degradation" and see if a driver file is mentioned for any of them.

    See attachment for an example.

    See also: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=246
     

    Attached Files:

  5. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    I didn't realise i had the welcome centre on startup?
    I have already checked the event viewer(no.2) and, other than the notification stating that i started up, there are no other warnings.
    A clean boot does not help either, though, the fact that the wait is still there in safe mode i think suggests it cant be due to startup items.
     
  6. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Well, I agree, but if you read through the Ed Bott article, you may be able to ferret out what your total boot time is and how it breaks down.

     
  7. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    I have read through this article before, but i couldn't find anything helpful in my log. On my last startup:

    MainPathBootTime 77179
    BootPostBootTime 89660
    BootPrefetchInitTime 60092
    BootSmssInitTime 5968

    These are the most notable entries, i'll post the entire log if you want. Having done more research some people are finding hard drive related boot problems with vista, though these are largely removable hard drives.
     
  8. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Well your values are nearly double mine starting with the "prefetch". Either you are loading a lot more drivers or the disk or cpu performance is suspect. And you really don't have that much loading.

    What is your "Windows Experience" index score?

    In particular the Disk data transfer rate and the Processor calculations per second.
     
  9. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    Like i said before it can't be the number of drivers, as the wait is still there if i go into safemode. Theoretically my Hard drive should be fine (i've put it in the comp specs bit) my score is 5.5 (limited by processor - which is pretty good) and my Hard drive gets 5.7. I ran a sisoft sandra test recently and i remember it coming on par with similar hard drives, i can provide exact figures if you would like. The important specs of my Hard drive is that it is 7200rpm sata with a 16mb buffer which i believe should be above average. Is there anything i could do to check that it is set-up properly, i have little faith in my pc manufacturer (cyberpower). It is currently in ahci mode.

    My PC runs fine once loaded, although i suppose the hard drive might not be accessed so much as i have 2gb of ram.

    Do you think i should try disabling superfetch for 1 boot to see if this has an impact - though it would not be a fix.
     
  10. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Probably worth a try -- this might decrease boot times but increase somewhat program load times -- which will not be in memory -- which is where superfetch places them.
     
  11. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    I disabled the superfetch to little effect, i'll also try clearing the prefetch folder.
    I've discovered a few more possible solutions in the event viewer, can you tell me which of the following are worth perusing:

    "The device, \Device\CdRom0, has a bad block."

    "The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load:
    i8042prt"

    "Windows detected your registry file is still in use by other applications or services. The file will be unloaded now. The applications or services that hold your registry file may not function properly afterwards.
    DETAIL -
    2 user registry handles leaked from \Registry\User\S-1-5-21-2973877867-1817970839-3220914628-500_Classes:
    Process 956 (\Device\HarddiskVolume1\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) has opened key \REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-2973877867-1817970839-3220914628-500_CLASSES
    Process 1540 (\Device\HarddiskVolume1\Windows\System32\spoolsv.exe) has opened key \REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-2973877867-1817970839-3220914628-500_CLASSES\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache"

    These are all regular errors in the administrative log.

    [EDIT i have eliminated the i8042prt error and that has not made any difference]
     
  12. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    >> "The device, \Device\CdRom0, has a bad block." << you were probably playing a bad CD or DVD which hung up due to scratches or whatnot.

    >> "The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load:
    i8042prt" << Lol, good luck with that, it's a service associated witha ps/2 keyboard -- it keeps coming back to haunt me even though I set the registry to disable it. My pc came with a ps2 keyboard which I replaced with a USB. I guess you've done the same.

    >> "Windows detected your registry file is still in use by other applications or services. The file will be unloaded now. The applications or services that hold your registry file may not function properly afterwards.

    DETAIL -
    2 user registry handles leaked from \Registry\User\S-1-5-21-2973877867-1817970839-3220914628-500_Classes:
    Process 956 (\Device\HarddiskVolume1\Windows\System32\svchost.exe) has opened key \REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-2973877867-1817970839-3220914628-500_CLASSES

    ^^ I don't know what's up here, but like the one below, it's probably a shutdown issue not a startup one, but it could cause an application specific issue later if vital data was not properly saved. This is when Windows is trying to get applications to let go of the registry and sometimes has to force them to do so. I just can't tell what svchost is trying to do there. You would have to find out what processes svchost is running before shutdown, then look at the event viewer and see which one is acting up. The numbers will not remain the same for a new startup.



    Process 1540 (\Device\HarddiskVolume1\Windows\System32\spoolsv.exe) has opened key \REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-2973877867-1817970839-3220914628-500_CLASSES\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache"

    ^^Looks like, it has to to with a printer application or utility. It probably occured on shutdown not startup.

    This is a language interface cache; I was about to confuse it with something else; stands for Multilingual User Interface; the contents are deletable but will just rebuild.
     
  13. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    The registry fix got rid of the i8042prt error, but i'm no nearer to resolving my startup issues.
    The bad block error seems to occur regularaly, even when i do not write a disk, I was wondering whether this is being identified as a problem at startup. I am trying to fix this with a firmware update (would disabling my dvd drive in the device manager stop Windows communicating with it).

    Can I also repeat the problem I had when running the startup repair. "I finally created a Vista recovery disk to run the startup repair utility, but the test does not last longer than a few seconds before telling me that i must remove a recently installed removable device (or words to that effect). I then checked the log which defined the device as &#8220;diskdrive0&#8221;. I have tried again with nothing but my mouse/keyboard connected but it does not help, therefore i presume this is referring to my hard drive which is described as being in location 0 in the device manager. I have run chkdsk reasonably recently with no errors, but not within the past month. My hard drive is in ahci mode. I believe a possible explanation may lie in the way it has been setup."

    It may well be that the problem preventing me from running startup repair is the same problem which is causing the long startup. Even if it isn't, running startup repair may fix my boot anyway. Therefore any help you could give to get it to run would be very useful.

    [Edit: if it helps you, i didn't alter the registry directly, but used autoruns to untick the i8042prt driver]
    [Edit 2: i've had another look and it may be that the startup repair did run fine, once i scrolled down the log there where actually no errors and every test was succesful. Does the test only last a few seconds if there are no problems?]

    Edit 3
    I have tried clearing out the prefetch folder and the results were strange. On my last boot before clearing out the folder:
    BootTime 95102
    MainPathBootTime 75602
    BootPrefetchInitTime 56685
    BootPostBootTime 19500
    BootSmssInitTime 8706
    As usual I found that I did not see the welcome notice before seeing the desktop, once i was in the desktop everything loaded quickly and there was little hard drive activity.

    After clearing out the prefetch folder:
    BootTime 114528
    MainPathBootTime 46928
    BootPrefetchInitTime 0
    BootPostBootTime 67600
    BootSmssInitTime 13503
    This time the green bars section of the boot lasted only about 7 seconds but the welcome screen was also visible for a few seconds. After this the desktop loaded much slower and there was increased hard drive activity for a long time after boot.

    Once the prefetch folder rebuilds itself thing return to normal, however.
     
  14. onefistedboxer

    onefistedboxer Thread Starter

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    Any more ideas...
     
  15. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Sorry I missed your follow up.

    As to what device is being referred to in those missives, run diskmgmt.msc and compare. It should correspond to the descriptions there. Disk 0 should indeed be the primary hard drive. Some of these Sata type drives Vista considers "removeable" -- so that may be ignored

    Bad blocks for optical drives will always refer to the disk being read, so you should not see anything created on startup if no disk is present in the drive.

    I don't know what the issue could be with "startup repair" but I doubt that would be any solution to this problem since as I understand it it is only designed to fix issues which prevent Vista from starting. If none were found I assume it would complete quite quickly.

    The differences before and after clearing the prefetch folder would be exactly as Microsoft would expect -- a longer overall boot time due to the longer "post" boot times for non critical drivers.

    What really surprises me about this issue is that it occurs in "clean boot" mode with all NON Microsoft startups and services disabled, unless of course the problem comes back to the drive itself -- and then it would make sense.

    So you need to run chkdsk on that drive again.
     
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