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Windows 7 boot sequence takes 4 minutes

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 10, 2010 9:31:02 PM

Hello,
My wife has a Compaq PC, bought 3 months ago, with an AMD Sempron 2.7 Ghz and 2.00 GB of ram. Windows 7 takes a full 4 minutes to boot. I've disabled all non-essential external devices, and completely reinstalled Windows 7. Still has the same problem. Any ideas?
November 10, 2010 10:14:08 PM

Probably a good chunk of bloatware on there as well. Go ahead and uninstall programs you likely will never use.
You can also disable startup services that are unnecessary and just run in the background.
Start -> run -> msconfig
click on the startup tab and uncheck services that dont NEED to be running all the time... ie, qttask, adobearm, reader_sl, iTunesHelper, qttask, jusched... just to name a few that I have stopped.
You should also know that a Sempron is not the best chip in the world, and with it's small L2 cache it can't handle a lot at once.
Possibly adding an extra 2 GB of ram might help as well.
But I would start with stopping unnecessary start up programs and deleting unneeded programs from control panel.
Look for a program called ccleaner, and defraggler, once you've uninstalled things, you can tidy up your computer. ccleaner will have options to clean your registry and also clean out files laying around on your computer.
after that Defraggler will defrag your computer and you should see some performance gains.
Hope that helps!
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November 10, 2010 10:26:41 PM

Thanks for the reply, but since it's a fresh installation of Windows (Yes I reformatted the HD) there aren't any other programs installed yet. The only things I've installed are Corel Office, Quickbooks, and some small software she needs for her business, like a program called "For The Record", which doesn't load anything in the system tray. The system start list is extremely small. And also since it's a fresh install defragging won't help since the HD is not fragmented. But thanks for your ideas.
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
November 10, 2010 10:37:54 PM

If you've completely wiped the system and reinstalled Windows 7, you're probably looking at either a dying hard drive, or defective RAM.

Try installing on a different hard drive if you have one available, or download Seagate's Seatools. Not that this tool is not Seagate hard drive specific. It may be used on hard drives from any manufacturer.

For the RAM issue, download MemTest86+. Let the test go through at least one complete pass before considering the ram to be functioning properly.
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November 11, 2010 1:38:33 AM

prpilot said:
And also since it's a fresh install defragging won't help since the HD is not fragmented. But thanks for your ideas.


This is a very common misconception. When the harddrive is formatted, all file fragments are essentially removed. When Windows is reinstalled, the typical write scheme is used, which writes files to the harddrive in fragments. After a full reinstall, is when the harddrive is in fact the most fragmented. If you were using Linux though, you'd be correct. Unfortunately, NTFS is no better in regards to writing fragmented files than FAT16 or FAT32 were. In most cases, you can download the evaluation copy of Diskeeper Professional, which is a 30-day trial, and see an improvement in performance in 2-3 days by simply allowing the automatic defrag to do it's thing. Manual Defrag will speed things up a bit though.
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
November 11, 2010 6:50:58 AM

Just set up a quick test system in VMware to check this out, and the fragmentation rate on the volume was 1%. While you were obviously correct in saying that when the Windows install writes files to the drive, they are fragmented... I don't think the problem is nearly as bad as you make it out to be. The drive is not most fragmented after a full reinstall.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 11, 2010 8:04:46 AM

Have you ran msconfig to make sure that it hasn't decided that you have only got 256MB of RAM? It happened to me once but I've never worked out why.
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November 11, 2010 3:25:48 PM

(1) if you don't have 2 hard drives, install a second one ASAP;

(2) format the first partition on HDD #2 at ~30-50GB;

(3) run the Contig freeware to create a contiguous swap file 1.5 x your RAM:
e.g. 2048 x 1.5 = 3072000000

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb89742...

(4) move the Windows swap file to the first partition on HDD #2;

(5) format the remainder of HDD #2 as a data partition;

(6) write a drive image of C: to that data partition on HDD #2,
and add a serial number suffix to the target folder e.g. image.001

(7) download and install Partition Wizard:

http://www.partitionwizard.com/

(8) shrink C: to equal the exact same size as the first partition on HDD #2:
this will "short-stroke" the first partition on HDD #1 (very important)
and it will also defragment C:

(9) format the remainder of HDD #1 as another data partition;

(10) write another drive image of C: to the first partition on HDD #2
(this prevents armature thrashing);

(11) copy that drive image to the data partition on HDD #1
(this prevents armature thrashing);

(12) copy the drive image from the data partition on HDD #1
to the data partition on HDD #2
(this prevents armature thrashing).

(13) optionally, download and install PageDefrag, and
run this program periodically to ensure that OS files are contiguous
(NOTE: confirm first if this freeware works with Windows 7:
I don't use Windows 7 so I can't confirm this for you):

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb89742...


I hope this helps.


MRFS
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November 11, 2010 3:31:56 PM

p.s. We've had a lot of success with RamDisk Plus from SuperSpeed LLC:

http://www.superspeed.com/desktop/ramdisk.php


With 2GB of RAM, you might have enough spare RAM at runtime
to create a ~512MB ramdisk, then move your browser caches
to that ramdisk. The vendor really liked our technical review
of RamDisk Plus here:

http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/superspeed/RamDiskPlu...


Whenever I must use a PC browser that does not store its
cache in a ramdisk, I really notice the difference now.

RamDisk Plus has really spoiled me!


MRFS
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November 15, 2010 2:37:21 PM

I had this problem with windows 7 and a biostar technichian had me reset the bios to its default value and everything booted up fast again. Good luck.
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December 5, 2010 11:47:53 PM

Well, I have found the problem. And I have to admit I feel a little silly. The problem was an additional hard drive I had installed in the machine was not being recognized by the BIOS. So, when Windows was loading, it was apparently trying to figure out how to mount the volume that was not recognized by the BIOS. I disconnected the additional drive and PRESTO! Windows comes up in about 40 seconds.

Thanks for all your replies fellas.
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February 26, 2011 10:13:18 PM

The_Prophecy said:
Just set up a quick test system in VMware to check this out, and the fragmentation rate on the volume was 1%. While you were obviously correct in saying that when the Windows install writes files to the drive, they are fragmented... I don't think the problem is nearly as bad as you make it out to be. The drive is not most fragmented after a full reinstall.


My definition of a full reinstall may vary from your's. I consider a "full reinstall" to include Windows and all applications. Apparently I need to make this more clear in future posts. When I finish a "full reinstall" my typical fragmentation level is roughly 60-70% according to AusLogics Disk Defrag (which I generally use for the initial defrag)....but this can easily vary based on the number and size of applications.
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