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Vista slow bootup after just a few weeks? Help!!!

Last response: in Windows Vista
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April 14, 2008 9:20:34 AM

Thanks in advance!

For some reason, after running my new PC (Clean Visa install) after a few weeks it takes Vista quite awhile to load. 12-15 bars at bootup as opposed to 3 bars.

I have defragged using the built in defragger, and used Diskeeper to defrag, with no fix. = ( All drivers are current, and event viewer is showing no issues whatsoever, nor is bootup performance within event viewer.

Any insight, or help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
April 14, 2008 9:59:18 PM

hey,
Fragmentation usually isn't the culprit in these situations. Vista automatically defrags itself while the computer is idle, and you'd be hard pressed to build up a noticeable level of file fragmentation in only a few weeks.
The problem is usually the number of startup apps people have running in the background. For example, popular programs like iTunes, Adobe reader, Apple Quicktime (okay just about anything made by apple), windows media player etc. run applications when you first boot your computer. These processes are generally pretty useless and are designed to speed up the boot of that application at the cost of slowing the boot of your computer. To get rid of them go to Windows Defender (type defender into the start menu search), click on 'tools' at the top, select 'software explorer', and then select the option to show startup programs from all users. You're now looking at everything that starts with your computer, kill away (select an unneeded app and then click 'disable'). Just be careful what you disable, some of those processes, such as those belonging to your anti-virus, are better left running. If you aren't sure what a certain process is, google is your friend. Or if you're willing to wait, just post them in this thread for the next time I check back.

A few other notes:
-Some anti-virus apps and security suits can drag your system through the mud. I won't name any names (NORTON 2007!!!) but for most people a combination of AVG free edition and Windows Defender do the trick just fine without too much of a system hit.
-To check you're boot time go to the event viewer (type 'event' into the start search). Select: Applications and Services Log>Microsoft>Windows>Diagnostic-Performance>Operational. Now on the right hand side select 'Filter Current Log' click in the text box where it says 'All Event IDs' and type '100'. Now click on the 'Details' tab and select 'Friendly View'. This will show your boot time in milliseconds. 'MainPathBootTime' is roughly the time it takes to get from your BIOS POST to a usable desktop. 'BootTime' is your total boot including all apps and services.
-I have Vista booting in about 30-40 seconds, and your computer is faster then mine so we should be able to do better.

Best of luck!
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April 14, 2008 10:23:17 PM

Kanati,

I really appreciate your help, so far this is what I have done.

I have killed all unnecessary startup programs, I only have the bare essentials booting during startup. I just find it odd, that after a few weeks my machine is doing this.

All my apps were installed the day of the build, and it was booting fine then. Which, is why this makes no sense at all. I am running Avast A/V, due it being light.

The only thing I can remember happening was, the PC would not go to sleep, after rebooting it went to sleep fine. I believe this is when I started having issues with bootup.

To be honest, this is the third time it has happened, even on the PC before this one, and I am really fed up with Vista. This never happened with XP.

As it stands now, I'm looking at 24 bars loading, or a hair shy of two minutes after post. Terrible indeed! I don't want to keep formatting and reinstalling to fix this.

Once again, any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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April 14, 2008 11:03:52 PM

Hmm, now this is odd. When you're PC refused to sleep were you running live messenger at the time? For reasons I don't understand live messenger can, from time to time, prevent your computer from sleeping. And by sleep do you mean hibernate or sleep?

Try running a registry check with CCleaner (free utility, download.com) to see if one of your apps is causing registry errors.

You said that you've reinstalled Vista 3 times, has your boot time gone back to normal each time you do a reinstall? And if so, does the boot time degrade slowly at a predictable rate each time? Or does it just all of a sudden start booting slower?

If you have any peripherals plugged into your system (ie. printers) turn them off (or unplug them). When my Canon MP130 is turned on it takes by boot time from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. In fact, try unplugging all non-essential devices from the system.

Is your motherboard chipset manufactured by Nvidia perchance?

Check what non-essential background services are running. Type 'msconfig' into the start search, select the services tab and check the box that says 'hide all Microsoft services'. Much like your startup apps, a lot of them are unnecessary.

Hopefully we can figure this out for you. In my humble opinion Vista is the better OS than XP. It's just on some computers it runs like a dream, and on other computers it's more like a nightmare.

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April 15, 2008 3:48:28 AM

Kanati,

Thanks for the continued, and positive outlook in this matter.

To answer your questions:

I have not installed live messenger. By sleep I mean deep sleep, S3. The only registry fixer/defrager I have used is auslogic's free version. Which did not fix my boot problems. I will give CCleaner a try immediatly.

After installing vista, yep my bootimes are perfect, three at most for weeks. Then, out of nowhere its' all at once. The only removable devices I have is my Ipod touch which is almost never plugged in, only for charging. The apple services which power the software are stopped, and set to manual.

So far I have killed all non-essential services. I agree, I really hope my new system can learn to co-exist with Vista, because I agree with you. Here are my system specs:

Mother board: Asus Maximus Formula Bios V. 1004 Intel X38 Chipset
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
RAM: 2X1 GB G.Skill DDR2-800
Power: PC Power & Cooling 512 watt (680 watt max).
Video: BFG Tech OC GeForce 8800GTS
Sound: Audigy 2 ZS
HDD's WD Raptor 74GB <-Primary OS drive
WD 250 GB SATA2 <-Data/Backup drive

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April 15, 2008 3:53:47 AM

Forgot to mention,

The version of Vista I am using includes Service Pack 1 already. Hope this helps, thanks!
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April 15, 2008 4:05:22 AM

Just an update, I tried CCleaner, still no go. = (
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April 15, 2008 4:39:56 AM

Below is my output from the event viewer, diagnostics, operational, hope it helps. Thanks!

BootTsVersion 2
BootStartTime 2008-04-15T04:15:28.624Z
BootEndTime 2008-04-15T04:18:19.268Z
SystemBootInstance 54
UserBootInstance 48
BootTime 87893
MainPathBootTime 70793
BootKernelInitTime 13
BootDriverInitTime 1815
BootDevicesInitTime 4953
BootPrefetchInitTime 25669
BootPrefetchBytes 343040000
BootAutoChkTime 0
BootSmssInitTime 6447
BootCriticalServicesInitTime 2699
BootUserProfileProcessingTime 605
BootMachineProfileProcessingTime 10
BootExplorerInitTime 4588
BootNumStartupApps 9
BootPostBootTime 17100
BootIsRebootAfterInstall false
BootRootCauseStepImprovementBits 0
BootRootCauseGradualImprovementBits 0
BootRootCauseStepDegradationBits 16
BootRootCauseGradualDegradationBits 0
BootIsDegradation false
BootIsStepDegradation false
BootIsGradualDegradation false
BootImprovementDelta 0
BootDegradationDelta 0
BootIsRootCauseIdentified true
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April 15, 2008 4:47:16 AM

Well, that narrows my ideas down to just about none unfortunately. If it were a driver issue then you should have been going through this from the start. There aren't many hardware or software issues that I know of which run on a three week clock. And if there have been no hardware or software changes then there also shouldn't have been any performance changes. If it were hardware then reinstalling the OS shouldn't fix the problem. Vista's registry tends to be pretty durable, and I can't imagine what could have happened which would have caused this. I can take a few more shots in the dark.

-Try running checkdisk (My Computer>(right click on the Raptor) Properties>Tools>Error-Checking)

-Narrow down the possible culprits, pull the 8800 and see what happens, (that board has integrated I assume?), do the same with your backup hard disk

-The trial version of Sisoft SANDRA has a whole suite of hardware diagnostics utilities. http://www.download.com/SiSoftware-Sandra/3000-2086_4-1...

-How well does she boot into safe mode? That would at least help us narrow down which software components can or cannot be causing the problem.

-Check your task scheduler ('task' in the start search), see if there's anything there which kicks in after a few weeks. I don't know of such a task but we may as well cover the bases.

-Run a virus/spyware sweep from safe mode using updated versions of: your Avast install, AVG Anti-Rootkit, Spybot, Defender and any other scanners you have access to. (probably not the problem and really time consuming so it's your call)

-Check the reliability and performance monitor ('perf' in start search), click on reliability monitor and see if you can find any changes (installs/uninstalls/windows updates) which occurred just prior to the problem.

I wish I could be more help, but I've been fixing Vista machines at work since it came out, and this is a first. But then I have yet to work on an SP1 version (also, are you running Vista 64 or 32?). I usually have a pretty good feel for these things, but only when I have the system in front of me. My best advice would be to keep reducing the possible causes.
Best of luck.
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April 15, 2008 5:00:28 AM

Okay, that event log narrows it down a bit. You postboot time is remarkably fast at 17 seconds (at least relative to my rig). It's the mainpath boot time that is almost three times as long as on my machine. Test it going into safe mode, if it's still slow in safe mode then there's probably something wrong with the OS itself. (As if that helps any...)

also, yours says:
BootRootCauseStepDegradationBits 16

whereas mine says 0

I wish I knew what that meant...
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April 15, 2008 5:10:34 AM

Kanati,

I will follow your advice and continue to narrow down culprits. I have ran CHKDSK /F and it found no issues. Go figure right?

Yes, this issue is quite elusive, and really a pain. Having to reinstall an o/s every 3-4 weeks is just insane. I am currently using the 32Bit version, and even with the plain jane version of Vista without SP1 I still had the same issues.

I made an image using acronis, I can always go back to that. I wouldnt say it's a bad image when on two other occasions using two different known good disks, the same issue occured.

I really don't want to give in and re-image, however event viewer, and other built in services are giving me no data.

Like you recommended, looks like it's narrowing down the culprits. Come to think of it, I did install skype about a week ago. I'll rip out all new programs just in case. I'll report back.

Once again, thanks!
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April 15, 2008 5:15:03 AM

Forgot to say, I have no onboard video. Neither do I have another card to test with. = (
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April 15, 2008 10:37:42 AM

Crimson - Check your Bios for devices you aren't using - i.e. disable the RAID controller if you're not actually using it.

Alsp - Control Panel => Performance Information and Tools => Advanced Tools. At the top may be a note in the Performance Issues.
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April 15, 2008 2:19:02 PM

Also try running the system health report in 'advance tools'
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April 16, 2008 4:37:39 AM

I've noticed the same symptoms. Mine takes about 40+ times of the loader bar going across. It's wild. And my system is about 3.5 months old. Vista Business 32 bit, Athlon x2 5200, 2 gb ddr2, 320 gb seagate sata hd, no onboard video. Nvidia chipset however. But mine used to load into windows in about 30 seconds. The bar would go across the screen about 3-4 times and be done. The correlation I'm seeing is it seemed to start after SP1. Hmm....
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April 16, 2008 5:16:18 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the great posts. So far, this is the scoop.

I had all raid/Ieee1394 etc.. devices disabled in bios.

I opened performance info and tools, then advanced, and found there was a message stating "Windows is starting slower due to these applications." I felt stupid, LOL.. how could I overlook this? LOL... happens to us all right?

Anyway, it says the following:
Tese startup programs are causing windows to start slowly.
name: Disk defragmenter NTFS
Filename: dfrgntfs.exe
publisher: MS
Date: 4/3/08 <- same event id everytime I boot till this day.
Time taken 34 seconds.

LOL... well i'm off to disable this, and I will report back... Thanks!

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April 16, 2008 5:38:13 PM

ohiou_grad_06

Thanks for the link, I just read it and will give it a shot. Thanks!
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April 16, 2008 5:44:17 PM

ohiou_grad_06,

Just tried deleting all items in the c:\windows\prefetch folder except the readyboot folder.

Worked like a charm, I'm back to three bars and boom the desktop! Problem fixed, I guess prefetch needs cleaning every once in awhile.

Thanks everyone for helping, it is greatly appreciated! Now I don't have to reinstall. Yay!
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April 16, 2008 6:00:24 PM

Glad it worked for you b/c it didn't seem to for me:(  Just ticks me off that it was so quick before but dropped off so much. I have been using windows about 10 years, maybe slightly more now. I kind of wonder though, though it worked much more quickly before SP1, my PSU is a cheapo, the one that came with the case. Got it for Christmas and just haven't had the $$ to upgrade yet. Kind of waiting until I get a new video card.


Like I said before though,

AMD Athlon x2 5200+
2gb ddr2 667
320gb seagate sata hd
DVD burner
onboard sound
7300LE video card
Cheap add in NIC card
Some case fans.


That's pretty much my setup. Voltages aren't maybe as high as i'd like but certainly appear to be in the allowable range.

Just wonder why so much slower. Could it have something to do with the Nvidia chipset?

Here's the mobo I have....


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 21, 2008 2:34:51 AM

Glad to hear the problem was fixed. I never would have thought of that, but as they say, there's always someone who knows more :) 

ohiou_grad_06:

My first recommendation would be to go over all the tips posted earlier in this thread. We covered a lot of possibilities trying to solve crimson's problem, so your fix might already be there. If none of that works you'd be best starting your own thread.
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April 21, 2008 5:19:55 PM

Yeah, since I'm a tech, my boss is going to let me borrow a 500gb external drive, I'm just back all my stuff up on there and nuke the c: drive. I have been messing with it and can't seem to get things resolved. Once it's up, it's fine, but starting up....man!!! It's like 40-45 times that bar passes across the screen. I think part of the issue is that one time I was away, and we had a power surge or something. I got back, and I think it had actually blue screened, or did so when I went to restart. I kind of suspect that even though the system was able to recover enough to where it runs, that maybe some of the driver or system files could be corrupted somewhere. I've got the full SP1 update on my flash drive, so I'm gonna back everything up, clean install, install SP1, do any additional updates, and hopefully that will solve it. I'm pretty sure it's not a hardware issue. So we'll see what happens.
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April 22, 2008 4:53:24 PM

Finally finished last night, loading time down to 5-7 bars after SP1 was installed, which I can live with. Now to create a restore point in case it happens again. In any case, my drive is partitioned now so I won't worry about data loss if I need to reinstall again.
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December 6, 2010 2:15:00 AM

Nice post on a thread dead since April 2008. Tuneup360 is lame.
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