Windows

Video: Diagnose slow Windows 7 boot with Event Viewer

Bill Detwiler shows you how to use the Windows 7 Event Viewer to track down potential causes of long boot times.

Microsoft developers did a lot of work to make Windows 7 boot more quickly than previous versions. But, there are still issues that can make your computer boot more slowly than it should. During this week's episode of TR Dojo, I show you how to use the Windows 7 Event Viewer to track down potential causes of long boot times.

For those who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or check out Greg Shultz's article, "Use Windows 7 Event Viewer to track down issues that cause slower boot times."

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

13 comments
oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Windows-3.x would scream in 32M of Ram with a 100MHz processor and a 40M HDD. As the technology grows in speed, performance and throughput, the load placed on it by software makers grows similarly, so it has been taking 1-5 min for a PC to boot, literally for decades. For a short time, SSDs probably will decrease boot times, but soon new "needs" will arise that bring boot times back to where they are now. As SSDs with uSec access times make the process faster, I expect there will be more things to do at boot time, evolving over time, and the boot time will remain about the same, in the 1-5 minute range; the PC will just be doing MUCH more during boot. Look back from today - in 1980 who could have conceived of anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, firewall, internet security and other features we just take for granted? If that machine had needed to load all of those things, boot times would have been in hours instead of minutes. No one would tolerate that. But as speed and performance improved, and the world changed, more things became absolute necessities for everyone's computers. The boot times remained about the same, even though the speed and performance of hardware has grown many thousand-fold. SSD could improve HDD throughput many thousand-fold, but I believe that will simply mean that thousands of times as much data will be accessed or loaded from them during the boot process, leaving the real-time of the boot event about the same

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Bill, I certainly appreciate all your video presentations. However, I would also like to retain a text copy for reference purposes in case it helps me to solve a problem. I would appreciate it if you could make your video presentations available in a .PDF format for others who I'm sure would like to do the same. Again, thanks for all your hard work, research, and caring for all of us. -- Lee

audio.inc
audio.inc

The procedure is quite involved but should help to resolve many issues; I'm at present running Windows 7 64 Bit on an SSD, the OS can run slowly on boot up with the presence of spyware.

tewany
tewany

I do enjoy the videos you put. it is a great knowledge base. thank you. i also love the outtakes you do at the end.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I don't know anyone who enjoys waiting for their computer to boot. And in a world of instant-on smartphones and tablets, waiting for your desktop or laptop has grown even more annoying. Luckily, technology, like solid state drives (SSDs), is making "instant-on" laptops and desktops a reality. In this week's TR Dojo episode, I show you how to use the Windows 7 Event Viewer to track down potential causes of long boot times, such as drivers and services failing or taking longer to load than normal. But, will tweaking boot times eventually become a thing of the past? A relic of a day before SSDs? Take the poll and let me know. Original post and poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=2252

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Our current video player uses Flash. We'll soon be moving to a player that can handle both Flash and HTML5, but for now, you'll have a Flash player installed. Also make sure that you're not blocking TechRepublic, ZDNet, or BNET content using a Firefox add-on like NoScript or AdBlock.

javierrosado
javierrosado

Interesting and I totally agree. However for those systems with higher boot times, Bill's suggested method is very good for those techies that love to find the root of problems before attempting anything (I am one of them). Other times, when more in a hurry or when by experience you can smell the problem since the phone call was placed, usual anti-malware, msconfig, and maintenance tools are irreplaceable or usually faster.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Lee, Thanks for the note. Have you tried the transcript link--located beneath the video player window? When you click it, a pop-up window should appear with the full text of the video. (It's basically a copy of my script.) You should be able to copy and paste the text from the pop-up windows into any word processing program you like.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

You also forgot crapware. All that crap that the PC manufacturers dump on when you buy a PC or after. In an example, recent HP multi-function printers load a crap load of services and software. Are they all really needed? You also have all those updaters [are they all necessary?]. Windows/Microsoft Update is needed but crap like Google Notifier, HP or Dell's software updater [especially if the system is now unsupported], Apple's updater, etc. All these are running services. Even DivX's software wants to run every time.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I'm glad you find the our TR Dojo episodes helpful and enjoy the outtakes. Thanks, Bill

nbsc
nbsc

I built a new Win7 system using an Intel SSD for my Boot disk, & two 500gig WDHDs (in Raid 1 array) for programs & data. The SSD does increase Boot Times greatly, & configuring the data on a separate drive helps to keep the relatively small capacity SSD lean & mean, not to mention easier to manage or reinstall the Win7 OS if necessary. So while the SSD does speed up boots, some consideration should be given to the rest of your system as well. Adequate ram, minimal start-ups at Boot, active processes, & even processor speed, all have their place in the start time required. My cold Boot-up times have remained the same since I built the system (with no noticeable degradation), which is about 50 seconds. Returning from a sleep state is 6 seconds (probably due more to the monitor than to the system. This ?TR Dojo episode? is one of the best that you have done, & offered enough detail to understand how to utilize a some-what hidden MS tool so that you can maintain that speed, or locate the underlying problem. Fast = Good; Faster = Better! jim jmk-nbsc

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Bill, No, I failed to see the "Transcript Link" directly below the video player window. What more can I say other than "Duh!" I'm sorry for the oversight but I do appreciate your help and your patience. Thanks so much for all that you do for all of us. I hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas! --- Lee