Windows 7 slow to boot

Posted on 2013-01-04
Last Modified: 2013-01-08
We have a W7 IBM T520 laptop that is exceptionally slow to boot.  It has 8 gig of RAM, 500 gig harddrive.   All of our laptops are imaged using Acronis so we have a standard setup.  There is some customization after the basic image is dropped.  PGP Whole disk encryption is also installed on this laptop (which is standard across the board).  Entering the PGP passphrase and then the Windows login is no problem, but after the Windows login, it "hourglasses" for about 1 to 2 minutes and then suddenly shows all the icons on the desktop.  Then it "hourglasses" again for about 3 minutes and then slowly, one by one, "redraws" each desktop icon.    I am familiar with PROC MON, but will it capture for me what is going on at the very beginning?  I was hoping there were other options to try before wading through the millions of entries of Process Monitor.  I have reviewed this pc's msconfig and startup items, nothing out of the ordinary and disabling things does not really improve it.  Thanks in advance for any  help given.
Question by:MJNotesUser
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Accepted Solution

Thomas Grassi earned 500 total points
ID: 38743657
what happens when you boot in safe mode? safe mode with networking?

Then I would run msconfig
under services hide all microsoft services then disable all others.

Under startup disable all

Sounds like a strtup program is not happy.

This will help narrow down the issue.

Expert Comment

ID: 38743659

These folks found a bad driver.  Perhaps check out this blurb and see if it helps you.

Author Comment

ID: 38744914
Thank you both, but I've been through all the safe mode and eliminating things in msconfig and looking for driver updates.  His pc is only two months old, so it's fairly clean in what is installed on it.  Nothing that I loaded or unloaded made a difference.  I spent hours on this, days even.  I guess if I had a clue as to what might cause W7 desktop to "redraw" the icons already loaded, that might lead me in the right direction.   I need to understand more about the display and Aero and whether or not these might be concerns?
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Expert Comment

ID: 38745013
have you logged in as multiple users to ensure that this is across the board and is not a corrupt user profie?  All of your other laptops have encryption on them as well and they do not behave in such a way?  Encryption does slow things down a bit....
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Expert Comment

ID: 38746341
check if your disk is running in DMA, not PIO mode :

Author Comment

ID: 38752366
I have not logged in as another user -  the same softwares would not be setup as another user on this pc, so that would not really tell me if it was the user profile that is correct or if it was a software that was loading.  I just tested this on my pc to make sure, so if I am misunderstand this, please advise.   It is possible that it is a corrupt user profile, but we just setup this pc for him after this issue appeared on his prior was not on the new one, and then appeared, so it may be something this person is installing (but I don't see it).  Doesn't his user profile have to be the same as his login name?  If that is the case, then how can I create a new profile and user the same login - this would cause issues as some softwares on this pc are name specific.   I do not believe it is a harddrive issue as we have Diskkeeper software on the pc's, which tell us if there are any disk issues going on.....someone pointed out to me that making sure all items in MSCONFIG are checked as this can slow down the bootup process if you uncheck something that a software is looking for.  What are you thoughts on this?  Seems to be the opposite of what I have learned all these years.....
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Expert Comment

ID: 38753685
in 2 steps : you rename the old profile to old user
then create one with correct user
disabling all from msconfig will disable all the unticked items at startup, so the startup maybe a bit faster; but that time is lost when you launch the program (but it is not noticeable to me)

Author Comment

ID: 38756301
I went back to the solution provided by  trgrassijr55 and decided to unload all services and startup items again.  This time, I decided to use my stopwatch on my droid to track my results.  This is what I came up with:

I did the following tests, all recorded after the Windows login in order to get benchmarks of a bare-bones pc as compared to a fully-loaded (software-wise) pc.  

Fully-loaded boot: all services and startup loading: 3 mts 15 secs
Bare-bones boot: no servcies and startup loading: 1 mts 35 seconds

Enabling all services but no startup items: 2 minutes and 9 seconds (35 seconds more than the bare-bones boot, which is excellent considering all the services that are loading - about 50 and this does not include Microsoft services loading on your pc)

Enabled only the 3 Adobe items in Startup. This took 2 minutes 45 seconds and there was the "hourglass" afterwards which seems to "re-draw" the icons on your desktop after they load the first time.

Enabled all Startup items except the 3 Adobe items. At 2 minutes, all was loaded except the PGP Shredder. At 2 minutes 11 seconds, the PGP Shredder loaded.

So removing the 3 adobe items caused the pc to go from booting at 3 minutes, 15 seconds to 2 minutes 11 seconds with no "re-draw". I am going to investigate what will be affected with Adobe if we do not load these items at startup.  The following Adobe startup items were:  

ADobe Reader & Acrobat Manager
Adobe Acrobat
Acro-Tray - Adobe Acrobat Distiller

Adobe still functions on the pc, so I"m not sure of the benefit of these 3 items in startup.  
Thanks trgrassijr55 for your help!

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