Slow boot Win7

I'm on a WIN7/64/Pro Dell 980 Optiplex. Machine is five years old. As you would expect, the boot performance has degraded. I have: removed from startup all but three programs. I regularly scan for malware. I weekly use CCleaner to get rid of the junk. I do not play games; this is in effect a workstation. I'm on a two-machine workgroup. I have run sfc /scannow and chkdsk regularly. Last week I upped my RAM from 4 to GB. I updated all drivers, including chipset.

I set up in Admin events both boot time and boot diagnostics. My boot times range from a high of 3+minutes to a low of 40 seconds. After I make any changes to the computer -- install, uninstall, updates, any major change, I'm up in the 3 minute range. I have a clunky workaround to get it back down to 30-40 seconds: 1. Run CCleaner. 2. Run the onboard defrag. 3. Using task manager, I delete iconcache.db, then restart.

When it boots slow, I get two long periods of a black screen and the welcome screen, which I have set for five seconds in the registry, takes 30+seconds, then black screen, then slow the screen begins to paint and the icons fill in.

I think the next step is to try the Windows Performance Tools Kit. http://www.msfn.org

/board/topic/140262-how-to-speed-up-boot-process-under-windows-vista-or-windows-7/

1. Does this really work?
2. One set of instructions calls for net framework 3.51 SP1 to be installed. I have net framework 4.5. Will WPTK work on Win7 with net 4.5?

Final thought, I have a Matrox Graphics card that is six years old. Driver is up to date, but the technology of the card is not. Would a new card with 1GB onboard improve boot times?
normanmlAsked:
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Carlos IjalbaIT Systems DirectorCommented:
The biggest improvement in boot times in our days will be given by a SSD hard disk, we're talking bringing times down from 2-4 minutes down to 10 seconds. And all you need is to spend 75€ in a 128GB SSD as a boot device, and use your existing disk as a data volume.

The graphics card won't affect boot times at all.

In any case, I would also go into hardware checking software (you might have a good suite on the BIOS itself) and run a full test in case you have faulty HD or Memory.

But invest in a SSD HD, you will be amazed of the difference, a lot more than putting more RAM or changing the CPU.
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dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
>>  Would a new card with 1GB onboard improve boot times?

Unlikely.

Run the Aaron Stebner verification tool http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2008/10/13/8999004.aspx  This will tell you what versions of .NET you have on your computer.  It is possible you have 3.51 already.

If you really want fast booting consider installing a SSD drive.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
A full boot (everything running and disk activity essentially stopped) will take 4 to 5 minutes on any laptop with a hard drive and any operating system. But you should see a proper desktop in 2 minutes or less.

then slow the screen begins to paint and the icons fill in.

With what you said you have done, run Disk Cleanup and select most suggestions for deletion. Then run Windows Disk Defrag. Then restart and test. Make sure indexing is complete.

I have a 5 year old Windows 7 laptop as a spare and when I start it, it shows a complete desktop in just under 2 minutes. It takes 4 to 5 minutes (update checks, indexing, A/V update) to be speedily smooth. The machine is 64-bit and has 8 GB of memory.
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Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
A new ssd will increase boot times, if not sometimes you have to zero the disk n start over
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nobusCommented:
>>  When it boots slow, I get two long periods of a black screen   <<   test if it has these also when NOT connected to lan
also - update all the drivers for the motherboard
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
I think if you factor in the time you spend nursing this system along, you can easily justify the cost of an SSD.

Out of interest, how did you set up the event tracking for the boot times, please?
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
normanml - many thanks for that.  got a couple of machines to tweak, and some hard stats on what makes a difference will be very handy.
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nobusCommented:
what about my post?
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normanmlAuthor Commented:
Disconnected from Network, no measurable difference. Ran disscanner16 overnight and HD was fine.  Dan's comment about nursing the system along or getting an SSD are well taken. John's comments about his boot times were a good benchmark for me. I can get the boot time -- switch-on to desktop painted -- to 34-40 seconds, but I have to follow this routine: CCleaner to get rid of the junk, then disk defrag, then delete the iconcache.db file by using taksmanager to kill and restart explorer exe and to del iconchache in between, then restart.

I'm looking into the SSD now. In the meantime, I've written a bat file that defrags and shuts down, and and am in the process of trying to write a file that will start and stop explorer.exe and delete iconcache in between. So my routine would be run CCleaner (which can not be done in batch unattended), run a bat that defrags and lines to it that will run iconcache.db routine then shut down.

Will have to do this after every update install or other major change to machine.
Thanks to all.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@normanml  - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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