Desktop loading is delayed

ddantes
ddantes used Ask the Experts™
on
Running Windows 7 Professional SP-1 32-bit.  For the past year or so, after reboot, there is a 90-second delay before the desktop appears.  Meanwhile, there is a white screen with visible cursor.   My system configuration and applications change frequently, and I can't specify what may have changed immediately before this behavior started.  I'd appreciate some guidance on identifying/rectifying the issue.

The system runs Norton Security and MalwareBytes, and I don't believe there is any infection.
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Are you on a domain?  If so, there are a number of possibilities.

When you have the white (?) screen with cursor, what is the hard drive light doing?  If blinking, is it mostly on or off?

I'd check for drives/devices in File Explorer that are no longer present.  Windows may be stuck trying to find them.

I'd also try booting in Safe Mode to see if it is quick or not.  If it speeds up, there are things to do to troubleshoot from there.

Author

Commented:
Thank you.  I am not on a domain, but my office machines are on a workgroup.  There are no drives or devices which are not present.  The HDD LED is dark for the 90 seconds, except a very occasional momentary flicker.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
 For the past year or so, after reboot,   <-- A LOT has happened in a year.

1. Run Windows Update, make sure fully up to date (there were updates this week).

2. Run SFC /SCANNOW from an Administrative Command prompt.

3. If both things fail to resolve the situation, run a Windows 7 Repair Install. Use this tutorial below.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
Ensure you’re charging the right price for your IT

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
The HDD LED is dark for the 90 seconds   <-- Also run the Disk Manufacturer's hard drive test.

Author

Commented:
Thank you.  In my initial question, I should have posted all the steps I have tried.  I have run the manufacturer's disc check tool, run SFC /scannow, and done an in-place upgrade.  I also ran a registry cleaner.  Unfortunately, the behavior is unchanged.  Windows Update has failed on this system since late in 2015.  I spent a week (literally) trying to resolve that, having posted two questions on EE at the time, and I have abandoned the pursuit of a solution.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Registry cleaners can be death to a system, so this may be one cause.

Windows Update has failed on this system since late in 2015.

Best solution for this length of time is WSUS Offline Updater. I have used this on old machines and it works.

http://download.wsusoffline.net/

Author

Commented:
I'm very interested in seeing if this will work.  When I click "Download", the "Donate" button flashes, and there is no download.  The home page says that donations are appreciated, but not required.  I'd be inclined to donate if the product helps me, but not necessarily ahead of time.  Am I missing something about how to download this application?
Where are you seeing the Donate button?

Did you try Safe Mode?

Author

Commented:
The Donate button is on the WSUS web page (screen shot attached).
The white screen happens in Safe Mode.Donate button
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You can download WSUS Offline and use it. Donate only if you wish.
It may not be obvious, but you click on the "19.03.2017" to download.

Author

Commented:
Got it.  I'll make a disc image, then apply the offline Windows Update utility, and post again.  May not be until tomorrow...
RaminTechnical Advisor
Commented:
I suggest you to uninstall all your Antivirus and Internet security programs ( Norton and MalwareBytes ) and test your system, then reinstall them but only set one of them to run in real-time protection. also disable Windows Defender.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Windows Defender on my machines here does not interfere with updates. I agree that I would uninstall or disable Norton (Consumer) and Malwarebytes.
RaminTechnical Advisor

Commented:
Also run MSConfig  -> Startup, and uncheck some unwanted programs to stop running in Windows startup to speed up your system.

Check and see if new drivers has released by Official Website of your Computer Manufacturer
Run Disk Cleanup
Run Disk Defragmenter
Create a new User Account with admin rights,  switch into it and retest,
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
Commented:
I'd suspect something at Startup is trying to do something and is timing out.

I'd note CompProvSolv's first post about missing devices/drives and check for those.

Ramin's previous post about using MSConfig is nice but it doesn't list all of the possible places.  Look at Bleeping Computer's list https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/windows-program-automatic-startup-locations/ of possible places to check as well.

Author

Commented:
Thanks to all for comments.  I'll turn off Norton and MalWare Bytes before installing Windows Updates.   The disk has been defragmented.  I'll post again afterwards.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
2 years of updates are needed and that is the first place to start before the other suggestions.

Author

Commented:
Roger that.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Though I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestions "Ramin" made to this question, I wouldn't be uninstalling Norton or Malwarebytes.

The same test results can be accomplished by just temporarily disabling them to load at startup and if that solves the problem, re-enable them one by one to see which is causing the problem.  

I would most certainly disable Windows Defender.

I've dealt with a lot of system slow down issues during my career of providing Windows Support and have frequently found Norton products to be the culprit. Not once has Malwarebytes been a cause of such problems in my experience, but it's certainly not beyond the realms of possibility as all products are constantly being updated.

Just my 2c :)

Best...

Author

Commented:
WSUS appears to have downloaded and installed hundreds of Windows Updates (from 2015 to present).   This was done with Norton Security Auto-Protect disabled, and Windows Defender turned off.  I did make a contribution through the WSUS site, since this application resolved an issue which was stuck for almost two years.

 I'm glad to have a way to work around the failure of the usual Windows Update process.  I'm also a little apprehensive, because my past experience with Windows Updates is not entirely favorable.  Sometimes an update resulted in unwanted quirks, such as the desktop not refreshing, or error messages that a file cannot be found after it is moved or renamed.  Time will tell...

The updates did not affect the white screen/delay in loading the desktop.  However, I do have an additional observation which may narrow down the issue.  Once the logon screen appears, if I wait 90 seconds to type my password, the desktop loads instantly.  Apparently, the 90-second delay is exhausted  during the time that the logon screen appears, unless I log on immediately.  Hope that new information will be useful.
RaminTechnical Advisor

Commented:
if I wait 90 seconds to type my password, the desktop loads instantly

It seems that you have a lot of programs which run during startup.

I still insist on uninstalling those two Antivirus not disabling.
Also uninstall the Display Driver and reinstall it.
click on start type Shell:startup and Hit Enter.
delete whatever is there.

Troubleshoot what program is the cause of startup speed.
Run Msconfig and select "Startup" Tab, Disable all, apply, Ok.  restart and check the speed, if startup speed was okay try to reselect them one by one. then restart to see it's effect.
Select Services Tab also and tick the checkbox  of "Hide all Microsoft Services", Disable all, restart and do the same you did for startup Items.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
it can also be trying to connect to an external drive - or network
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Make sure that you have only ONE antivirus running. Malwarebytes can be turned off unless you wish to use it. Norton Consumer should disable Defender.

Then look to see if any processes are trying to start network activity such as logging on to another computer. Persistent drive mappings can cause this. Search for unattached printers can cause this.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
@John Hurst

Hi John,

I'm curious, have you ever looked into or tried Malwarebytes?

It doesn't claim to be an Antivirus. Here's a definition of it's intentions found with a simple google search.

Malwarebytes is not meant to be a replacement for antivirus software. Malwarebytes is a complementary but essential program which detects and removes zero-day malware and "Malware in the Wild"

Just wondering why you're referring to it as an Antivirus when clearly it doesn't even advertise itself as one.

Cheers..
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I only use Malwarebytes as a cleanup tool on client machines. I do not use as a running antivirus app. The free one does not run in real time. I just wanted to make sure the paid tool (which can run in real time) was not loaded along with Norton Consumer.

Author

Commented:
Thanks to everyone for comments.  There are mapped network drives which are reconnected at startup, and many startup applications.  But that has been so for more than ten years, and the white screen/delay didn't start until relatively recently.

I'd like to take some time to work with MSConfig, as specified in one of the comments, and then post again...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Perhaps do this re: Networking and Printers -

1. Open Command.com and then NET USE T: /Delete for all mapped drives T:
2. Remove any printers no longer used.

Shut down, start up and test again.

3. Make sure from Windows Updates that .NET Framework is up to date. V4.6 or greater. This is part of many apps now.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
yes - but if one of the mapped drives - or connections starts to fail - that is precisely what will happen

Author

Commented:
I disabled all non-Microsoft services, and all startup applications with MSConfig, and ran net use /delete *   but the issue persists.  I attached a couple of items relating to boot performance diagnostics...Event logBoot-Performance.txt
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
It may be now that you may need to back up the system and do a fresh install. My own Windows 7 system does not do this and our client systems do not do this either.
RaminTechnical Advisor

Commented:
Uninstall and Reinstall Display Driver.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
We have done this at a number of clients to fix issues. In our experience, the display driver does not cause this issue. If it does in some cases, I am not aware.

Author

Commented:
I certainly appreciate all Expert's interest!  That said, it's a little difficult to perform every step advocated by everyone.  If someone has a particular insight, based on the information I posted in my previous comment, I'm open to trying it.  Otherwise, I believe I will just live with the issue.  An in-place Windows upgrade did not remedy this, and I'm not willing to reinstall all my applications and re-configure the system after a fresh install.
Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
If your system is fine after the 90-second delay, then living with it until you need to reinstall is probably OK,

Author

Commented:
Thanks again to everyone.  Hope I didn't overlook crediting anyone's assisted solution.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You are very welcome and I was happy assist along with the other folk here.
Durga Charan OjhaSr. System Administrator

Commented:
Can check the startup items .. type msconfig on run windows and then go to startup tab and uncheck those application not required when machine is starting...

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial