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Author Topic: Software to monitor computer start-up?  (Read 5501 times)

cyberdiva

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Software to monitor computer start-up?
« on: March 29, 2009, 02:31:43 PM »
I've become increasingly frustrated over the amount of time my computer takes to boot up.  Today, it took approximately 3 1/2 minutes.  It's a 3-year-old Dell Optiplex GX 620 desktop running Windows XP Pro with a 3.20 GHz Pentium 4 processor, 1 GB RAM, well over 100 GB of free hard drive space, etc.

I do have some carefully considered programs that load at startup, but not an excessive number.  I know what they are, and both WinPatrol Plus and The Ultimate Troubleshooter help me keep the number in check.  But does anyone know of a program that can monitor what happens at startup--i.e., software that will tell me how long each program takes to load?  I'd like to have a better idea of why things have slowed down.  (I should add that I do very frequent scans for viruses and other malware; my computer does not currently need defragging; my registry is in good shape.) 

Thanks in advance for your help.

rgdot

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 02:53:59 PM »
I have not used it but BootVis might be helpful.
I know of and have usedStartup Delayer but that may only help in finding culprits, not necessarily give you a benchmark or time for each application


Shades

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 03:59:11 PM »
The more technical (but free) option is to run AutoRuns.exe from the SysInternals Suite (available through Microsoft's Technet).

It will show you what (amount of) applications is started during boot. A simple enabling/disabling of a checkbox will result in the software being enabled/disabled during the next startup from your PC. For me the whole suite is a treasure like  a chest filled with 24 karat gold coins, but this tool and Process Explorer would be the diamonds.

ehh, arrrr?

;)

cyberdiva

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 04:22:40 PM »
I have not used it but BootVis might be helpful.
I know of and have usedStartup Delayer but that may only help in finding culprits, not necessarily give you a benchmark or time for each application
Thanks very much for your response!  I'm especially interested in trying BootVis.  It sounds like the sort of thing I'm looking for--something that will analyze my boot process and identify the programs that are taking the most time.

Startup Delayer looks less interesting.  If I read the description correctly, it does much the same thing that WinPatrol Plus does--it can set delayed startups.  I haven't found that to be all that useful (I've tried it with WinPatrol Plus).  But BootVis looks very promising.

cyberdiva

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 04:26:38 PM »
cyberdiva,

Would any of these other DC threads help?

Thanks.  I appreciate your response, but I'm already familiar with most of those threads (though not all).  For the most part, they offer information about delaying some programs from starting at startup.  I've already tried that for one or two via WinPatrol Plus's Delayed Startup feature.  It's helpful, but it doesn't really cut down on my bootup time.  I guess I should have made it clearer that I'd already tried this strategy.

cyberdiva

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 04:32:40 PM »
The more technical (but free) option is to run AutoRuns.exe from the SysInternals Suite (available through Microsoft's Technet).

It will show you what (amount of) applications is started during boot. A simple enabling/disabling of a checkbox will result in the software being enabled/disabled during the next startup from your PC. For me the whole suite is a treasure like  a chest filled with 24 karat gold coins, but this tool and Process Explorer would be the diamonds.

Thanks very much.  I think I'll have to take another look at AutoRuns.  I remember using it once and being surprised at how many processes it revealed as starting at startup, but at the time I don't think I looked carefully enough at what else I could learn from it.  Sounds as if it's definitely worth another look.  And some of the others in the suite as well.

Again, many thanks!

MilesAhead

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 04:45:48 PM »
When you say you have over 100GB free drive space, what % is that of the total size of the drive?

One simple thing that may help is running defrag with the -b switch to defrag boot files.

Or you can use TuneXP.  It's a nice little tweaker.  Afa defrag goes, I've gotten in the habit of keeping my drive usage below %30 and running frequent quick defrags using Auslogics defrag mostly.  Once every few months I do the defrag -b as I mentioned.

Also you may want to turn on boot logging and see what's happening during startup.  You may find the system is trying to load drivers for stuff no longer installed.  I got this problem when I uninstalled Norton Internet Protection instead of using the removal tool.  Boot log showed multiple attempts to load the Norton drivers even though the program was no longer there.

PhilB66

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 06:17:44 PM »
Boot Log XP. Not free but you could download a fully functional 30-day trial version.

cyberdiva

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 07:13:22 PM »
I have not used it but BootVis might be helpful.
Well, I downloaded a copy and installed it, and then I went on the web to find out how to use it.  I found people who said it was somewhat helpful, but also a disconcerting number of people who had their computers messed up after running BootVis.  Coward that I am, I think I'll err on the side of caution and not use it. 

cyberdiva

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 07:41:24 PM »
When you say you have over 100GB free drive space, what % is that of the total size of the drive?

One simple thing that may help is running defrag with the -b switch to defrag boot files.

Or you can use TuneXP.  It's a nice little tweaker.  Afa defrag goes, I've gotten in the habit of keeping my drive usage below %30 and running frequent quick defrags using Auslogics defrag mostly.  Once every few months I do the defrag -b as I mentioned.
Thanks very much for your response.  The 100+ GB of free space represents about 65% or so of the total hard drive space. 

As for defragging, I haven't used the defrag -b, but I did defrag not all that long ago, and today when I checked, I was told that the computer did not need to be defragged again at this time.  Still, I might try defrag -b, and/or I might try TuneXP.  I very much appreciate these suggestions.

cyberdiva

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2009, 07:42:54 PM »
Boot Log XP. Not free but you could download a fully functional 30-day trial version.
Thanks very much.  This is just the sort of information I was looking for.  I'll probably give it a try. 

MilesAhead

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Re: Software to monitor computer start-up?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2009, 10:12:58 PM »
There also may be a setting in msconfig to log the bootup. It only shows driver loads.  But if you are trying to load drivers that don't exist it can really slow things down as the system goes on a hunt for every nonexistent .sys file.

If there is the setting the created file should be named "ntbootlog.txt" in the Windows folder after the next boot.