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Author Topic: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?  (Read 5755 times)

barney

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How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« on: April 06, 2010, 07:14:54 AM »
While I was waiting on coffee to finish this morning, I happened upon a question - apparently a much-asked one - that intrigued me, "How do I tell when my system has finished its start up?"

The response was so inane that I had to search to see what other answers might be available.  This question goes all the way back to Win95  ;), and the answers I saw, some of them, were amazing.  Now, while these were mostly Windows-related, the question applies to any OS, I'd warrant.

So that got me to thinking.  How do I know when my system is ready for use?  Never really thought about it before.  Turns out, after a bit of cogitation, that I check the system tray [notification area?] for an icon count in Windows, and something very similar in Linux.  I used to look at CPU activity, but that's not so reliable as once it was.

Now I'm curious.  How do DCers decide when their system is ready for use.  Or, more properly, how do you know when your start up process is finished? When initialization is complete and the system is as idle as it is going to be?

40hz

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 07:38:45 AM »
I suppose it all depends on what we individually consider "fully booted" and "ready" to mean. There are formal definitions. And with something like Linux or BSD, it's a bigger question because you can also control which runlevel you want to 'boot' into. ;)

When running Windows however, it's nothing too 'scientific' for me.

I'll usually just wait for drive and network activity to settle down after the system tray is fully populated.

I used to only wait for the tray. But today, with all those automatic update utilities running in the background, drive and net activity is likely to be a better indication of when your machine is fully booted.

At least by my definition. 8)

----------

ADDENDUM: The time it takes me to get  a cup of coffee :-* after hitting the 'on' switch is also a pretty reliable indicator.  :Thmbsup:


« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 07:49:34 AM by 40hz »

cranioscopical

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 07:52:24 AM »
Quote
"How do I tell when my system has finished its start up?"

You might like Skrommel's IdleRun.

app103

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 08:07:08 AM »
My old computer is pretty noisy, so it's easy to tell...it's ready when it quiets down. In order to know when that is without getting anywhere near it, I timed it with a stopwatch and selected a startup wav about equal in length to the average startup time...a full song almost 6 minutes long.  :D

On the newer computer, I use my Lacuna Launcher application to space out the stuff that loads at startup, which means when the last app on the list loads, it's ready to go. That would happen to be my IRC client, which automatically puts me into the DC IRC channel when it loads.

barney

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2010, 08:45:45 AM »
Hm-m-m.  Didn't think to search the topic here.  Seems as though the favorite timing method on the IdleRun thread is a beverage  ;D.

Not certain that would work for me.  As often as I reboot, I'd end up jittery (coffee), fat (soft drinks), or drunk (beer or other alcohol)  ;).


Innuendo

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2010, 09:26:07 AM »
I usually just wait for the hard drives to stop churning and settle down. That's how I know it's fully booted.

I wasn't aware there was any other way to tell. :)

Darwin

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2010, 12:07:43 PM »
When my foot is stuck in the monitor?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

JavaJones

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 12:23:31 PM »
I just start doing stuff. As soon as the windows and apps I opened actually open, then it's ready. ;)

- Oshyan

Darwin

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2010, 12:39:45 PM »
Alright, smart-aleck remarks aside, I have two ways of reckoning whether or not my OS is booted:

1. When all apps in my startup folder are running
2. When I can interact with my computer

Starting with Vista, but magnified significantly with 7, #2 is achieved surprisingly quickly following the appearance of the desktop. Windows 7 REALLY shines in that number 1 is achieved quite quickly after that.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

techidave

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 03:27:12 PM »
When my foot is stuck in the monitor?


 :greenclp: :greenclp: :lol: :lol: :lol:;D

Steven Avery

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 03:41:10 PM »
Hi Folks,

Actually I would like an app that quickly checks if "everything" loaded... sometimes it seems an app, even a security app does not load, and I may miss it.  I would put this other app on 15 minute delay and it would check if A-B-C are running.

Shalom,
Steven

Innuendo

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 10:14:03 PM »
Starting with Vista, but magnified significantly with 7, #2 is achieved surprisingly quickly following the appearance of the desktop. Windows 7 REALLY shines in that number 1 is achieved quite quickly after that.

I have been experimenting with hibernation & Windows 7 with my newly built PC. Everything fires up in 2 or 3 seconds with no wait time. I love it.  :-*

Darwin

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 10:29:58 PM »
Reading my post quoted in Innuendo's post above, I feel it rather unfortunate that I chose to refer to the booting scenarios as being either #1 or #2. It was silly of me and I apologize.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

bgd77

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 02:54:32 AM »
On my computer, many programs start automatically, so it can take a lot of time until the OS is ready to be used. If I do not wait, even if everything appears to be normal, the computer works very hard, it opens the Start menu or another application after a log time, very slowly.

So I use Process Explorer to see when everything is OK. It autostarts at boot and I look at what it displays. Usually, even if it appears that all programs are started and that the OS is ok, PE still indicates a lot of activity. The parameters I monitor are CPU activity and I/O Bytes. When they get close to 0 for a few seconds it usually means that the OS and the applications have done their startup activities and I am able to use the PC.

barney

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2010, 09:25:36 AM »
Hm-m-m ... no one seems concerned about when the autostart apps are finished..  Granted, I don't wait, either, but some of the apps I autostart are for security purposes, and are not truly functional until they have finished starting - ?!? - and thus are not functional when interactive usage is implemented.

Considering how rapidly interactiveness is available with Win7, and considering some of the responses here, I'm starting to wonder if that could become an issue.  As an example, I have SyncBackSE starting on boot to synchronize a local drive/directory with a NAS partition/directory.  With XP, I can be reasonably certain SyncBack is finished before I can effectively use the system.  That may not be the case with Win7, 'specially with a 64-bit CPU - ??? - so looks like a return to experimentation  & stopwatch[es] is in order  :o.

Even then, not certain I can ascertain whether a process has completed initialization, or just see that it is running - not the same thing at all, unfortunately:  had my nose rubbed in that fact back in the Visual Basic days  ;D.

MerleOne

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2010, 07:58:17 AM »
I personnaly use Startup Delayer from R2 Systems, a nice freeware.  I delay all possible application launch (whenever possible) and when SD has finished launching the last app, I consider it done, even if my AV might be updating in background, as well as Windows Update...
.merle1.

Darwin

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2010, 08:35:00 AM »
Hm-m-m ... no one seems concerned about when the autostart apps are finished..  Granted, I don't wait, either, but some of the apps I autostart are for security purposes, and are not truly functional until they have finished starting - ?!? - and thus are not functional when interactive usage is implemented.

That's my "rule #1", above... I just didn't word it very well  :-[

1. When all apps in my startup folder are running

EDIT: FWIW, I use Winpatrol's Delay start feature as well, though I only use it for applications that conflict with others as they load. Currently, there are only two apps managed by WP: Feeddemon and VueMinder Calendar Pro. They've both been updated since they were "sent" there, so any conflicts may be a thing of the past...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 08:37:12 AM by Darwin »

app103

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2010, 09:10:38 AM »
Hm-m-m ... no one seems concerned about when the autostart apps are finished..  Granted, I don't wait, either, but some of the apps I autostart are for security purposes, and are not truly functional until they have finished starting - ?!? - and thus are not functional when interactive usage is implemented.

Good security tools that are worth their salt start as services before you even log in. They should be the first things that load.

On my system, if a security app isn't ready by the time my xchat opens, there is a serious problem, since the whole process from login to xchat is about 4-6 minutes on a fairly powerful pc. (I have a Q6600, 2G ram, running XP with classic theme)

I moved everything from the startup folder to my Lacuna Launcher app and know the applications in the list well enough to know how long they usually take to load. I do not put any security apps there. It's strictly for all the extras. I have played with the delay and pause to get the right combo and the order of launching has been tweaked to work well with the collection I have. I wanted and needed to have that kind of control, which is why I wrote the launcher.

I have things in the list that take a bit to load. I place them near the top of the list. Some apps rely on other apps to be loaded first, and they are placed near the bottom, with the things they depend on placed closer to the top.

EDIT: FWIW, I use Winpatrol's Delay start feature as well, though I only use it for applications that conflict with others as they load. Currently, there are only two apps managed by WP: Feeddemon and VueMinder Calendar Pro. They've both been updated since they were "sent" there, so any conflicts may be a thing of the past...

That was the problem I used to have and one of the reasons why I needed to be able to control the whole process more. I had so much stuff competing to get their icon in the tray at startup that half of them would fail. They would end up running in the background with no way to access them from the tray. I had to kill and restart them. And it was getting to be such a chore to sit there with a txt file check list of everything that was supposed to be in my tray, looking for every icon, every time I rebooted. At one point I had like 40 items with tray icons loading. I even used PS Tray Factory to set the order to make it faster to check for the missing ones. (is it any wonder why I absolutely hate rebooting so much?)

J-Mac

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2010, 01:53:16 PM »
I use Chameleon Startup Manager Pro to mange my startup items. The tray icon shows me that programs are starting and one-click on the icon shows me which apps will start and a what exact time. All are scheduled to occur within a few minutes. I wait until all of those are started before I consider my computer "ready-to-go".

Jim

barney

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2010, 02:23:18 PM »
Quote
Good security tools that are worth their salt start as services before you even log in.
Well, yeah, but not all security is about malware  ;).  There are several instances in my startup that are related to data security, e.g., the data sync that was mentioned.

Quote
I had so much stuff competing to get their icon in the tray at startup that half of them would fail. They would end up running in the background with no way to access them from the tray.
Hm-m-m ... looks as though Lacuna Launcher worth a visit, as that's a problem I've encountered lately  :huh:.  Never had to deal with it before  :-[.  Stayed away from startup delayers since some bad experiences back in the 98/SE days.  Yeah, I know.  But sometimes it pays to be an old fogey  ;D.

This thread was started on a whim, but as it progresses, I find myself more and more interested in being able to determine when startup is completed.  Not the stuff I've implemented - I know about that, it's a convenience, and I have a measure of control over it - but the stuff that the OS wants done, background processes that are not implemented as services.

Which brings another thought to mind ... wonder how much overhead is incurred by the services?  The information I've seen on services is disparate & fragmented.  Oh, well, that's for another day, I guess  8).

JavaJones

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2010, 02:33:02 PM »
Interesting stuff.

App, you're a power user, but most I know are fanatical about *not* having a zillion things loaded, much less 40 systray icons, at startup. Shocking, but I assume you need them all or you'd have ditched them. Then again having seen your crazy task bar arrangement and whatnot, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. ;)

As for the purpose of this thread, I wonder if there is a way to check a list of stuff that needs loading, then test against the actual system environment to see if it has loaded yet, and thus at least partially determine if the load process is done? If you could do that, you could probably write a small app to do this. Yet another nifty coding snack? So it would be something like application checks list of e.g. system services, sees the ones marked "autostart", and checks operating memory/process list/whatever for those services, if it sees one missing it displays it in a list with a red x or something, while displaying the loaded ones with a check mark. Could be an interesting little tool, and if it included timers from boot start that stopped as soon as the app loaded (i.e. a time indicator next to the app/service entry that showed how many minutes after initial boot it was actually loaded), that could really help pinpoint things that are slowing down the boot process. Granted such an app to track this would need to make sure it loaded first, which might be tricky...

- Oshyan

barney

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2010, 02:36:16 PM »
Quote
I use Chameleon Startup Manager Pro to mange my startup items.

Been using the freeware version to stop/restart items that don't display in tray, but that's a recent thing, just trying it out.  Seems Lacuna Launcher might be more attractive, but haven't tried it - yet - been using Mike Lin's Control Panel & Startup Manager to ride herd on startups for years, but they may have reached the end of their utility  :(.

barney

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Re: How do *you* tell when your OS is booted/ready?
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2010, 02:42:04 PM »
Quote
I wonder if there is a way to check a list of stuff that needs loading, then test against the actual system environment to see if it has loaded yet, and thus at least partially determine if the load process is done? If you could do that, you could probably write a small app to do this. Yet another nifty coding snack? So it would be something like application checks list of e.g. system services, sees the ones marked "autostart", and checks operating memory/process list/whatever for those services, if it sees one missing it displays it in a list with a red x or something, while displaying the loaded ones with a check mark. Could be an interesting little tool, and if it included timers from boot start that stopped as soon as the app loaded (i.e. a time indicator next to the app/service entry that showed how many minutes after initial boot it was actually loaded), that could really help pinpoint things that are slowing down the boot process. Granted such an app to track this would need to make sure it loaded first, which might be tricky...

That one would be a dream come true  :eusa_dance:.  Wonder how you'd make allowance for startup stuff that want to update on the spot, though, and take over the process?  'Spose ya could just invalidate such updates, though, and make them a manual thing.