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Author Topic: Measuring PC boot-up time by component - and tweaking it with Soluto  (Read 12415 times)
IainB
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« on: June 09, 2010, 10:29:34 AM »

I have been trialling some new PC performance monitoring software that I stumbled across - Soluto Beta
It's free at present, and may stay that way.

But wow! I am truly impressed by Soluto. Nice job.    thumbs up    thumbs up    thumbs up
As a one-time software programmer and developer, I am always on the lookout for new/specialised software, and enjoy trialling/testing it. I have become skeptical about it though, as the majority is kinda mediocre.
I started using Soluto on 2010-06-07. On my first re-boot, the savings on boot-up were a little over 2 minutes off my 6-minute boot-up time. After some more tweaking after that, and then a huge Windows Update today,  the time has gone back up to 6:03 minutes, so there's still more tweaking required, methinks. Soluto lets you make decisions as to whether to postpone startup of components until after boot ("Delay") or temporarily suspend them from startup ("Pause") or leave them "IN Boot". "No brainers" are recommended for your special attention to do something about. The concept is rather clever, using crowdsourcing feedback for data on the components and providing a rather nifty dynamically interactive timeline which shows the system changes you made before and after using Soluto, so you can see how your boot-up time has varied over time and what the possible causes of variation were. There is also a rather nifty dynamically interactive component chart, with components arranged in startup time order.

Because of this relatively scientific approach, there's no more guesswork in identifying the boot-up criminals, and because Soluto times your boot-up by component I now know that (for example):
  • ZoneAlarm's True Vector Internet Monitor takes a whopping 46 seconds in boot-up.
  • Windows' System takes 62 seconds.
  • MS Anti-malware takes 53 seconds.
  • Clipboard Help and Spell takes 9 seconds.
  • FARR takes 7 seconds
I am not sure whether I shall keep Soluto longer term - it depends on how useful it is after a longer period of use - but the omens for keeping it are pretty positive so far.

Hoping this this might be of use/help to somebody.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 10:59:31 AM by IainB » Logged
cranioscopical
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 10:43:48 AM »

Thanks for the pointer
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Chris
IainB
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 10:58:52 AM »

I have updated my post above with some more info. that you might not have not seen yet.
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hpearce
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 11:18:59 AM »

I tried that but quite frankly, it told me nothing that I already didn't know
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IainB
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 11:34:45 AM »

@hpearce: What tool did you use to measure your component boot-up times? I had not previously been able to do that - so Soluto at least told me something that I did not know before - i.e., all the precise boot-up times statistics by components.
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nudone
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 12:20:10 PM »

going to give it a try now. i like the their approach to it all.
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mrainey
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 01:12:31 PM »

Quote
Because of this relatively scientific approach, there's no more guesswork in identifying the boot-up criminals, and because Soluto times your boot-up by component I now know that (for example):

    * ZoneAlarm's True Vector Internet Monitor takes a whopping 46 seconds in boot-up.
    * Windows' System takes 62 seconds.
    * MS Anti-malware takes 53 seconds.
    * Clipboard Help and Spell takes 9 seconds.
    * FARR takes 7 seconds

My XP Pro system with Directory Opus, avast! 5, ClipCache Pro, Stickies, UK Kalender, Taskbar Shuffle, and Process Lasso took a minute and seven seconds.  I think I'll leave it alone.
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jaden
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 02:26:55 PM »

Soluto told me that Soluto added 7 seconds to the boot time, plus it was using around 40MB of RAM.  I'm no longer using Soluto.

To be fair, I'm not their target audience.  I've reviewed all the apps that run at startup and have turned off everything I don't need.  I was mostly testing out Soluto to see if I could recommend it to others.  I could see it being quite useful for folks who don't know much about what's starting automatically.
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nudone
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 02:40:14 PM »

so far, it seems that i'm not going to reduce the boot time by more than a few seconds - but i do like how Soluto has shown me several apps that i didn't realise were being loaded at boot time.

their pc genome is a nice simple idea too.
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PhilB66
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2010, 07:19:23 PM »

their pc genome is a nice simple idea too.
Me think it's (going to be) an 'opencandy' style app.
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IainB
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 02:46:48 AM »

@jaden:
You say:
Quote
Soluto told me that Soluto added 7 seconds to the boot time, plus it was using around 40MB of RAM.

Yes. On my laptop (running XP Pro SP3 and with all MS updates):
  • Soluto tells me that it takes 11.9 sec. of boot-up time, and has a "disk load" of 28MB.
  • Process Explorer tells me Soluto has a "virtual size" of 198,732K.

Soluto recommends of itself:
Quote
Keep it in boot, as it improves the operation of your PC by giving you control over the applications launching in your boot.
- which I think is a reasonable recommendation.
By the way, over in the Soluto discussion forum, they say:
Quote
You should keep Soluto since it protects your OS startup.
Somehow unwanted software finds its way to your machine and loads automatically. This is why we run every boot.
Don't worry about resources Soluto takes on runtime. It moves into stand by mode if you do not touch the software.

Where you say:
Quote
I could see it being quite useful for folks who don't know much about what's starting automatically.

No. The point I was trying to make above was that:
Quote
Soluto at least told me something that I did not know before - i.e., all the precise boot-up times statistics by components.

That is, I would seem to be better informed now about the performance of my running processes when using Soluto, than when not using Soluto. I was already reasonably well-informed about automatic starts and running processes by virtue of using tools such as, for example, Autoruns, Process Explorer, and the Windows Services control panel, but these tools did not give me any real idea of process startup performance times.

Soluto thus offered new data and presented it in a novel and very intuitive manner, to enable me to make decisions about:
  • "Pause" - i.e. remove from boot/startup).
  • "Delay" - i.e., start up after boot has completed).
  • "In Boot" - i.e., keep in boot/startup.
The net effect is that, as well as giving me new performance data (i.e., that I did not previously have) about process boot/startup performance and resource utilisation, Soluto probably saves me "tweaking time" that would otherwise be spent playing around with the other aforementioned tools whilst investigating running processes. Another thing that I find particularly useful is that once you have selected one of "Pause" or "Delay" or "In Boot" buttons for any given process, that process is then moved to the appropriate category in the dynamically interactive chart, where you can subsequently go and view it and select one of the other category buttons if you change your mind.
Whilst you are fiddling around like this, Soluto is keeping score of the last aggregate/total boot-up time (and its components) and what effect you will have on boot-up time with the changes you are making.

I would call this sort of control a dynamic "dashboard" control, and it is one of the most elegant and novel designs of a dashboard that I have come across. It is ergonomically quite well-designed - though I could ask for some improvements - and it is relatively idiot-proof. I would think it would be hard to beat for ease and simplicity of use, yet it's not a dumbed-down tool. That is, it still gives the user the flexibility and power to monitor, control and make decisions about optimising the performance of the full range of relatively complex boot/startup process operations.

Soluto is still in ß, but, because of the above points, I think it would bear watching to see how it develops.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 03:07:46 AM by IainB » Logged
wr975
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 09:06:30 AM »


My PC (Win7x64 3 GB) needs 13 seconds to wake up from hibernate, so there's really no need to improve the boot-time, but after reading so much praise, I thought I gave it a try. And I'm not impressed.  Angry

Solution seems to me like a super dumbed-down "WinPatrol" with amazing GUI. It looks great, even the installer looks amazing, but there's nothing you can actually configure.

Users can right-click the tray icon and select "My PC just frustrated me". Soluto told me "Ongoing frustration research must be enabled in order to report frustrations". Must be the weirdest message box I've seen in a long time.

Once I enabled this function and clicked again "My PC just frustrated me" I got an animated postcard, telling me "Frustration Data will be sent to the PCGenome, thanks."

Seriously, wtf? This is the Teletubbies version of Winpatrol.  tongue


Quote
Don't worry about resources Soluto takes on runtime. It moves into stand by mode if you do not touch the software.

That's normal behavior for all programs, but still the PC is forced to load three processes (Soluto 5M, SolutoServices 35M, SolutoConsole 26M.)  tellme


WinPatrol doesn't tell me how long an application needs to start (useless information anyway), but it can delay startup-entries and protects from new installed services and startup entries as well.


Anyway, Soluto isn't for the computer geek. It's for the average user, who likes the design, being able to report frustrations (best feature ever  tongue) and enjoy the "Just click, I'll do everything for you" approach. Kinda like Apple products.
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daddydave
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2010, 11:46:45 AM »

I installed this and accepted all their recommendations except delaying Avast and WinPatrol and seeing if it breaks anything.

I don't know how useful is, but is a pretty user interface.

It seemed a little too mouse sensitive to me, had to hover over task several times in some cases to click on it.
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daddydave
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2010, 11:53:12 AM »

On my first re-boot, the savings on boot-up were a little over 2 minutes off my 6-minute boot-up time. After some more tweaking after that, and then a huge Windows Update today,  the time has gone back up to 6:03 minutes, so there's still more tweaking required, methinks.

That Windows update was something, wasn't it? Did you see a message about 30,000 registry changes when it came back up? This happened immediately after I tweaked with Soluto, so it made me think it caused it. It did increase boot time and there was nothing else I could tweak, everything was in the block of mandatory tasks.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 11:54:45 AM by daddydave » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2010, 11:05:24 PM »

Useless program with a pretty UI.

Among other dumb recommendations, it suggested I remove my Comodo firewall from boot-up as it took like 12 seconds to start!

There were a number of things I didn't like about this program including:

That this program MUST be connected to the net to run as it reports its findings (supposedly anonymized) to its dB.

AND if you uninstall it and have removed any applications from the start-up process, it will restore those removed programs during uninstall.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 09:38:09 PM by jojo99 » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2010, 09:10:12 AM »

Update on progress with trial of Soluto:
The two screenshots (below) are the "Dashboard" (as I called it) and impart quite a lot of useful information - knowledge, actually. On either screen, you can zoom in and dynamically view details of the individual boot-up components involved. You can also decide to make changes here to the boot-up component queue - though, as yet, Soluto does not allow the user to force/set priority or sequential order of components for start-up.

I would normally prefer to see tables of numbers than a diagram, but I have to say that I could not so easily or rapidly obtain the knowledge that these dynamically interactive charts here impart, regarding the status and the progress of my boot-up performance over time.
The graph shows that the earlier savings - which were lost after a huge Windows Office update - have been recovered. The blip is after reset and recovery from a BSOD event. I rarely get BSODs, and I would tend to attribute this event to the aforementioned updates (including several changes that I made to applications).

Incidentally, an automatically started Service process called PAStiSvc.exe had appeared after all the changes. It looked vaguely familiar. After googling it, I couldn't see that it was necessary for anything in my system, and the file date was 2005, so I set it to "Pause".
(By the way the Soluto "Pause" means that the Service is set to "Manual" - as can be seen in the Sevices.msc panel.)

Verdict so far:
I initially thought that Soluto ß was too simplistic, but now I am not so sure. Anyway, I shall try to keep an objective mind and keep the trial running, and shall report back to this forum for anyone who might be interested.
   
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 09:06:22 AM by IainB » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2010, 08:38:36 PM »

Latest screenshots of Soluto running on my laptop.


* Soluto Screenshot - 2010-07-05 B.jpg (37.49 KB, 1003x640 - viewed 242 times.)
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Curt
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2010, 07:15:16 AM »

Thanks for keeping telling, IainB, even though some people never understood what this application is about ;-)

I tried Soluto the first day you wrote about it, and again right now, and I am sad to say it won't do anything useful on my pc. Soluto will say that the boot took 2:22, which would be okay, but it takes 4 minutes, and when I click "click here to see why", nothing will happen.

I hope you will keep posting about your use of Soluto, because I like the idea a lot.
The problem is just that on my pc it won't actually do it.  Sad
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IainB
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2010, 07:43:45 AM »

@Curt: How annoying. What you say is good feedback though. Have you posted that at http://community.soluto.com/soluto  ?
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Curt
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2010, 09:24:56 AM »

-no, I will merely wait for their next version.

----------
FWIW:
I know nothing, but I imagine Soluto may become payware, as Soluto Labs is a company...
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IainB
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2010, 08:25:38 AM »

Update as at 2010-07-23:


* Soluto Screenshot - 2010_07_23 - B.jpg (42.42 KB, 1004x642 - viewed 241 times.)
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2010, 10:36:13 PM »

I tried Soluto on both my 4-year-old WinXP Pro desktop and my rather new Toshiba Win 7 netbook, but I found it of little use and eventually removed it from both computers.  I already had given a good deal of thought to which programs I wanted to start at startup, so Soluto didn't tell me much that I didn't already know.  On my desktop, it called attention to two programs that I hadn't paid attention to, but removing them from startup saved me a grand total of 3 seconds, which was more than offset by the amount of time Soluto itself added to the boot time.  On my netbook, I was hoping that it could help me sort through the large number of mysterious Toshiba-related programs that start at startup, but unfortunately it knew nothing specific about any of them and hence couldn't provide any guidance.  To be fair, I should note that most of them were a mystery to WinPatrol Plus as well.  But the bottom line is that on neither computer was Soluto able to save me more time than Soluto itself added.  I realize that this is a beta program, and that it may indeed develop into something useful, but for now, I see no reason to put it back on my computer.
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Curt
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« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2010, 03:30:29 AM »

Today, Ashraf is posting about Soluto: http://dottech.org/freeware-reviews/16736
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2010, 04:28:12 PM »

Thanks, Curt.  I thought Ashraf made a number of good points.
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Curt
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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2011, 04:42:17 PM »

I posted this under their "Report a problem" in Soluto Support Community


Quote from: Curt
Are you going to create a totally better way to update Soluto, please? On my Vista it is necessary to do everything from scratch; I must click each and every program just like the first time I installed Soluto Beta! [hint] I have many programs, that is why I use Soluto... [/hint]
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