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WinXP - 15 second stall at "Windows is starting up..." screen

Discussion in 'General Software' started by s1rrah, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. s1rrah New Member

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    recently i disabled a bunch of services i didn't need.

    the system runs fine since disabling but for some reason i've now got a 15 or so second wait before my login name and password dialogue comes up ... just sits there at the "Windows is starting up..." message and the pops the login slots up about 15 seconds later.

    prior to my work on disabling services, as soon as the blue winXP screen came up, the login slots appeared immediately.

    i seem to remember a reg hack somewhere that caused all start up services to load in the background and thereby allow the actual login credentials slots to be displayed much faster.

    i've read most optimization faqs and can't seem to find what the mysterious change is from.

    any ideas?
     
  2. Alec§taar New Member

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    WELL, a list of some ideas:

    ===================

    1.) You COULD just reenable the services you cut off, 1 by 1 disabling them, to ferret out your culprit here... this is logical to attempt imo!

    ------------------------

    2.) Try this (it MAY help you debug/diagnose what is the 'slow up' part here) if that is not to your liking or does not work:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

    Using regedit.exe's EDIT menu options, Add Value, VerboseStatus (do it as REG_DWORD data type entry).

    The default is a value of 0, & this makes the system to display normal status messages, non verbose.

    However, a value of 1 enables verbose status messages in each step of the process of starting, shutting down, logging on, and logging off.

    * Catch 22 though on this one, important: If this area ->

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DisableStatusMessages
    = 1?

    Then, no status messages are displayed, even IF you add in this setting. You may wish to check its value is 0, so this does NOT happen!

    ------------------------

    3.)ADDITIONALLY? The boot.ini switch of /bootlog MAY help, but I am NOT sure if it will matter @ the stage you are at... iirc, this shows DRIVERS LOADS & creates a file in %WinDir% that shows what drivers &/or services loaded, or failed @ system startup... & from your description?

    I believe you are past that stage.

    ------------------------

    4.) NOW, I do suspect one other possible, but it's unlikely:

    That is that you can set the XP/Windows Server 2003 OS' to FULLY "turn on" the IP stack @ bootup, resulting in a SLOWER bootup, like how Windows 2000 used to do it!

    (See, MS "learnt a trick or two from the MacOS X folks & turn on only a "stub" portion of the IP stack @ boot - this results in FASTER booting, but ONLY a 'partial load' of the IP stack, which if you have EVER noted that the first time you call on an app that accesses your IP stack, it's a bit slower @ first? Now, you know why - it's actually THEN, fully turning on the IP stack @ that point!)

    STEPS FOR THIS:

    Run gpedit.msc

    Thru the left-hand side of its tree items in the left-hand pane, go thru these items:

    Local Computer Policy
    Computer Configuration
    Administrative Templates
    System
    Logon

    Then, once you are in the LOGON left-hand-side tree item, go to the right-hand-side pane, & use this setting:

    Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon!

    ===================

    The first bunch of registry hack stuff I gave you above WILL show what is going on when msgina.dll starts up the actual LOGON screen stuff, but in XP?

    Well, because of HOW you logon to it, by clicking on username icon typically??

    Honestly, I am NOT 110% sure this will take IF you have XP set as 'automatic logons' though (where you just click on your username, as is its default, whereas it is not in 2000/Server 2003, where you MUST logon username + password, manually typing them in!)

    You CAN turn on "manual logons" though, even in XP, via TweakUI (on OR off using it) the powertoy freebie from MS, but iirc, there is a keystroke combo using Ctrl_Alt_Del during bootup even in XP that has you do a manual logon... but not sure of this anymore, as I have not used XP in over 3-4 years now.

    APK

    P.S.=> This can help us, find out EXACTLY what is 'stalling' on you, @ the stage you are @ during bootup (sort of like using the boot.ini switch of /SOS, which shows drivers loading, which I don't think you need to do here, but it is also NOT 'out of the question' for debugging this...)

    I would like to know this 'background load' hack you speak of & mention as well, because it sounds interesting... never heard of it! apk
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  3. s1rrah New Member

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    i did just about *everything* you suggested in your message but could never get rid of the lag just before the boot process displays the log-in slots.

    especially strange was that by doing the one by one enabling of previously disabled services still didn't fix it; a bootvis trace merely described the lag time as 'networking services' or something or other. it was clearly visible in the trace log.

    anyway. it was driving me nuts and so simply restored from a day old drive image and it worked flawlessly, no lag.

    i even tried to re create the problem by disabling everything again ... and sure enough, the problem came back ... but then upon re enabline exactly those services i had just disabled ... nothing ... still the login stall.

    so, i restored from that same image again and called it even.

    BTW ... if anyone out there is looking for a rock solid drive imaging application (ala norton ghost or acronis) ... that is 100% free, well developed and as i said very stable and effective ... then check out Driveimage XML; it's made by Runtime Software, here's a link: http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm

    i hate windows restore because of overhead/resources, etc; i leave it turned off. so, i've have been running weekly full drive images using driveimage xml for disaster recovery purposes; i'd never had an opportunity to test it until yesterday. restored a perfect block by block 40 gig image in about 25 minutes. XP booted perfect. it uses windows volume shadow services and so the imaging process can run in the back ground. really neat free software. use it in conjuntion with a windows PE bootable disc for really effective full disc restores.

    here's a link to windows PE on the chance you don't know what it is; also, really helpful: http://www.runtime.org/peb.htm

    otherwise . thanks for the help.

    that reg hack i mentioned had something to do with certain routines that *must* complete before winXP would actually present the user with the login slots ... thus, "windows is starting up ..." is displayed until those processes complete. this hack forced windows to put the login slots up immediately while continuing to run the services start up in the background. i think that could be the hack i inadvertantly undid with the services experimentation i was doing.

    the login boxes appear immediately upon getting the welcome screen now ...

    thanks again.
     
  4. Alec§taar New Member

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    Sounds a LOT like it might have been my #4 in my lists, but, typically for that to happen on XP? You would have HAD to set that yourself, it doesn't just happen... I suspected it least to be honest, & noted that above, & still, I might be wrong (pretty generic message you got, don't you agree? LOL!)

    Anyhow... you CAN make XP & Server 2003 logon like 2000 did, FULLY turning on the IP stack, which does take quite a bit more time to startup because of it.

    I should have listed the steps for that for you, in detail, but doesn't matter: You got it straight via "GHOST IMAGE RESTORE" type work, which is as good as anything else I suppose, since you are straight now!

    APK

    P.S.=> Thanks for the link to that tool, I am always on the "lookout" for GOOD solid tools & especially FREE ones!

    DOES THIS ONE WORK ON RAID 0 & GHOSTING IT (restoring a RAID ghost image mainly is problematic for many of these wares imo)? So many don't...

    Thank you for info. on this note... apk
     
  5. s1rrah New Member

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    freeware rocks.

    but it's hard to find folks that do it well ... or at least put the care and attention into all aspects of their project development - architecture, information flow, interface, useability, etc.

    i've been using such freeware for years and years and very rarely find something as well put together as driveimage (except maybe for handcrafted software's free proxy server: freeproxy). i had to figure out a quick way to effectively content-police a bunch of network machines used by students at our office (let your imagination do the rest) and freeproxy saved the day.

    another cool thing is that it saves the imaged data in compressed xml files (of all things) and you can browse the images restoring only single or select multiple files if desired, from within the driveimage interface. this as well as the obvious full system backup. it takes me a week, literally, to get a new XP install fully stripped of it's glut and all the hacks and tweaks and work specific stuff set up and anything that can allow me to confidently avoid that is awesome.

    as far as raid compatibility with driveimage xml? dunno ... seems like it would work just fine as long as your target drive was large enough to contain the image. it's simply a block by block direct image of your drive ... and i'm sure a raid would be read the same as a standalone drive.

    for restoring to a newly constructed, clean raid you would have to boot from a windows pe cd and load the raid drivers when windows pe starts, just like when installing xp for the first time ... when you hit <f6> to load necessary third party drivers ... something typical of various scsi raid set ups i've used in the past. the windows pe boot disc gives you this same option. not familiar with ide/sata raid but i'm sure that step is still necessary.
     
  6. s1rrah New Member

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    i still use the old password entry approach; false sense of security, all that.

    i know it's a false sense too as a friend at work locked himself out of his XP box and it took, literally, 5 minutes to search and find an app to reset the winxp administrator password to blank or even change it. worked like a charm.

    working with primarily non-techy people ... after that ... i was seen as a fledgling 7337 g0d in and around the office. (when the whole time it was google that made it all possible ... and the guy bright enough to write and release freeware that reconstructs hashes and ... or ... however he did it.)

    :)

    crazy.
     
  7. Alec§taar New Member

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    It does, I agree... "Free software downloading junkie" here!

    BIG fan of it, & I have done a few of them myself over time (good way to learn more about coding than just what I do for a job in MIS/IS/IT databasing-info. systems work & more about the OS in general imo)

    It is... I know guys that are literal MASTERS of things like slick engine design (how the program works internally etc.) but tell them to build a NICE easily used interface, that is only "1 click easy"?

    Forget it!

    I am guilty of some of this myself: I hate doing documentation & help files, but they ARE part of the process & yes, necessary.

    That is rather "novel & unique", I agree... but, I read up on it, & it appears to leverage existing features in the OS, in Volume Shadowing Services.

    Nothing wrong w/ that, as long as it does the job & users take to it fast/easily... it's much like fronts for 'new browsers" built on the IE engine really, or burnerware that leverages Windows XP native burner abilities.

    Well, you caught me in edit, but what I have found is, restores are the problem w/ GHOST specifically, when done from a RAID 0 setup, & restoring BACK to that RAID 0...

    Also, when you run a "server class" OS? You have to get the SERVER MODEL of many wares of this class!

    (Even though it's usually the same thing as the client versions of the ware for client/workstation level OS, you pay out more... oh sure, they might throw in client-server & remote mgt. features, but this? IMO, it does NOT justify the added costs!)

    Anyhow, nice discussion, & off to read up more on this ware... never hurts to get a bit of info!

    APK
     
  8. s1rrah New Member

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    ha ha ! the wares maker is simply trying to milk the whole 'enterprise' concept. so funny.

    effective. and making them huge-rich ... but still just a market/milking ploy.

    if i was making software full time and catering to fortune 500's with 1000+ machine networks ... hell, i'd milk 'em too.

    :)

    anyway . good luck with the research on driveimage. interesting problem your having there with the raid imaging; i've not used raid since the ultra/LVD 80 days (oh, just a 4 or 5 years ago) and so i'm not up on the current raid flava's. i know raid 0 simply smoked any single drive set up though ... so stupidly fast.
     
  9. Alec§taar New Member

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    You, my man, are a "TRUE capitalist" & will probably end up wealthy as heck one day!

    :)

    APK
     
  10. Alec§taar New Member

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    LeoJHarris: FOR your reference & others also

    I edited step #4 above, putting in the details of the steps needed to @ least CHECK if this setting was used so you could check if it was the cause of your bootup delay!

    It makes Windows XP/Server 2003 make the logon turning on of the IP stack FULLY (as it was in Windows 2000, but makes for slower bootup (downside of it)):

    Run gpedit.msc

    Thru the left-hand side of its tree items in the left-hand pane, go thru these items:

    Local Computer Policy
    Computer Configuration
    Administrative Templates
    System
    Logon

    Then, once you are in the LOGON left-hand-side tree item, go to the right-hand-side pane, & use this setting:

    Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon!

    :)

    APK
     
  11. s1rrah New Member

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    hey .

    i wanted to try those steps just to check the current status of my setting ... yet i don't think i have gpedit with XP Home; most likely included with XP Pro ... also, I used to use the group policy editor all the time with Windows 2000.

    sounds like exactly that setting which made the difference for me ... especially since bootviz said the applicable lag was 'network services' ...

    i'm thinking about going back to 2000 pro ... much leaner and business oriented, which i always liked.

    BTW ... what do you use that 2gb ram disk for? sounds nifty ...
     
  12. Alec§taar New Member

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    Exactly RIGHT... one reason why I am not "nuts" about XPHome, but it does do the job, but they do NOT provide tools you sometimes need & THIS? It's one of them (incredibly useful MMC.EXE snapin imo)

    Agreed & you know this from above - it does look like it MIGHT be it.

    Me too, I like 2k better than XP in fact... but not better than Server 2003 (best mix of both & installs by default as a workstation mode, you add serverware stuff to it as you wish manually later, making it more of a "server" then & also only modularly (serverwares you wish to have on that box & no more by default which IS smart)).

    Pagefile.sys placement on partition #1.

    Logfiles, %Temp/TMP% ops for OS & apps, ALL webbrowser caching, printspooler location, & more (see my system specs, iirc, I list ALL I do on it, there).

    This partition's NTFS compressed too (not 1st one though, w/ pagefile.sys on it, be great IF you COULD compress pagefile.sys though imo)!

    The 2nd partition on it has VERY compressible data no less (doubles its memory or MORE actually because of the data on it) in say, for example, webpage caching/logging, which decreases load time of files theoretically since today's CPU's are SO fast? The decompression stage is megafast by comparison to years ago... & the file is SMALLER to load up from disk.

    Effectively doubling what I can store there, an already MASSIVELY fast media, vs. std. electro-mechanical harddisks. 1000's of times faster in fact, because all RAM, but solid-state disk dedicated RAM (not chopping it outta mobo system general memory).

    & ALL for speed, since Ramdisks seek/access immensely quickly, yielding a definitely perceptible increase of the speed of my system since my main disk is not burdened by those tasks, & also the fact it IS a far faster drivetype.

    APK
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  13. s1rrah New Member

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    quite familiar with ramdisks ... shoot, even used ramdisks back when i was using deskview (the ansi version!) ... very small one's ... but ramdisks nonetheless.

    just didn't know they now sold external solid state versions up to 4 gigs! if i had a spare few thousand laying around i'd have one tomorrow (i've since done a bit of research on those drives). *too* cool ...

    re winxp vs 2000, etc. ...

    when i've the stamina, i'll most likely dump xp home and re install 2000 workstation; i miss the nitty gritty detail level of file level security and what not, as well as gpedit, etc ... real useful stuff.

    thanks again for the tips ...

    do more good work.

    jbh.
     
  14. Alec§taar New Member

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    Yes, I hear you... back in the DOS days (circa DOS 5.0 - 6.22) I used to use them in 16-bit for various operations, like %temp% ops environment locations, & yes, they were small as far as size limits, but there were ones you could go WAY over DOS' native one in ramdrive.sys... 3rd party ones.

    Well, I got a decent break on mine, I did a review for CENATEK (one featured on their front page of their site no less, in "An Independent User's Review" & they knew who I was because they also produce a software version of a RamDrive, & I was once one of their competitors (not really, mine was a DDK template knockoff w/ a frontend on it for quick resizing & reparameterization for sector/cluster stuff, etc.)) & once I did it, I told them I wanted one but could not swing the cost - they cut me a break.

    My review was really good on it, listing techniques/tricks/tips on using them as well as performance ratings vs. other HDD's. IIRC, the only downside is the cost, but I didn't mention that iirc... didn't want to rain on anyone's parade, lol!

    We all know how it is to WANT something (I really want a GTO, but couldn't swing it this round on a new car for costing reasons (mainly gas, insurance rate, & gas guzzler tax + HIGH init. purchase cost)), but not be able to afford it.

    It is... ACL usage on disks/folders/files is important & also applies @ the registry level as well... you can further secure a system by designating which groups &/or users can access which ones on disk, & at Registry Hive/Path/Key levels as well.

    I did a sticky on security of services here, but am going to do one eventually on ACL usage too... never hurts to turn folks onto this imo & sharing it.

    You're welcome, thanks for yours in return!

    Will try to as time passes... thanks!

    APK
     

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