Investigate Windows 7 Boot Time

The time it takes for a Windows Operating system to boot up has steadily decreased over the years, due to advances in hardware technology and also the improvement in Windows Operating systems. However, even Windows 7 can exhibit slower than average boot times and in this article, I will be looking at how to investigate slow boot times and how to remedy them.

Windows Event Viewer.

Windows Event Viewer has been around since 1993 when Windows NT was released. Although only offering basic information, it has since grown into an extremely useful diagnostic tool.

  • So lets look at Windows Event Viewer.
  • Click the Start button and type in Event in the Start Search box, and click Event Viewer.
  • Next, we need to use the Custom View feature, which allows you to create and save a filter.
  • Click on the Action tab, and select Create Custom View.
  • Leave the Logged box set to Any time, and tick all the Event level boxes.
  • Select the By log button and click the drop-down arrow.
  • Click the box with the plus sign next to Application and Service Logs.
  • Click the box with the plus sign next to Microsoft.
  • Click the box with the plus sign next to Windows.
  • Click the plus sign next to Diagnostic-Performance,and tick the Operational box.
  • In the box that says , delete that entry and type in 100.
  • Click OK.
  • In the Save Filter to Custom View dialogue box, type in Boot Time in the Name box, and click OK.

Repeat the above steps, but this time type 101-110 instead of 100, and call it Boot Degradation. Click on the Boot Time entry in the Custom Views tree, and click on the Date and Time tab. This will show you a log of each and every time that Windows has booted up. For each entry, clicking on the Details tab in the Event 100, Diagnostics-Performance dialogue box will give you a breakdown of the whole boot sequence. For our purposes, we’re only interested in three values:




BootTime is the sum of MainPathBootTime and BootPostBootTime and is the same value as that on the General tab. Remember, the value shown is in milliseconds,so we need to divide by 1000 to get the value in seconds. MainPathBootTime is the time between the Windows company logo appearing, and the desktop appearing. BootPostTime is the time taken from when the desktop appears to where you can begin using Windows. To look at why Windows may have started up slowly, we need to click on the Boot Degradation entry that we created earlier, click on the Event tab and sort in ascending order. What the Event ID numbers mean.

Event 101

This means that the application took longer than usual to start-up. Particular applications that exhibit a large degradation time or appear regularly in this log,should be investigated.

Event 102

This relates to driver initialization. If this occurs regularly,it may be worth your while to upgrade your particular driver.

Event 103

In this case, a service has taken longer to start-up than normal. This can happen on occasions,but shouldn’t happen regularly. Type services.msc in the Start Search box,and click services to see which ones you can change to Automatic (Delayed Start) or Manual.

Event 106

Background optimization took longer than usual to complete. This nearly always shows BackgroundPrefetchTime as being a problem, As Prefetch cache is always working,you can safely ignore this one.

Event 109

Device initialization problems. This may be a sign that your hard drive is failing if it happens regularly. A handy piece of free software is available called Soluto. Once installed,this will analyze your boot up time, and offer options as to which application should start-up. You can then choose to pause or delay startup applications. The next time you boot up, Soluto will show you how much time you have gained.

Following this article, can really help in tracking down applications that are slowing Windows 7 from starting up.