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Windows 7 SLOW Boot - >5 min

by scrandallsr / November 13, 2009 4:39 AM PST

Over last weekend I upgraded my Dell Studio XPS 435 system (i7, 6GB RAM, Radeon 4800) from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium. Ever since then it takes about 5 minutes on the Starting Windows (flag) screen, then gives me the login screen, then takes a few minutes more before I can do anything. BIOS and all hardware drivers are as up-to-date as possible. Any help? I specifically did the upgrade to avoid the hassle of a clean install/reinstall, so please don't suggest a clean install. But any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

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Let's see what you supplied that runs on boot.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 13, 2009 4:46 AM PST

Ouch. I can't see what's up.

There is no single cause or cure to slow boots. You get to dive in and dissect and examine each item.

My usual is to uninstall all programs that run at boot. That usually gets it done. But your post didn't reveal much.

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While I'm working on that...
by scrandallsr / November 13, 2009 9:12 AM PST

What I've noticed is that when Starting Windows comes up and stays there forever, the hard drive light is on steady but there is no disk activity (determined by putting my hand on the system and feeling for head movement). This goes on for minutes - when the drive finally starts some activity, the login screen will follow shortly. The primary drive is a WDC WD7501AALS drive.So I really don't think it is a driver or program problem - I think it is something lower level.

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Dodgy power
by PriyanPhoenix / October 31, 2010 6:02 PM PDT

I know I'm resurrecting a long dead thread, but for those who may come across it while searching for a solution, here's one possibility:

I had the same issue, very slow booting accompanied by no hard drive activity, which turned out to be due to a faulty power lead inside the PC (after seemingly working fine for a considerable time). It seems it was taking the hard drive significantly longer to get sufficient power to spin up, at which point it was then able to run. The solution was to switch the primary hard drive to a different power connector (and mark the old one so you don't use it again in future).

Hope this helps someone!

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Regarding your HDD
by vlmem10 / September 27, 2011 3:15 PM PDT

I have experienced with Western Digital HDDs, India, WD is the worst HDD, though the warranty services are very good.

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Windows 7 Slow Bootup Problems
by peterdmar / November 13, 2009 11:44 AM PST

I've also encountered the slow bootup problem with Windows 7 on a fresh installation. On my computer on that installation, it took more than one minute stalling on the "Starting Windows" part with no hard drive activity during that time. In total it took about one minute and 50 seconds before it reached the login part and then another minute and a half before the computer is usable. Since I started with a fresh installation, I was able to figure out what caused the problem. As good as Windows 7 is, lots of the older programs that you may have on your computer are not compatible this is especially true if you're installing the 64-bit edition. In my case during the initial installation, everything works great. But gradually I end up with this slow bootup problem as I progressed with program installations. I had to do multiple reinstallations, until I managed to get it right. My next strategy to avoid reinstallation is to do a complete hard drive backup on another hard drive if the installation works fine before installing more programs. Doing it this way would make it possible to restore the installation, if anything should go wrong. Using this method I was able to weed out the culprit program. In many cases, Windows 7 would warn you with prompt if the program is not compatible. If you have at least one Seagate hard drive on board, you can use the free Seagate's Disk Wizard to do this cloning or restoring and backup as well as disk petitioning. With the reinstallation the total bootup time to usability is a little more than two minutes on my desktop computer using the Intel Core 2 Duo e 8500 clocked at 3.2 GHz.

Also when installing Windows 7 64-bit edition, be sure to do it on a single petition hard drive with the secondary hard drive disconnected during installation. I found out the hard way when the installation messed up the data storage on the storage hard drive. Luckily, I did a backup prior to the installation on my portable hard drive. What happened was after the installation, I was denied access to my data on the secondary hard drive. When I clicked on it a prompt would say "you do not have permission". I was able to restore permission to some of my files but not all. In the end, since I have a backup I decided to wipe the secondary hard drive and my "C" drive. and start over. From this experience that I learned, I would only install Windows 7 by itself disconnecting all other hard drive on the computer. It is okay to reconnect the other hard drives after finishing installation. Doing it this way, it did not deny me access to my files after the installation. This is the first time that I have experienced this behavior on an OS installation. This behavior is most likely caused by a much more stringent security level of Windows 7. On my previous Windows installation I have not used encryption for my data.

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Slow boot with Windows 7
by Lancashire / November 13, 2009 7:10 PM PST

I just did an upgrade install of Windows 7 on my wife's computer and it has a fast boot. Perhaps you need to run a registry cleaner and a hard drive cleaner to eliminate some leftovers from Vista which might be slowing the boot. Also I would reevaluate the items in the startup to increase the boot speed. Eliminating any software in the startup that does not need to start with the boot can really help. The windows sidebar can also slow the boot considerably.

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Clean up programs
by TaraS_WinTeam / November 19, 2009 6:45 AM PST
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by Nyphoma / March 15, 2010 11:52 PM PDT

I have a desktop PC from HP, it is 4 years old and has always worked fine, I used Visata on it & always had normal / quick boot-ups & then I got Win7 this year and I'm staring at the boot up logo for 3+ minutes every single time.
The problem started the day I installed win7.
I also have all new updates for it & run Sysmech etc. to keep system fluidity. I can only blame win7. However when it actually does go to desktop it is very fast and a good OS.

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Slow boot
by barny12345 / March 16, 2010 4:35 AM PDT

When you do a upgrade to windows 7 it leaves a copy of your hard drive removing the folder will also reduce boot time

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I don't think so.
by itdost / November 1, 2010 1:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Slow boot

Win7 is the fastest Microsoft OS. There were some Profile issues when upgrading from winXP to Win7, but those are already solved now.

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Windows 7 Slow Startup
by michelsmith / August 1, 2011 5:20 PM PDT
In reply to: I don't think so.


The startup time of your system might increase by the presence of viruses and spyware in your system. Viruses in your system affect the booting time of your system. Spyware is another type of virus which is another reason for the slow start up of your system. You need to use antivirus software to remove viruses and spyware from your system. Outdated or incompatible antivirus software might make your computer start slower. You need to use latest version of the software to solve the issue.

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I finally solved my slow boot.
by BC12398 / August 24, 2011 12:16 AM PDT

I have 5 SATA drives and I recently noticed that drive F: was not always recognized by Windows 7. It was very intermittent and all of the drive tests that I performed said that the drive was good. I removed this drive and my Windows instantly started booting in less than a minute. I still have not moved the drive to another connector and power cable so it could be power issues as well as drive issues. That will be my next test and I will post again but for now everything is working as it should with the drive removed.

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Confirmed bad drive.
by BC12398 / August 24, 2011 12:29 AM PDT

I switched the drive to multiple cables and power and no matter where it was I had a very slow boot. With the drive removed Windows 7 boots normally. I hope this helps someone as it took me a very long time to solve my issue. There are many different reasons why 7 will boot slow but this is the first time that I have come across it being a bad drive that checked out with all drive tests. If you have multiple drives try removing them one at a time and see if this helps. This was not of course my boot drive.

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(NT) Good find (well bad news for some folk)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 24, 2011 2:14 AM PDT
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