1. Create a Bootlog.txt (hidden in root of C:\) file each time the system boots.
Warning: "FWIW", users should ensure their system is set to show all file extensions (Explorer/My Computer, View, Folder Options, View), and place a dot in the radio button for Show all files. If a check mark exist in the box for Hide file extension for known file types, remove it. Click the box near the top of the applet labeled, "Like Current Folder" (Click to see an example screenshot), click Apply, and then click OK to Exit.
Note: When examining this file in any text editor -- Notepad in Windows, or simply typing the following command at the MS-DOS prompt and then pressing Enter (clicking the icon in front of MS_DOS Prompt in the top colored bar provides MS-DOS commands), look for lines ending in LoadFailure which may indicate either a device or software problem.
2. The article [Q127970] discusses the hidden Bootlog.txt file located in the root folder, describes content, and explains certain items that may be indicated as a Load Failed which does not necessarily indicate a problem.
3. The article [Q118579] explains the root folder text file Msdos.sys set with Read-Only, System, and Hidden attributes, that this file is set to be at least 1,024 bytes in length, and describes the [Options] section that contain the settings and their meaning. Instructions are contained which allows a user to set certain options which creates the Bootlog.txt file during boot.
4. The purpose of creating a Bootlog.txt file is to catch and identify abnormalities. When starting the computer, either use the Startup Menu to create a one-time Bootlog.txt file or change the MSDOS.SYS file for Windows which will need adjustment to the line BootMenu=0. Please be advised that Windows will boot much slower each time a Bootlog.txt file is processed. Once troubleshooting elapses, undo the changes.
Purpose: A setting of 1 enables the Startup menu. If this setting is 0, then you must press the F8 key when "Starting Windows 95" appears, (or press and hold the CTRL key when your Windows 98-based computer restarts) to invoke the Startup menu.
Note: If this line is missing, then add it to the MSDOS.SYS file following the entry of BootMenuDefault=?
b. BootMenuDefault=(a number)
Default: 1 if the system is running correctly; 3 if the system hung in the previous instance
Purpose: Use this setting to set the default menu item for startup.
c. If either or both entries are missing, add them.
Note: For the Number to be entered as the parameter for BootMenuDefault, the specific numeric character from your system Start menu will have to be entered. Simply boot the computer and hold the Ctrl key until it's displayed and note the number for use.
5. Otherwise from the Windows interface if possible, click Start, Run, type msconfig, and then press Enter. Click the Advanced button, and select the item Enable Startup Menu where you may select to create a Bootlog.txt file during a certain boot, and you have to contend with a selection each time the system is booted or until it is removed sometime later.
6. "Boot Log Analyser, Vision 4 Ltd" can be downloaded from this link and is highly recommended.
a. It is very small tool which can be used to help ascertain what may be causing boot delays and device activation problems during boot when used for viewing a Bootlog.txt file (boot root) which lists item tasked and includes the time and duration required for each event processed.
b. Better yet, from the time and duration an event takes, a user can determine which may be the specific cause for slowing the booting process.
c. There are different options available for the displayed items, it's fast, it's easy to use, and -- best of all, offered free.