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Windows XP takes a long time to startup

by dream431ca / May 19, 2005 1:31 AM PDT

Hello. I recently have this problem..I never had this problem before. Windows XP takes about 3 minutes to load once I click my user name. Before, it used to take around 15 seconds to almost fully load up. And you know when the icons on the desktop refresh themselves? When that happens, that takes around 2 minutes. Before, that took less than a second. It's kind of annoying.. here are my system specs:

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer To Be Filled By O.E.M.
System Model To Be Filled By O.E.M.
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 3 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~3360 Mhz
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 3 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~3360 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 1019.005, 10/14/2004
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = ''5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)''
User Name DYNAMICPC\Matthew
Time Zone Mountain Daylight Time
Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 584.13 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 3.35 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

I think it may be virtual memory. I had a set value I put in myself before, I thought I might let windows look after it so I clicked let windows handle virtual memory..maybe that's why but I don't know for sure.

Thank you.

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by gmperry / May 19, 2005 10:36 AM PDT

Have you ckecked for spyware&/or adware. Good Luck Gordon

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Try this - MS BootVis
by Leo_Salceto / May 27, 2005 6:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Startup

BootVis is freeware from MicroSoft. YES! Why? Who knows! (download link at bottom)

It's a great secret weapon to know about, at any rate. BootVis is a small downloadable program (half a meg?) that will precisely diagnose your PCs boot process. Then, it allows you to "Optimize System". You must know only two menu items to click. This is VERY IMPORTANT, for BootVis does a lot of very technical stuff that you don't need. Take the best functions (described below) and leave the rest, unless you know what you're doing.

Download the program (links below). Then proceed:

1. Install the program (click the .exe file)

2. Open from the Start> Programs Menu > Microsoft BootVis

3. Click the TRACE menu.

4. Select from Trace Menu the Next Boot + Drivers Delay option.

5. Small dialogue box will appear. Do nothing but click OK.

6. *Hands off,* now. Let your PC Reboot automatically. On its way back up (slower than usual), it will diagnose your startup routines. All this time, *hands off.* Do not touch the keyboard or the mouse.

8. Even when the PC has come back up to the desktop and appears to be doing nothing....*hands off.* It really IS doing something--you just can't see it. Be patient for just a bit... finally, you'll see the BootVis Interface with all your current boot time graphically displayed. Don't worry about this. Read it if you wish, but you don't need to.

9. Almost done! From the same menu as before, the TRACE menu, click the lowermost option: Optimize System.

10. After clicking Optimize System, *hands off* again! It's automatic from here. Let the PC reboot automatically, BUT:

11. This reboot will take quite a bit longer than normal. Be patient, even when the desktop returns, hands off. It is not done yet! It's done when the BootVis Graphical Information is finally displayed. A bar-type graph will show your new boot processes. How long it takes to load your drivers. How long for prefetch? How long for HDD delay? Etc. At the right end of the graph is a "stem" that rises above the other pieces of the graph, a straight vertical line with a little block on top. You can click (maybe right click) this little "stem" - the block - and see your boot time in 1/100ths of a second.

You can tweak your boot times with this routine as often as you wish. Once a month is probably plenty unless you're loading lots of programs or making other significant changes to msconfig or your boot files. The whole thing takes less than 5 minutes.

Before using BootVis, my boot time was 58.9 seconds. Now, 27.85 seconds.

BootVis's main thing is the optimization of you prefetch parameters. Among other things. You don't need to know anything about prefetch parameters, so don't worry. The good news: BootVis can lob off BIG LOTS OF TIME from your boot process. I think MicroSoft says, unless there's a big problem elsewhere, that the program should make your XP PC boot (from the bottom) in fewer than 30 seconds. My desktop, a big RAMBUS gorilla, boots in about 19 seconds. : ) Happy booting!

Leo Salcedo

You can download BootVis from <> or <>.

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by consul / May 27, 2005 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Try this - MS BootVis

I used bootvis on my laptop and all worked OK. But on my desktop I tired so many times and I got after the first reboot always the message "The number of physical drivesin the trace file is 0 - Trace file has invalid system configuration information"

Can someone shed some light on how to resolve ?

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See if this works.
by Leo_Salceto_DMD / May 30, 2005 4:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Bootvis


In the optimization routine, as I described it above in the original post, there is a _possible_ error... I apologize for this, although I doubt that it has caused any big problems.

It's this: When you first begin, when you click TRACE MENU > Next Boot + Driver Delays... do not click _anything_. Let the machine reboot on its own. Do NOT click "OK" as I mistakenly said to do.

I don't believe clicking OK would ruin the process completely, but it might diminish the results a bit. So, try that.

BootVis won't work if you just click "Optimize System." In fact, it's such a little devil of a thing, if you alter just a single part of the optimization routine (see my post above: "Try this..."), it won't work. It might even make things worse.

Copy the routine from the original post on BootVis, above. Paste it into NotePad. Print it. Make _sure_ you aren't rushing a step or leaving out anything. Let me know, here, how it goes.


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MS BootVis Problem
by zeeman / May 31, 2005 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: See if this works.

downloaded Microsoft BootVis, installed and executed exactly as per recomendation by Leo-Salceto in his ''Try this - Ms BootVis'' published 05/27/05 in response to ''Windows XP takes a long time to start'' -05/19/05 (dream431ca).
Now my computer will not boot up in normal mode. I can only start in ''Safe'' mode. I tried 'System Restore' to an earlier date without any effect. It will only start in safe mode. I suspect that some drivers got rmoved.(Leo has issued a revised instruction where he says not to click OK after selecting ''drivers delay option'')
I am afraid to download MS BootVis again and again go through the proces in Safe mode. I would be most grateful if either Leo Salceto or someone familier
with MS BootVis can help me.

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by sherpard / May 12, 2006 1:39 PM PDT
In reply to: See if this works.

hello Leo,

bootvis has managed to successfully reduce my startup time. but the thing is that my problem is not that of a slow startup of windows.. well sort of.

the problem is even getting to the Windows xp loading progress bar page. when i press the On button of my computer, it takes about 3 mins to Beep and then display anything on the monitor.. so what im saying is that after the computer "actually starts up after the beep" , starting up is relatively fast. the only problem is seeing the very 1st black DOS screen. thats where the long wait is.

do u know how i can solve it?


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Bootvis error - re: invalid system config. information
by mrlewp2-21657678435443944845608055286647 / March 16, 2007 3:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Bootvis

"The number of physical drives in the trace file is 0 - Trace file has invalid system configuration information"

I get this same error message. I've yet to see a dircet answer to this
that resolves the issue. Is there one?

(havent yet found where to provide info below to always appear)

Windows XP Home / Athlon 2G / 1G ram / 2-internal 80g drives , 1 external 160g USB drive / ATI All-In-Wonder 9kPro Video-TV 64M

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It's dead, Jim.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 16, 2007 4:09 AM PDT

Bootvis is from years ago. I suggest you make your own new post rather than attach yours to a 2 year old post.


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bootvisThe number of physical drivesin the trace file is 0
by blurt91 / March 23, 2010 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Bootvis

I know this thread is years old, but I only came across the problem recntly and it may help someone else looking for a solution. After much hunting around, discovered that temporararily disconnecting my USB card reader solved the problem...bootvis ran fine. I understand that you should also disconnect any other sort of USB drives you may have attached to your PC

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This post is now 5 years old.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 23, 2010 6:26 AM PDT
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Microsoft's Official Word on BootVis
by Loonier / May 28, 2005 1:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Try this - MS BootVis

Since some of you HAVE found that BootVis speeds up boot time, Microsoft's take on it may be confusing. Basically, they say that XP already has built-in boot optimization equivalent to BootVis. Here's the doc:
BootVis.exe Tool for System Manufacturers
Updated: September 19, 2003

About Bootvis.exe
Bootvis.exe is a performance tracing and visualization tool that Microsoft designed to help PC system designers and software developers identify performance issues for boot/resume timing while developing new PC products or supporting software.

Please note that Bootvis.exe is not a tool that will improve boot/resume performance for end users. Contrary to some published reports, Bootvis.exe cannot reduce or alter a system's boot or resume performance. The boot optimization routines invoked by Bootvis.exe are built into Windows XP. These routines run automatically at pre-determined times as part of the normal operation of the operating system.

If you are an end-user seeking to resolve issues for boot/resume performance on your PC, we recommend that you contact the vendor from whom you purchased the PC. For information from Microsoft on specific issues, you can search Knowledge Base for Windows XP product issues related to "resume time." Knowledge Base is a free information service available at:;[ln];kbhowto

You can also post questions to the Microsoft Windows XP Newsgroups at:

If you are a software developer or system designer seeking assistance for using Bootvis.exe in your development efforts, please work with your usual Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) contacts for developer support. To get developer support if you do not already have a contact, please see:

The Bootvis.exe tool is no longer available from this site.

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Boot Vis
by Researcher / May 28, 2005 7:33 PM PDT

I have successfully downloaded this utility and run it on both my machines. I invoked the "Optimise System" facility and it has done a fair job which seems to have given me a better startup, not a great deal shorter but it seems to have sorted the sequence??

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And Windows *always* does what it's supposed to do....
by Leo_Salceto_DMD / May 30, 2005 4:35 PM PDT

When you follow the routine explained above, what you're doing essentially is forcing XP to carry out the optimization routine that Microsoft *hopes* their big OS will run for you now and then. And in an ideal Windows World, which we all know rarely exists, this might happen. But, Microsft's "official word" about BootVis is also that their objective was to optimize the prefetch parameters, etc., such that users (customer$)could get a fast boot--fewer than 30 seconds. Why? Because it's one of the major complaints regarding all Windows versions, and in marketing surveys they learned that it's near the top of the list of things customers wish Windows would do that it normally doesn't do. Nobody likes a slow boot, and Uncle Bill knows this. So, he sayeth, Let XP customers boot in fewer than 30 seconds, and it was so, and it was good.

Now, if you want to believe that using BootVis to force the process that Microsoft intends to happen but usually doesn't...if you want to believe that forcing this process won't *drastically* increase your boot speed, then that's fine.

Personally, when my PC is taking 58.8 seconds to boot, I'll make the assumption that the optimization routine that was supposed to have worked _didn't work_. And I'll take three minutes to run the routine manually. A computer of mine was actually taking 58.8 seconds to boot, I ran this program _precisely_ as one must, and it immediately began booting in 27.85 seconds, which is cool with me. After a couple of weeks I can check and usually the PC is taking longer to boot. I run BootVis and it's back, give or take a second or so, to 27.85. So, it seems to me, it's a case of 2 + 2 = 4.

I've seen XP machines that would take several MINUTES to boot, and they'd been running for _months_! So, why didn't the "built-in" optimization function fix this? Why hadn't it fixed my 58.8 second computer? I'll hazard a speculation: it was simply screwed up. Just as System Restore so often fails, so does any other program that's supposed to take care of itself fail. All the conditions necessary for such complex automations simply do not, in the real world, show up at the same time, in the precise place and manner required for the automation to work.


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I tried it
by SDphoto / May 31, 2005 3:00 AM PDT

BootVis did just that: rebooted and rebooted for over 3 hours! It would reboot to "loading Windows" then reboot again. Over and over again. I finally gave up.

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by gary_weimer / June 29, 2005 3:21 PM PDT

I was having a lot of trouble with all programs opening I ran a complete bootvis and walla it made a big difference. thanks for the info

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MS Bootvis - Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by zeeman / June 1, 2005 2:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Try this - MS BootVis

downloaded Microsoft BootVis, installed and executed exactly as per recomendation by Leo-Salceto in his ''Try this - Ms BootVis'' published 05/27/05 in response to ''Windows XP takes a long time to start'' -05/19/05 (dream431ca).
Now my computer will not boot up in normal mode. I can only start in ''Safe'' mode. I tried 'System Restore' to an earlier date without any effect. It will only start in safe mode. I suspect that some drivers got rmoved.(Leo has issued a revised instruction where he says not to click OK after selecting ''drivers delay option'')
I am afraid to download MS BootVis again and again go through the proces in Safe mode. I would be most grateful if either Leo Salceto or someone familier
with MS BootVis can help me.

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Tip: Do not bury pleas for help in old discussions.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 1, 2005 2:34 AM PDT

This is not your thread and to get the best attention, make a new post and follow the forum note you see in red letters.

If you toasted your OS with BootVis, prepare to reinstall the OS.


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MS Bootvis
by Researcher / June 1, 2005 6:03 AM PDT

Uninstall it?

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MS Bootvis
by nickyboy / July 22, 2005 3:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Try this - MS BootVis

At the end of the install and run etc, I didn't get Bootvis graphical screen. I have run the prigram again I let it run without touching any keys etc still at the end I don;t get the screen you're talking about.

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MS BootVis
by flood / October 6, 2005 8:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Try this - MS BootVis

Leo, many thanks for advice. I have tried it on my PC at work XP Professional as opposed to home user. All went as you said exept I did not see the graph screen at the end. Do you think it worked? I will try at home anyway as this is the PC I am having trouble with - it takes about 8 mins to finish booting.... drives me mad. Advise would be helpful.
Regards Trev.

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increase boot time speed
by shajul / March 16, 2007 10:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Try this - MS BootVis

My computer takes 5 mins to completely boot up.I find this really annoying.I am 14 years old and i need advice how to make my boot time increase rapidly.I have an intel celeron processor win xp 256RAM and used up 5GB out of 24GB on my hard drive.If anyone replies,please give me step by step instructions how to increase my boot time using bootvis and any other software.Please use simple english and if you can't explain in simple english, use hard words that you can use.I am highly educated so i will definitely understand.

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Replying to posts two years old
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 17, 2007 12:11 AM PDT

The difficulty in resurrecting discussions that are this old is that many members will simply by-pass the discussion, and so you lose out on useful comments and advice. It is much better to start your own discussion.

In your case I would consider 5 factors;

1] The speed of your Celeron Processor. Celeron is the slower of Intel's processors, and although you didn't say, I suspect your processor is around 1GHz or below. That may struggle with Windows XP.

2] Increase your RAM. Your 256 MB of RAM is at the minimum range of what XP needs to run, and the single most useful thing you can do to increase speed and performance in XP is to increase your RAM. Many will say that XP needs 1 GB of RAM. I would go further and increase it to a minimum of 2 GB's.

3] That 24 GB hard disk may be getting full. A 24 GB hard disk, (another indication of the age of your computer), is now considered very small. With Operating Systems and program sizes getting larger and larger all the time, and with stored personal data files like music, photos, videos, etc taking up the remaining space, your hard disk is likely to be full. You really need an additional hard disk, and if you can afford it, go large, 200 GB or so. At least 100 GB.

If you cannot afford another hard disk, start uninstalling unnecessary programs, and move those personal files to CD.

4] Startup times are greatly affected by what programs/applications you have installed that "want to start on bootup". Most applications, during the install process, want to set themselves to "Load on startup", because the program developers want you to use their programs, and only their programs.

Goto Start > All programs, and check what is in the Startup folder. If there are too many in there, remove them. I only have one in my Startup folder. Those All programs > Startup files are only shortcuts, so you can right click them and delete them without deleting the programs themselves.

For the others, (startup programs have other ways of loading at startup), goto Start > Run and type in "msconfig", (without the quotes), and click OK. In the System Configuration Utility, click the Startup tab and begin investigating all those files in there. Using Google will help. Remove all the ticks for those programs/applications you can "safely" remove from startup.

5] Viruses and spyware. What do you use to protect your computer from viruses, spyware, trojans, etc? These will greatly reduce the effectiveness of your computer, and will eventually stop it.


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reduce boot time for win xp
by shajul / March 18, 2007 6:04 AM PDT

It's me again.Could anyone please tell me how make a new discussion and i ed to know how to increase the boot time for my comp.I have done all the things that you have told me to do but i need to know how to use bootvis in other ways to make the boot time reduce.I use mcafee security center and super antispyware.Only mcafee loads atstart up but i have alot of other screens that come up e.g intel celeron processor menu, an old screen coms up saying i have 32RAM and a load of other old description about my comp.I now have 256RAM so i just wanted to know how to take this screen off.I also have another screen that looks like a command prpmpt but does not display any information , just a blank screen.How coul i take these scrrens off because they take 30 secs to load up.

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To create a new discussion
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 18, 2007 7:23 PM PDT
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by shajul / March 19, 2007 4:03 AM PDT

It was going o.k with 256ram at the start,took 1min to startup, then it took 2mins and now 2mins and 20secs.I need a solution e.g software and i need to know how to use boot vis.How do i look at my computers BIOS ?
I only allow mcafee to startup when my comp boots.
I have 1100 megahurtz.

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You do realize bootvis is no more?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 19, 2007 4:07 AM PDT
In reply to: I NEED HELP

I wonder why people still look at it.


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bootvis problem-shut down pc on restart
by antoin_other / August 2, 2007 2:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Try this - MS BootVis

Hello, my system was running real slow whenever it reboot, it would go to a blue screen a take a long time to show the desktop I say this bootvis and decided to give it a try and the first step in the process it shut down my this time I thought it was apart of it it suppose to do...but it kept restarting and never boot fully...since my pc is unable to boot to tell exactly what's inside...from the top of my head...Wins_xp w/S2...1GB mem...2.4GH intel proc...I'm not sure what else I can tell about this system...I really would like some help with getting my system to boot fully...thanks in advance for your help.

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Do this
by tiberium / May 19, 2005 7:14 PM PDT

login to win xp with an account that has administrator privileges... and do the following...
it looks like your account in win xp has been corrupted

Delete the account you are using to log in to windows...but before you do that back up the favorites and documents that you might had on that account.
you back up your data in my computer or in my documents simply..
creating a new account is done by clicking on your account picture in the start menu's top side...
or click help and type "make new account" to guide you through making a new account ...
after you deleted the old account make another account may be with a different name then the account you deleted..
now log in and see it delays again...
2. delete all files in this folder...
here x: means the drive where windows is installed usualy c:
if you want a fast system always delete the files in the windows\prefetch folder they are not neaded by windows to work any way...just they are the cache of other programs that you use so that your programs can start fast when you next time run them...
thats all i think...
see if it works...

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Before you start deleting accounts,
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 19, 2005 8:35 PM PDT

do some general checking and cleaning first.

1] Check your Startup processes.

Goto Start > Run and type in ''msconfig'', (without the quotes), click the Startup tab and see what programs are loading on startup.

Anything there that you do not need immediately, or looks suspicious, remove the tick to stop it from loading when you startup.

You can use this site;
to find out what all these programs are for. It is not an easy site to navigate, but is useful nevertheless.

2] Check your background running processes.

Right click the Taskbar, and select Task Manager. Click the Processes tab, and see what processes are running in the background. Any that you don't want, disable them in the Services console, (Start > Run, type in ''services.msc''). In the Services console click on the Extended tab, highlight the process you want to disable, right click, choose Properties, and change the Startup type: option.

This site will help you decide which processes are needed, which are not, and which are/maybe viruses;

3] Remove unwanted files.

Goto Start > All Programs > Accessories > System tools and click Disk Cleanup. Remove all Temporary Internet Files, Temp Files, and empty the Recycle Bin.

4] Use your suite of anti-malware programs.

Update the definitions of all your anti-malware programs, ie anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-adware, and in Safe Mode scan with each. (To enter Safe Mode, restart the computer, and just before it begins to load Windows, press the F8 key once a second until a startup options menu appears. Select Safe Mode).

5] If you have not done so recently, scan your disk for errors, and defrag the disk.

6] Make sure your firewall is turned on when you are connected to the internet.

Good luck


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by Cursorcowboy / May 19, 2005 10:28 PM PDT

Use the NTBTLOG.TXT file to potentially identify startup problems.

a. "Enable Boot Logging" to creates a text log file in the systemroot directory with this name and can be double-clicked for viewing. The log lists files that Windows attempts to load and precedes the path of each by identifying them as Loaded driver or Did not load driver. Restart the computer, and when prompted, press F8, and then select Enable Boot Logging on the Windows Advanced Options Menu. Else, the articles [Q833721] and [Q323427] discusses the procedure for editing the Boot.ini file to enable boot logging.

Note: If a critical system file is corrupted or missing, Windows might generate a STOP message or write an entry to the Event logs or both, which you may not even be aware of.

b. To check an item listed in the Did not load driver section:

? Check for zero byte files or files with date and time stamps that do not match the Windows installation date.

? Compare files in systemroot\System32 to the same files on the Windows CD or another computer running the same edition (and service pack(s)).

? Run the System File Checker (Sfc.exe) command-line tool to inspect system files, [Q310747].

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