Prefetch cache boot times

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by FloppyD, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. FloppyD

    FloppyD New Member

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    Hi!

    I've been looking into the boot time of my laptop (ASUS N71Jq), which I've had for about 1 year now. I measured 2:30 to 3:00 from pressing power to desktop. Doing this I've found that the boot time for the Prefetch cache has a rather long degradation:

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 15"]-[/TD]
    [TD="width: 130"]EventData[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 130"]StartTime[/TD]
    [TD]2013-04-02T10:48:37.874400700Z[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 130"]NameLength[/TD]
    [TD]23[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 130"]Name[/TD]
    [TD]BackgroundPrefetchTime[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 130"]TotalTime[/TD]
    [TD]60633[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 15"][/TD]
    [TD="width: 130"]DegradationTime[/TD]
    [TD]19505[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]



    This fault seems to be coming back a lot, giving a degradation time of 20 to 40 seconds. Does this mean I could decrease my boot time 20 seconds if I clear this cache? If so, how would i go about doing this?

    Please tell me if you need any additional information.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I will assume the situation occurs during a boot from a powered off condition. Since there are utilities and processes that are designed to speed up either restarts or boot, it is important to know which one we are discussing.

    Do you have any special boot options, like fast boot enabled in your bios? Are you running something like the Intel Smart Response Technology that uses an SSD/mSATA to help speed up hard drive access, or Rapid Start that keeps a hibernation file?

    I am not sure where your data for the boot comes from, but was it the Event Viewer, Application and Service Logs, Microsoft, Windows, Diagnostic Performance, Operational and then the Boot Performance Monitoring entry? Mine shows a boot time of around 18 seconds (17870 ms) and not degraded. The overall speed of your processor would certainly effect this time.

    But 2.5 to 3 minutes is a fairly long time for a boot. You might try to use msconfig.exe to do a diagnostic boot to see if you can speed things up. There might be a driver problem, something is doing a scan (like anti-virus), or some network location is not immediately accessible.
     
  3. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    Clearing the prefetch cache will tidy things up and can be done most easily by selecting the option in ccleaner to clear old prefetch data. My ccleaner is set to clear every time I run it and my prefetch cache (C:\Windows\Prefetch) is about 22MB.
     
    #3 patcooke, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  4. FloppyD

    FloppyD New Member

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    Thanks for your reply!

    I measured the startup time by completely powering down. From the moment I pressed the power button I timed the startup up to the moment the desktop shows.

    I'm not sure about the fast boot. Can I view this in the bios? Also I'm not sure about the intel thing, where could I view this?

    The data I found is indeed from the event viewer.

    Does the diagnostic boot just boot without services/startup programs? What will that tell me then?
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    The special boot options in the Bios will normally be useful for restarts, so probably not relevant to your situation.

    MSconfig can be set to boot only the Microsoft stuff. But it is a process of elimination as to what helps and doesn't. Start with the Diagnostic Startup, which is about the same as Safe Mode... If it helps, then move to the Selective startup and uncheck either the Load System Services, or Load Startup Items to see if it effects the situation.

    On the Services tab, you can check "Hide all Microsoft services" then use the Disable all button and boot that way.

    You can use the Startup tab to disable certain startup drivers, but again trial and error.

    When you first got the system, do you remember the boot times being much faster than 2-3 minutes? I also run an SSD on my system, so my times may be faster for that reason.

    Pat's suggestion to clean out the Prefetch cache might remove something there that might have gotten corrupted. At least you would know if the original problem cleared up.
     
  6. FloppyD

    FloppyD New Member

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    I've tried the diagnostic startup, it didn't change the boot time, but for some reason every startup program is disabled now even when using selective startup. So yeah, not much of a help here.. Should I try safe mode?


    Anyway, after booting up a few times now, the Prefetch cache hasn't been acting up anymore.


    I've now timed how long several processes take for my laptop, looking at this I think I've been looking at the wrong things altogether:
    0:00 push power button
    0:30 fans rev up
    ~0:50 ASUS logo pops up
    ~1:00 Windows logo pops up
    ~2:00 Desktop shows
    ~2:20 to 2:30 desktop usable (still some processes running).


    Is it possible that there's something wrong with the startup before windows boots? Also I've been reading that some people have trouble with microsoft security essentials increasing startup times by a lot, I want to try disabling this, do you have a recommendation for a different AV?
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Pat probably has some suggestions on the AV topic, but I use MSE and have not had any such problems on any of 5 systems.

    I just timed my older Dell Inspiron 1545 and it takes 35 seconds to the login screen and another 7 seconds to the Desktop after login.

    Safe mode would give you some indication. If something like your hard drive was having a problem, it might take a long time to get into the ASUS logo screen, it only takes a few seconds on my desktop.

    Are you doing this with external power connected?

    My laptop does not have a lot of software installed and no extra stuff that normally comes with a OEM installation.
     
  8. FloppyD

    FloppyD New Member

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    Booting up in safe mode didn't change anything.
    external power is connected.

    Now, I did notice in the BIOS that I could choose between IDE or AHCI mode, currently using IDE. Would changing this do anything? It's just about the only thing I could change in the BIOS that looked like it would do anything useful, but a google search didn't help much in explaining what it does exactly.

    thanks for bearing with me.
     
  9. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    If you haven't previously seen it you may find autoruns helpful. It gives you much more information and control over startup items - in particular you are able to just disable items to test whether or not you want to permanently delete them:

    Autoruns for Windows
     
  10. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Along with Autoruns, which might help once you started loading the OS, you could turn off the full screen logo in the bios. Maybe you would see something going on behind that during the boot screen.

    Maybe there is some OpRom opening for some reason or maybe a PXE boot option is checking for a boot source. I assume you show the hard drive as your first boot device, or DVD followed by Hard Drive. You said the unit was only a year old, right?

    I don't think the IDE would slow it down, but the AHCI is a better controller and it is recommended to not change that after the install. I assume ASUS set it up that way?

    Taking 50 seconds to get to the ASUS logo, just by itself, seems very long. Taking 30 seconds for the fans to start might be related to when they speed up, so hard to say if that is an indication.

    Do you have any media in the DVD drive?
     
  11. FloppyD

    FloppyD New Member

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    Ah yes, that might help. I'll try that next.

    So far, I've been able to cut the bootup by 30 seconds by upgrading my bios (didn't even know that was possible haha). I can now get to desktop in 1:30.

    I can try switching up boot drives. I now have my hard drive first, but the DVD drive is empty anyway. Also, can I just change the SATA settings of should I do it a certain way? I'm rather scared to destroy something when I open the setup so if it doesn't have a lot of influence I'd rather just leave it.
     
  12. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Changing your SATA settings from IDE to AHCI is a little tricky in Windows 7. You first have to set the system to use the AHCI drivers and then reboot and change in the bios.

    There should be some sites around that explain how.

    Error message occurs after you change the SATA mode of the boot drive

    You might look through this one, but I have never done the fixit. The comments about Msahci are important. If you decide to edit the registry, it can normally be done without issue, but it can be dangerous.

    After you make the registry changes (or fixit) you will have to reboot and enter the bios to change the SATA mode. If you run into a problem and the system won't boot with AHCI enabled in the bios, change it back to IDE and try again.
     

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