Home > Windows XP / 7 > Windows7: Troubleshoot startup performance

Windows7: Troubleshoot startup performance

As an IT system engineer, you have probably faced an issue where one particular workstation will not start in a timely fashion. Usually with msconfig.exe could be a lot solved by turning of nonessential services at start-up. But there is also a way to get an overview of all steps that run during a start-up. You can use xbootmgr.exe to generate a report that provides you with valuable startup information in an easy-to-interpret tables or XML file that you can use to help in diagnosing your next startup problem. This tool is included in the Windows SDK toolkit, which you can download on the Microsoft MSDN site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/bb980924

Install SDK for windows 7

  • Install Windows Performance toolkit
  • Install Debugging tools for Windows

Once the install is complete, start the command prompt as Administrator. Type the following command to generate a boot report and save it to c:\temp folder:

xbootmgr -trace boot -traceFlags BASE+CSWITCH+DRIVERS+POWER -resultPath C:\TEMP

  • -trace boot: Perform a boot trace.
  • -traceflags BASE+CSWITCH+DRIVERS+POWER: default is: BASE+CSWITCH will generate all default info about CPU, I/O, processes, services… , POWER is for Power management events, DRIVERS will generate all Driver events.
  • -resultPath: Specify the location of the output files.

Open “The Performance Analyzer trace file” with extention *.etl. Double-click on the file. Below I will show some interesting graphics of the boot trace file.

The Winlogon

During WinLogonInit, the user logon screen appears, the service control manager starts services, and Group Policy scripts run. WinLogonInit ends when the Explorer process starts. In this example you can see that the GPClient takes 246 seconds to load. This means that there is performance problem with the “Computer policies”. After the first GPClient will run a second GPClient which loads the “User Policies”.


In the services graph you can see exactly how much time it takes for each service to start.

Driver Delays

In this graph you can see which driver files get stuck during the startup process. In this example are no specific delays showed.

Xbootmgr is a fantastic tool that can provide all information you need about the startup/shutdown of a Windows7/Server2008 machine.

Categories: Windows XP / 7
  1. May 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Great walkthrough, thanks!

  1. May 31, 2011 at 10:53 am

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