Windows XP Software: BootVis, the solution for slow startups

BootvisWhen you start up a Windows computer, there are a number of processes, programs and drivers that load up automatically. The more things that load up, the slower your startup will be. If your machine takes 5 minutes to boot, there is something wrong and the boot up needs to be looked at. You should aim to be completely up and running within 2 minutes.

There are sometimes utilities that take an extremely long time to open up. This may be due to them being faulty or configured incorrectly. There is no way to tell what is holding up the startup process unless you can get your hands on some detailed data which will show you how long each component of your startup is taking. That is where BootVis comes in.

BootVis shows you a time line of your startup sequence, showing you when each process starts and finishes during boot up, all presented visually in easy to read graphs. This can be used to find out where your startup is being slowed down or pausing. This can help you identify the problem and then take steps to work out a solution.

BootVis was originally released by Microsoft so that driver programmers could test their software. It is no longer supported by Microsoft (hence no version for Vista), nor is it available through them. I have been unable to find any freeware programs that do this crucial fault finding job visually, though there are some programs that log some of this data to text files.

Some sites report that BootVis can be used to speed up your startup time. There are optimisation options in BootVis, but to get worthwhile results, you will need to manually tweak your system and use some wisdom to make the most out of it.

BootVis is a must for anyone suffering a slow startup. Get your copy for free from

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1 comment so far »

  1. Craig Box said, on December 15, 2007 @ 8:05 am

    A common misconception could do to be mentioned here – Bootvis itself doesn’t speed up booting. I suspect Microsoft abandoned it because people thought it was a panacea for slow boot issues. What it does is graph the boot process, as you say, allowing a smart user to decide which parts need manual optimization.

    It does have a “speed up boot” menu option, which runs – wait for it – defrag. Defrag, with the hidden parameter -b, will move the files required to boot your system to the edge of the hard drive, where they can be read quicker.

    Windows by default already runs this scheduled defrag -b task every 3 days.

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