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Use Windows 7 Event Viewer to track down issues that cause slower boot times

Here’s how to use some of the new features in Windows 7’s Event Viewer to investigate a slow boot time.

Overview

Windows 7’s Event Viewer includes a new category of event logs called Applications and Services Logs, which includes a whole host of subcategories that track key elements of the operating system. The majority of these subcategories contain an event log type called Operational that is designed to track events that can be used for analyzing and diagnosing problems. (Other event log types that can be found in these subcategories are Admin, Analytic, and Debug; however, describing them is beyond the scope of this article.)

Now, within the operating system section is a subcategory titled Diagnostic-Performance with an Operational log that contains a set of a Task Category called Boot Performance Monitoring. The Event IDs in this category are 100 through 110. By investigating all the Event ID 100 events, you will be able to find out exactly how long it took to boot up your system every time since the day you installed Windows 7. By investigating all the Event ID 101 thru 110 events, you will be able to identify all instances where boot time slowed down.

Getting started

You can find and launch Event Viewer by opening the Control Panel, accessing the System and Security category, selecting the Administrative Tools item, and double-clicking the Event Viewer icon. However, you can also simply click the Start button, type Event in the Start Search box, and press Enter once Event Viewer appears and the top of the results display.

Creating a Custom View

Once you have Event Viewer up and running, you can, of course, drill down through the Applications and Services Logs and locate the Diagnostic-Performance Operational log and begin manually looking through the events recorded in the log. However, you can save yourself time and energy by taking advantage of the new Custom View feature, which is essentially a filter that you can create and save.

To do so, pull down the Action menu and select the Create Custom View command. When you see the Create Custom View dialog box, leave the Logged option set at the default value of Any Time and select all the Event level check boxes. Next, select the By Log option button, if it is not already selected, and click the dropdown arrow. Then, drill down through the tree following the path: Applications and Services Logs | Microsoft | Windows | Diagnostics-Performance. When you open the Diagnostics-Performance branch, select the Operational check box, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

When you get to the Diagnostics-Performance branch, select the Operational check box.

To continue, type 100 in the Includes/Excludes Event IDs box, as shown in Figure B, and then click OK.

Figure B

Event ID 100 records how long it takes to boot up your system.

When you see the Save Filter to Custom View dialog box, enter a name, as shown in Figure C, and click OK.

Figure C

To save the filter as a Custom View, simply provide an appropriate name, such as Boot Time.

You’ll now repeat these steps and create another Custom View, and this time, you’ll type 101-110 in the Includes/Excludes Event IDs box and name it Boot Degradation.

Investigating Boot Time

To investigate your Windows 7 system’s boot time, select Boot Time in the Custom Views tree and then sort the Date and Time column in ascending order. When you do, you’ll see a complete history of every time you have booted your system since the day you installed Windows 7. In Figure D, you can see that we have hidden the Console Tree and the Action Pane to focus on the events.

Figure D

By sorting the Date and Time column in ascending order, you’ll see a complete history of every time you have booted your system since the day you installed Windows 7.

As you can see, the first recorded Boot Time on my sample system was 67479 milliseconds in October 2009. Dividing by 1,000 tells me that it took around 67 seconds to boot up. Of course, this was the first time, and a lot was going on right after installation. For example, drivers were being installed, startup programs were being initialized, and the SuperFetch cache was being built. By December 2009 the average boot time was around 37 seconds.

In any case, by using the Boot Time Custom View, you can scroll through every boot time recorded on your system. Of course, keep in mind that there will be normal occurrences that may lengthen the boot time, such as when updates, drivers, and software is installed.

Now, if you click the Details tab, you’ll see the entire boot process broken down in an incredible amount of detail, as shown in Figure E. (You can find more information about the boot process in the “Windows On/Off Transition Performance Analysis” white paper.) However, for the purposes of tracking the boot time, we can focus on just three of the values listed on the Details tab.

Figure E

The Details tab contains an incredible amount of detail on the boot time.

MainPathBootTime

MainPathBootTime represents the amount of time that elapses between the time the animated Windows logo first appears on the screen and the time that the desktop appears. Keep in mind that even though the system is usable at this point, Windows is still working in the background loading low-priority tasks.

BootPostBootTime

BootPostBootTime represents the amount of time that elapses between the time that the desktop appears and the time that you can actually begin using the system.

BootTime

Of course, BootTime is the same value that on the General tab is called Boot Duration. This number is the sum of MainPathBootTime and BootPostBootTime. Something that we didn’t tell you before is that Microsoft indicates that your actual boot time is about 10 seconds less that the recorded BootTime. The reason is that it usually takes about 10 seconds for the system to reach an 80-percent idle measurement at which time the BootPostBootTime measurement is recorded.

Investigating Boot Degradation

To investigate instances that cause Windows 7 system’s boot time to slow down, select Boot Degradation in the Custom Views tree and then sort Event ID column in ascending order. Each Event ID, 101 through 110, represents a different type of situation that causes degradation of the boot time.

While there are ten different Event IDs here, not all of them occur on all systems and under all circumstances. As such, I’ll focus on the most common ones that we have encountered and explain some possible solutions.

Event ID 101

Event ID 101 indicates that an application took longer than usual to start up. This is typically the result of an update of some sort. As you can see in Figure F, the AVG Resident Shield Service took longer than usual to start up right after an update to the virus database. If you look at the details, you can see that it took about 15 seconds for the application to load (Total Time), and that is about 9 seconds longer than it normally takes (Degradation Time).

Figure F

Event ID 101 indicates that an application took longer than usual to start up.

An occasional degradation is pretty normal; however, if you find that a particular application is being reported on a regular basis or has a large degradation time, chances are that there is a problem of some sort. As such, you may want to look for an updated version, uninstall and reinstall the application, uninstall and stop using the application, or maybe find an alternative.

(In the case of my friend’s Windows 7 system, there were several applications that were identified by Event ID 101 as the cause of his system slowdown. Uninstalling them was the solution, and he is currently seeking alternatives.)

Event ID 102

Event ID 102 indicates that a driver took longer to initialize. Again, this could be the result of an update. However, if it occurs regularly for a certain driver or has a large degradation time, you should definitely look in to a newer version of the driver. If a new version is not available, you should uninstall and reinstall the driver.

Event ID 103

Event ID 103 indicates that a service took longer than expected to start up, as shown in Figure G.

Figure G

Event ID 103 indicates that a service took longer than expected to start up.

Services can occasionally take longer to start up, but they shouldn’t do so on a regular basis. If you encounter a service that is regularly having problems, you can go to the Services tool and experiment with changing the Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start) or Manual.

Event ID 106

Event ID 106 indicates that a background optimization operation took longer to complete. On all the Windows 7 systems that we investigated, this event identified the BackgroundPrefetchTime as the culprit, as shown in Figure H. Since the Prefetch cache is a work in progress, this should not really represent a problem.

Figure H

Event ID 106 indicates that a background optimization operation took longer to complete.

If you encounter regular or long degradation times related to Prefetch, you may want to investigate clearing this cache and allowing the operating system to rebuild it from scratch. However bear in mind that doing so can be tricky and instructions on doing so are beyond the scope of this article.

Event ID 109

Event ID 109 indicates that a device took longer to initialize. Again, if this is happening occasionally, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. But if it is occurring regularly, you should make sure that you regularly back up your hard disk and begin investigating replacing the device in question.

Have questions?

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New Website Design – Chen Gray Law Group, LLC

The Website Design team of South Jersey Techies has been constantly working on developing great looking websites using the latest web technologies. The most recent website developed by our team is for an Immigration Law Firm in South Jersey, Chen Gray Law Group LLC

Chen Gray Law Group provides services in all aspects of immigration issues, including non-immigrant and immigrant visa processing; PERM/Labor Certification cases; EB-1 extraordinary individuals with abilities in the arts, sciences, athletics or business; multinational executives; naturalization; waivers; and exchange visitors – to name a few categories. The Chen Gray Law Group is located in Marlton, NJ, is a minority-owned boutique immigration law firm. Firm clients include health care employers and employees, global corporations and local companies, professional athletes, opera stars, high net worth investors, golf courses and resorts along with nonprofit organizations – including temples and shrines across the U.S.

 

 

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Our Web Design team is here to help
Call us at: 856-745-9990 or visit: https://southjerseytechies.net

South Jersey Techies, LLC is a full Managed Web and IT Services Company located in Marlton, NJ providing IT ServicesManaged IT Services, Website Design ServicesServer SupportIT ConsultingVoIP PhonesCloud Solutions Provider and much more. Contact Us Today.

Change and customize Windows 7’s Logon screen wallpaper

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, we show you how to change Windows 7’s Logon screen wallpaper.

While experimenting with several Microsoft Windows 7 systems recently, we spent a lot of time staring at the Logon screen. During that time, we began to think about changing the Logon screen wallpaper. Now, we have changed the Logon screen wallpaper in just about every version of Windows we’ve used, so we know that there had to be a way to do so.

When we began to investigate the procedure in Windows 7, we discovered that changing the Logon screen wallpaper in the newest version of the Windows operating system is easy, once you know the steps — and you don’t even need any third-party software to do it.

In order to make it easy for OEMs to customize Windows 7, Microsoft built the ability to change the Logon screen wallpaper right in to the operating system. In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, we’ll show you how to change Windows 7’s Logon screen wallpaper.

A Registry tweak

The process begins with a very minor Registry tweak. Even for those who would not normally feel comfortable editing the Registry, this one’s a piece of cake. To begin, click the Start button and type Regedit in the Search box. Then, select the appropriate result and press [Enter]. When you do, you’ll see the User Account Control, shown in Figure A, and will need to click the Yes button.Note: Editing the Windows Registry file is not without its risks, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

Figure A

You will encounter a UAC when you launch the Registry Editor.

Once the Registry Editor launches, locate and right-click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key and select the Find command. When you see the Find dialog box, type OEMBackground in the text box and make sure that only the Values check box is selected, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Type OEMBackground in the Find dialog box.

When the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background key opens, locate and double-click the OEMBackground value. When you see the Edit DWORD dialog box, change the value data from 0 to 1, as shown in Figure C. (If the OEMBackground value doesn’t exist in the Background key, you’ll need to pull down the Edit menu from that key and select New | DWORD (32-bit) Value).

Figure C

Change the value data from 0 to 1.

To complete this part of the operation, click OK to close the Edit DWORD dialog box and then close the Registry Editor.

Creating folders

In the second part of the operation, you’ll need to create a couple of folders. To begin, launch Windows Explorer. Then navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\Oobe folder. Once you access the Oobe folder, click the New Folder button in the Windows Explorer toolbar. You’ll see a confirmation dialog box, like the one shown in Figure D. When you click Continue, the new folder will be created and you can name it info.

Figure D

When you click the New Folder button, you’ll encounter a confirmation dialog box.

Then, open the info folder, click the New Folder button again, work through the confirmation dialog box, and then name the second new folder backgrounds.

Configuring the wallpaper

You can use any image that you want for your new Logon screen wallpaper. However, the image has to be in JPG format and you need to name it backgroundDefault.jpg. When you copy your file to the Windows\System32\Oobe\info\backgrounds folder, you’ll encounter and will need to work through a confirmation dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure D.

Two other things to keep in mind: First, the actual file size of backgroundDefault.jpg cannot exceed 256 KB. Second, you’ll want to use an image whose dimensions match the screen resolution that you are using. If you use a file whose dimensions are smaller, the image will be stretched and may appear distorted.

Altering shadows

As you know, the button and the text used to identify your user account on the Logon screen have shadows behind them to give them a 3D-like look, and these shadows work well with the default Logon screen wallpaper. Depending on what image you use for your new Logon screen wallpaper, these shadows might not work so well.

In addition to making it easy to change the Logon screen wallpaper, Microsoft also made it easy to adjust or disable the text and button shadows to accommodate your particular image.

To alter the shadows, launch the Registry Editor again as described above and access the

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI folder

Once you open the LogonUI folder, you’ll create a new DWORD value called ButtonSet, as shown in Figure E. You can then configure the shadow by setting the value data to one of the following numbers:

  • 0 — Light shadow
  • 1 — Dark shadow
  • 2 — No shadow

Figure E

The ButtonSet value allows you to adjust or disable the text and button shadows.

Have questions?

Get answers from Microsofts Cloud Solutions Partner!
Call us at: 856-745-9990 or visit: https://southjerseytechies.net/

South Jersey Techies, LL C is a full Managed Web and Technology Services Company providing IT ServicesWebsite Design ServicesServer SupportNetwork ConsultingInternet PhonesCloud Solutions Provider and much more. Contact for More Information.

To read this article in its entirety click here.

Exclusive offer from BigBeagle.com

Exclusive offer from: BigBeagle.com  |  24/7 Support: 8885051532

BigBeagle is a reseller of GoDaddy and offers GoDaddy products at a discounted price. Don’t forget to visit our coupon page at http://bigbeagle.com/coupons for the latest and greatest promotions.

Save upto 15% on all new purchases, great products just for you. Hurry before the offer expires.

Use promo code in your cart when you order.

*Some limitations apply. Applicable to new purchases only. Enter promo code into shopping cart to see full details. Offer expires Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at midnight (Mountain Time).

Copyright © 2017 BigBeagle.com. All rights reserved.

Modifying the Windows 7 boot loader with the Boot Configuration Data Editor tool

In Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, the bootloader was moved from boot.ini to a utility called BCDEdit. Here’s how to modify the boot config data with the new tool.

Sometimes dual-booting a system is a handy way to test new software, a new operating system, or an application that needs to be run in a specific version of Windows. Other reasons to dual-boot might include replication of a client environment.

Windows handles dual-booting by using boot.ini to display a menu of bootable choices or partitions found on the current system. In Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, the bootloader was moved from boot.ini to a utility called BCDEdit.

Recently, we decided we could make better use of some disk space that we had set aside to create a bootable VHD for Windows Server 2008 R2. There was no data other than the OS installation contained within the file because we had used it only to prepare a blog post about booting from Virtual Hard Disks. To free up the space, we deleted the VHD.

Note: Always make sure to back up any data that you want to keep before deleting or modifying partitions on VHDs. Your changes could make the partition unbootable.

Once we had the VHD removed, we thought Windows would be smart enough to clean up the boot loader, but we were not so lucky. We had Windows 7 set as the primary OS, so we were not without a system.

We started looking around for boot.ini and was directed toward the Boot Configuration Data Editor (BCDEdit) as the utility to use when editing boot loader information in Windows 7 (and in Vista too).

To begin, open the Start menu, select All Programs, and then choose Accessories. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator. Once in the command window, type bcdedit. This will return the current running configuration of your boot loader, showing any and all items that can boot on this system.

In this example, we decided to remove the entry for my Windows 2008 R2 installation, as we wouldn’t need it for the time being. To remove an entry, you will need to know the Boot Loader Identifier (found in curly braces in Figure A).

Figure A

we copied the whole list into Notepad and then selected and copied just the ID, braces included.

Removing an entry from the Boot Loader

One simple command got the Windows Server 2008 R2 entry out of the boot loader. At the command prompt, enter the following:

Bcdedit /delete {boot loader identifier}

Press Enter, and the Boot Configuration Data Editor (BCDEdit) will remove the entry for the ID you specified and display a message when finished. When Windows starts, the only choice available in the boot menu should be the current Windows installation.

Warning: Be careful when editing the boot configuration data. If you mistakenly remove the current instance of Windows, you may render your computer unbootable.

Have questions?

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South Jersey Techies, LL C is a full Managed Web and Technology Services Company providing IT ServicesWebsite Design ServicesServer SupportNetwork ConsultingInternet PhonesCloud Solutions Provider and much more. Contact for More Information.

To read this article in its entirety click here.

Plan for Additional Area Code in New Jersey Announced

NJ to get New Area Code

Neustar, Inc., serving in its capacity as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), announced that an additional area code, 640, has been assigned to the existing 609 area code that serves the Central and Southeastern area of New Jersey, including the cities of Atlantic City, Hammonton, Princeton and Trenton.

Neustar forecasts that numbering resources in the 609 area code will be exhausted by the third quarter of 2018. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has directed all local exchange service providers to activate the new area code to ensure the availability of numbering resources in a manner that is most efficient and least confusing for consumers, while minimizing possible disruption to consumers and businesses.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) selected Neustar to serve as the NANPA, the neutral third-party administrator that works with the telecommunications industry in developing area code relief plans. NANPA also oversees the assignment of area codes, central office codes, carrier identification codes, and other numbering resources throughout the United States, Canada, Bermuda and various Caribbean countries.

Have questions?

Get answers from Microsofts Cloud Solutions Partner!
Call us at: 856-745-9990 or visit: https://southjerseytechies.net/

South Jersey Techies, LL C is a full Managed Web and Technology Services Company providing IT ServicesWebsite Design ServicesServer SupportNetwork ConsultingInternet PhonesCloud Solutions Provider and much more. Contact for More Information.

To read this article in its entirety click here.

New Website Design – The Vendemmia Foundation

The Website Design team of South Jersey Techies has been constantly working on developing great looking websites using the latest web technologies. The most recent website developed by our team is a non-profit, charitable organization in South Philadelphia, The Vendemmia Foundation.

The Vendemmia Foundation is dedicated to preserving Italian culture; to advancing the understanding of Italian heritage and the art of winemaking; to fostering pride in community; and to supporting the educational needs of students of Italian heritage in South Philadelphia. The Vendemmia Foundation supports the education of young people in the South Philadelphia area. Scholarships are awarded to eligible grade school students and eligible high graduates.

 

Have questions?

Our Web Design team is here to help
Call us at: 856-745-9990 or visit: https://southjerseytechies.net

South Jersey Techies, LLC is a full Managed Web and IT Services Company located in Marlton, NJ providing IT ServicesManaged IT Services, Website Design ServicesServer SupportIT ConsultingVoIP PhonesCloud Solutions Provider and much more. Contact Us Today.

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