Dave-H

Faster Startup For Windows 2000?

109 posts in this topic

Thanks again Ascii2.

I think I'm at the point of giving up now.

:(

I managed to get rid of one of my ControlSets, one that was marked as "failed".

It took me a while to work out how to change the permissions so the system would allow me to delete it. but eventually I did. This made very little difference to the SYSTEM file size.

I then ran a registry compacter for NT registries which I found called NTREGOPT, which reduced it from 9MB to 6.2MB!

At last I thought, but still no go, the system still wouldn't start with any of the newer start-up files.

:no:

It looks as if three ControlSets is the minimum you can have, the Current, Default, and Last Good.

Delete any of those and either the system won't start, or if it does it puts the deleted one straight back again.

If even 6.2MB is too big for the system to start, I think I'm defeated.

It started with the 2MB SYSTEM file in my Repair folder, but the system wouldn't complete loading, so that's no good.

I can't imagine that I would ever get my working SYSTEM file down to anywhere near that size without removing so much that the system would be crippled.

I'm now very worried for those earlier in the thread who said that their systems worked fine with the loader files from XP or 2003. I suspect that this only worked because they had very small SYSTEM registry hives.

There is of course a high probability that this will not remain the case, and they will suddenly fail to boot without any warning. "Last Good Configuration" should work in that scenario, and I hope it does!

I hope that if this happens to people that they read to the end of this thread and discover what the problem is, and that they've kept backups of their original 2000 loader files (or have a 2000 disk to restore them from!)

So, I'm resigned to keeping the loaders as they are on my system.

I have at least pruned the registry size considerably, which can't be a bad thing!

My next line of attack (and I haven't ruled out trying jaclaz's proposed solution as well) is to try and just get my present boot a bit quicker.

I've done all the obvious things like disabling all unnecessary services and startup programs, but the main problem is very early on in the process.

I've done some research into the 2000 boot process, but haven't been able to find a definitive account of what order things happen in, and what's on the screen at that time.

The "Starting Windows" bar goes across pretty quickly, so that's not a worry.

The big pause comes at the next stage, the splash screen.

The progress bar at the bottom moves across in jerks, but pretty quickly, until it gets about three quarters of the way across.

It then pauses, for about 20-25 seconds, before moving on.

That is what I really want to get rid of, as I'm absolutely sure that it hasn't always done that.

I don't know what's happening at that point, but there's no disk activity during the pause.

It's like it's waiting for something, or looking for or scanning for something.

I suspect it's hardware device related.

When it reaches the pause point, the keyboard lights flash momentarily, and then go out.

They come back on when the bar moves on after the pause.

Also at that moment there is sometimes a flash on the screen, and occasionally the display blacks out and then comes on again. This all sounds like hardware driver loading, but why the long pause?

If I could get rid of that, and as I said I'm sure it hasn't always done it, I would be satisfied!

Any ideas?

I have no "problem" hardware on the system as far as I know.

Cheers,

Dave.

:)

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True, we (those who can use new bootloaders) should be concerned; occasionally my 2000 fails to boot; complaining about system hive being corrupt.

As for the Starting Windows graphical progress bar part, my progress bar starts out half way (weird) and does get stuck at 75% often.

And a 9.0 MB SYSTEM hive? My current SYSTEM hive is 2,948KB. My repair SYSTEM is only 932KB. Could it be too much slipstreaming?

Honestly, the 2003 loader occasionally fails to resume from Hibernate in 2000. So after downgrading back to the XP loader, Hibernate resumed almost always. Maybe speeding up Hibernate is the way of the future?

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I then ran a registry compacter for NT registries which I found called NTREGOPT, which reduced it from 9MB to 6.2MB!

At last I thought, but still no go, the system still wouldn't start with any of the newer start-up files.

6.2 MB does seem like a reasonable size.
It looks as if three ControlSets is the minimum you can have, the Current, Default, and Last Good.
The minimum is one or two. Usually "Current" and "Default" reference the same ControlSet and Last Good refers to an additional ControlSet used for the Last Known Good Configuration. I am uncertain if the operation system would boot if the Last Good Control set were deleted.
The "Starting Windows" bar goes across pretty quickly, so that's not a worry.

The big pause comes at the next stage, the splash screen.

The progress bar at the bottom moves across in jerks, but pretty quickly, until it gets about three quarters of the way across.

It then pauses, for about 20-25 seconds, before moving on.

That is what I really want to get rid of, as I'm absolutely sure that it hasn't always done that.

I don't know what's happening at that point, but there's no disk activity during the pause.

It's like it's waiting for something, or looking for or scanning for something.

I suspect it's hardware device related.

When it reaches the pause point, the keyboard lights flash momentarily, and then go out.

They come back on when the bar moves on after the pause.

Also at that moment there is sometimes a flash on the screen, and occasionally the display blacks out and then comes on again. This all sounds like hardware driver loading, but why the long pause?

If I could get rid of that, and as I said I'm sure it hasn't always done it, I would be satisfied!

The long pause during Windows 2000 boot is normal. You possibly may be able to lessen the length of the pause, but it would still remain long relative to the other occurrences during the boot process.
My next line of attack (and I haven't ruled out trying jaclaz's proposed solution as well) is to try and just get my present boot a bit quicker.

I've done all the obvious things like disabling all unnecessary services and startup programs, but the main problem is very early on in the process.

Try the following to lessen the boot time:

Examine the drivers you have installed, remove unless drivers, change inefficient drivers if possible, or replace or remove hardware (and their drivers).

Check the hard disk acoustic management, power management, and transfer mode settings if they exist and adjust them to maximize performance.

Adjust BIOS settings to improve boot performance if possible.

Ensure that all cables are well connected and of sufficient quality.

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Disc/disk, I've never been sure of the correct way to spell it depending on context.

I always use "disc" to refer to round flat things generally, especially old things like vinyl record discs, but "disks" (US spelling?) when referring to computer disks/discs!

A bit like "programme", the usual UK spelling, and "program", the US spelling, but always used when referring to computer programs.

In fact my spellcheck (supposedly UK English) says that it's always "disk", and "disc" doesn't exist!

:wacko:

Anyway, we digress............

I know it doesn't solve your issue, and, yes, is some more digression... :rolleyes: but I think the correct usage is "disc" for optical media and vinyl records, and disk for every other round flat media, including Magneto-Optical and Zip Disks, except for common floppies, where diskette applies. See also DISC/DISK and Spelling of disc (Wikipedia).

Now back to topic: did you use Scrubber (KB277222) to help reduce your registry size?

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I did try downloading and running the scrubber hotfix from MS, but it didn't make any noticeable difference to the size of my SYSTEM hive, but thanks for the suggestion.

As I said on the "Puzzling Registry Size Issue" thread over on the Windows 98 forum, I'm amazed that this 16MB memory limitation during startup was perpetuated from Windows 98 to Windows 2000!

It appears that it was finally addressed in Windows 2003, but there seems to be no way of porting that across to Windows 2000 installations.

:)

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I must say that I was little dubious, when I read this thread, but I finished reading it, determined that I try this. I obtained the ntldr and NTDETECT.COM files from Windows 2003 server SP2 Enterprise and non-SP Corporate editions. I quess that there is no download link because of the copyright, but hit me with PM and I provide the link to them...

Anyway, I made backup by DriveImage and measured by stopwatch the boot time - since the post screen dim to the flick of the Windows screen when the GFX nVidia card get overclocked and it is old one, so it flick with the image and one can begin use the computer. Please note I just now, temporaly, running on a VERY old machine, it is a JetWay V266B mainboard with KT266A chipset, 1G ram 2-2-2-5, overclocked to 150MHz FSB x 12.5 with AXP Barton CPU at 1875MHz and FX5600XT. On this I run Windows 2000 SP4, with disabled everything I can. I striped out every little thing I managed, so...

Original Windows 2000 SP4 boot files - time 38:62 sec

Windows 2003 server Corporate files - time 28:29 sec

Now that is a little over 10 sec, witch obviously made me VERY happy, I was like HOLLY SH*T when I saw that for the first time. And since I type this after a scandisk and with eMule running and ICQ and Firefox and stuff - it looks like that there is no stability penalty for the nice boot time.

The bottom line is, that since I start my machine in the morning, then go to breakfast and stuff, I did not really need the fast boot time... But it definitively is a great improve and for what? For nothing, just two files and that it is. I can only recommend to everyone!

Sorry Dave-H that it did not work out for you. Out there the results is amazing at very least!

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Glad it worked for you Pavel!

:thumbup

I tried using both of the two sets of startup files that you kindly gave me a link to, but neither worked.

:no:

Just the usual "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt \WIN-NT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM" error message as soon as the system tried to start.

:(

How big is your system32\config\system file as a matter of interest?

Edited by Dave-H
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Well, it is working and surprisingly fast... The WinNT\system32\config\system file is 2 596 864 bytes long, together with its ALT and BAK cousins.

Pretty well optimized Win2k SP4, huh? :hello:

Sorry to hear that these files was not any help to you - probably time to clean out the garbage in your windows?

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As this stuff can also be applied to NT4, and it speeds the boot up quite a bit, I'm using it.

Now I'm thinking whether the boot files from XP SP3 or S2k3 SP2 are better/faster, as the XP ones are newer with it's SP3.

Do you guys have any clue?

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Well, it is working and surprisingly fast... The WinNT\system32\config\system file is 2 596 864 bytes long, together with its ALT and BAK cousins.

Pretty well optimized Win2k SP4, huh? :hello:

Sorry to hear that these files was not any help to you - probably time to clean out the garbage in your windows?

Well my SYSTEM file is still 6.22MB, and that's after deleting one of the "ControlSets" that wasn't needed!

I can't think of any other way to make it significantly smaller, as the ControlSets still left seem to all be necessary.

My understanding is that the SYSTEM hive should only contain the information necessary for the computer to start.

The number of software programs installed should not affect it, as their data is stored elsewhere (presumably in the "SOFTWARE" hive!)

What is in SYSTEM is the hardware configuration data, including things like the details of every storage device that you've ever attached to the system, but I've tried going through that and deleting any redundant obsolete entries, and it actually make little or no difference to the file size, even after running a registry optimiser/compacter program on it.

:(

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Dave-H

Don't take it the wrong way, but more than 6 Mb of system Registry means to me that it's still bloated (NTREGOPT only defrags Registry, does not clean it).

If you have a safe, tested way to dual booting, you should run (like ANYONE should do) ERUNT to make a safe backup of the Registry.

Then run against it any known Registry utility known to human kind.

I would start (for Free) with this one:

http://www.hoverdesk.net/freeware.htm

never let me down in many years.

More here:

http://www.msfn.org/board/Registry-Cleaner...son-t68677.html

jaclaz

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Not taken the wrong way at all jaclaz!

:)

I'm well aware now that my registry is a lot bigger than it should ideally be, the question is why.

I have a history of registry size problems on Windows 98, which has only recently been resolved (see the "Puzzling Registry Size Issue" thread over on the Windows 98 forum) so I am well aware of registry cleaning and optimisation programs!

In fact I already use Regseeker regularly on Windows 98, but haven't tried it on Windows 2000.

I do use Wise Registry Cleaner on both OSs, and clean out all the redundant MRU information etc.

I'm not sure about system configuration data though. Wise does check for invalid CLSIDs, but I'm not sure about invalid/obsolete hardware information. I do have another invalid CLSID checker which I have run too, but it didn't find much wrong.

I do have an excellent system information utility that came with the HP software for my HP printer.

That will list all the hardware device information in the registry and allow you to delete obsolete items.

Anything that's not actually physically connected to the machine when it scans is shown with a yellow mark.

I often delete them all, and as it's usually USB stuff, the system just puts them back if I subsequently reconnect the device(s) in the future.

Unfortunately, having done all this, there never seems to be any big reduction in the size of the registry files, even after running the optimiser, which should remove any empty space.

As I said, I have removed one of the ControlSets, which was marked as a "failed" one.

That did produce a big drop in the SYSTEM file size, from over 9MB to its present size of 6.2MB.

Good, but still not enough!

:no:

I don't seem to be able to permanently delete any of the other ControlSets, as they all seem to be necessary and just get put back. I have CurrentControlSet, ControlSet01 which is the default, and ControlSet02 which is the "Last Good".

I do back up my registry regularly. I totally agree that this is good practice anyway. I generally just use the backup feature in MSBackup, which is part of the routine to make a startup disk.

Wise Registry Cleaner also has a backup facility for the whole registry, and I use that too after I've cleaned it.

Is there anywhere I should be looking in the registry where a large chunk of unnecessary data might be sitting that the scanners aren't finding?

:)

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My crystall ball being again to the shop for tuning :(, I cannot say. :whistle:

I used:

any known Registry utility known to human kind.

exactly to avoid meaning "use ONLY Wise Registry Cleaner" (or any other single app).

Each app, besides a few simply not up-to-the-standard, has different ways to "look" at the Registry, and even a "very good" one may overlook, for any reason, what another finds and fixes in no time.

jaclaz

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My crystall ball being again to the shop for tuning :(, I cannot say. :whistle:

LOL!

I used:
any known Registry utility known to human kind.

exactly to avoid meaning "use ONLY Wise Registry Cleaner" (or any other single app).

Each app, besides a few simply not up-to-the-standard, has different ways to "look" at the Registry, and even a "very good" one may overlook, for any reason, what another finds and fixes in no time.

jaclaz

Point taken!

I will try running the others on Windows 2000 when I get home!

I'll let you know the results......

:)

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Well, now I am at home!

I hit the registry with Regseeker, which found over 1000 errors, and an OLE Cleaner program which found over 200 errors! All well and good.

The list was so long on Regseeker that I didn't study it all, just took out a few entries I spotted that I knew needed to be ignored. I then let it repair all the rest.

I let the OLE Cleaner repair everything it found.

I then ran the registry optimiser.

On reboot, I got several error messages, mainly relating to services being unable to start.

I also had nothing at all in the right hand panes of Windows Explorer, which was rather worrying!

:no:

The registry cleaners had obviously been a bit over-enthusiastic!

Fortunately, I had of course made a backup.

:yes:

I went into Windows 98 to look at the registry files' size, which I hadn't been able to do as Explorer wasn't working properly in Windows 2000!

I was a bit disappointed to find that the size of the files hadn't actually changed all that much.

The SYSTEM file had been 6.2MB, which had reduced to 6.07MB after I had removed the hardware device information for the unconnected devices.

It had now reduced a bit more, but only to 5.18MB, nowhere near enough!

:(

Anyway, I restored the backup, and everything was back as before.

What next I wonder..........

:)

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