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Slow PC Startup

Microsoft continues to make substantial progress in trying to make PC startup times faster, taking into consideration some factors that can be remedied to ensure faster boot times.  (On this note, please see Five secrets to faster Vista starts and Windows 7 Preview Boots 20% Faster Than Vista.)  However there might still be some things that can slow down one’s PC.
Here are just a few things I’ve encountered from my own experience:
Unavailable Domain Controller: If the machine is connected to a domain, one possibility is that it’s not available. 
  • The machine, being part of the domain, attempts to connect however does not find it. 
  • One quick and dirty solution I’ve found is to unplug the machine from the LAN.  Windows will detect that it’s disconnected, and so won’t attempt to contact the domain controller. 
  • Assuming your domain credentials are cached, you can still login to the machine.  Steve Riley, in a discussion forum, mentioned that domain credentials can be used indefinitely once cached. 
GPO problems: Related to domains, the order of Group Policy Object (GPO) processing is Local Machine, Site, Domain, and lastly Organizational Units.  If there are too many GPOs, or at least one of the GPOs take long to process, or both factors, then this could slow down startup times. 
  • This applies to GPOs for the computer account, which is the first to run, and once a user logs in, GPOs for the user account is processed next. 
  • The workaround I found is still the quick and dirty solution I mentioned in handling an unavailable domain controller, however this obviously does not solve the problem for the long term.  Eventually GPO settings willl be refreshed and applied to the machine; if it becomes necessary to plug in, the processing will slow down the startup. 
  • Check out Group Policy processing and precedence for more information. 
Something’s the matter with the system itself: There may be device drivers or other software being loaded that could bog down a system before, during or after the system starts up.

Here’s wishing that all our machines start up as fast as we do! ComputerClock

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