Windows v. slow to boot (one time only)

  Batch 17:39 06 Jan 2014

I've got two main PCs. Both W7x32 with Avast Free AV and Comodo Free Firewall.

Just recently (over the last week or so), each of them has been very slow to boot one one occassion. The desktop was a number of days ago. The laptop was today (but then I haven't used it for a week).

Can't recall exactly how long the desktop took (it normally boots through to the desktop in around 35-40 seconds). But it was many minutes.

Also, with the desktop, a few days ago I did happen to restore an image (of the system partition) back to before when the slow boot occurred and on a subsequent boot it went through the slow boot again.

The laptop is a much slower affair anyhow and can take around 75 seconds or more to boot normally. This morning it took around 13 minutes. During the startup process, the screen went blank for many minutes (before it ever got to the desktop). Subsequent boots have been OK though.

Both PCs seem to be running OK now and I've done full scans with Avast, Windows Defender and Malwarebytes - all clear.

So, I am wondering whether this was maybe due to Avast doing some sort of boot time scan (even though I'd not set it up to do so)? The latest version of Avast doesn't seem to be very forthcoming with logs of what it has done.

I've looked through the Windows Event Logs, but can't see anything that jumps out. On the laptop I also eyeballed through a search of any files (on the system partition) that had been modified since the boot-up was started to see if that gave any clues.

Anyone with ideas or anyone else experienced similar?

  woodchip 17:55 06 Jan 2014

Could it be down to you having Windows set to Auto Updates and one as done the above. Looks like it to me

  Batch 18:00 06 Jan 2014

No, Woodchip, my Windows updates (which includes Defender signature updates) are all set to manual, as are Avast program updates and Comodo updates.

Only things that really update automatically is Avast signatures (every few hours) and Chrome (which hasn't updated since early December)

  woodchip 18:13 06 Jan 2014

Check what is starting up that does not need to, using Run/MSCONFIG/STARTUP remove ticks from boxes that do not need to start at boot

  Batch 18:19 06 Jan 2014


I pretty familiar with various (lengthy) investigations that I can do. But as I say, it seems to have been a one off, which is rather intriguing.

I was more interested in whether others had had similar "one-off" experiences and managed to shed any light themselves.

  Batch 14:55 22 Jan 2014

Having monitored the situation over the last couple of weeks ago or so, there has been no repetition of the slow boot until today (my desktop PC took about 3 minutes to boot (from power-on to to the desktop) rather than the usual 30 seconds or so.

Based on some investigations and observations that I had made before, I immediately checked to see whether an Avast "emergency update" (of the type which Avast gives the .EXE a long name of seemingly random generated characters) was logged and allowed by my firewall (Comodo) BEFORE the slow boot - and yes it had.

So I then booted my laptop (which hadn't been used for a few days). First time it booted fine, but within a few minutes an Avast emergency update .exe had been logged in Comodo. I then re-booted and, yup, slow boot (again 3 minutes or so).

So it clearly suggests that the issue emanates from Avast.

Given that a number of other users on here use Avast, I would be interested to know if any others have similar experiences of occasional slow boots.

  nickf 17:43 22 Jan 2014

Avast gave me nothing but headaches . uninstalled it and put comodo on , no problems .

  Batch 17:47 22 Jan 2014

One of the recent "additions" to Avast that a number of bods are complaining of is the emergency updates that run at boot time (apparently 'cos Avast is having difficulty applying certain updates when the PC is fully up and running and a many say that the inability of Avast to apply signature type updates other than at boot time is a bit of an issue - especially for those that don't reboot often).

No - nothing in Event viewer. I pretty certain that it is Avast - as I say just wondering if others are having similar issues.

  Batch 18:23 22 Jan 2014

No Jock1e, as I said, Avast as I understand it is having to run emergency updates at boot 'cos it can't get them to apply once the system is fully booted. I think what it does is download the updates when the system is up and running and then sets a boot time task to apply the updates. Downloading the updates manually would not solve the issue.

I have another issue with the very latest sub-version of Avast anyhow (2014.9...2011). It somehow interferes with LibreOffice and causes a save of a document with links (URLs) embedded to try to action each link in some way and then my firewall (Comodo) blocks each outbound access as I've blocked LO's soffice.bin from outside access (as there is no good reason for it to have it). The previous sub-version (V2014.9....2008) did not do this. And I have throughly tested that and proven that it is the latest Avast sub-version that has introduced this action.

I'm thinking of BitDefender Free as a replacement for Avast now.

  Batch 18:50 22 Jan 2014

I forgot to add - the issue with LibreOffice/Avast means that the file save takes ages (many many minutes) as LO waits for each attempt to action a link to timeout. TaskManager shows LO as Not Responding. The document concerned is from a copy & paste from web page and is a table of pricing information for a large number of entities, with each row containing around 10 links to various further information pertaining to the entity for that line). Unfortunately I have to past it as is to maintain the formatting otherwise it is unuasable.

  rdave13 21:09 22 Jan 2014

Batch, I've been running the free version AV of Bitdefender since reading ZDnet's comparison charts on AVs. AVG is better than Avast, apparently, so I decided to run Bitdefender to try out. Not a fan of AVG.

So far it seems to be lacking in user interface and I can only select a full scan. It auto scans at boot (quick) and that's it. The on-demand scan takes a bit of time but not too heavy on the CPU.

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