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As it happens, windows workstations get slow over time. Notably, users complain about slow start-up times. What is the scientific approach to identifying what impact what service/operation on start-up has on boot time or resource usage?

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Microsoft had a tool called BootVis. It's not officially supported anymore, but you can still find it around the net.

From Fast Boot / Fast Resume Design:

The design goals for Windows XP on a typical consumer PC are:

  • Boot to a useable state in a total of 30 seconds
  • Resume from Hibernate (S4) in a total of 20 seconds
  • Resume from Standby (S3) in a total of 5 seconds

Boot and resume times are measured from the time the power switch is pressed to being able to start a program from a desktop shortcut.

About Bootvis.exe

Bootvis.exe is a performance tracing and visualization tool that Microsoft designed to help PC system designers and software developers identify performance issues for boot/resume timing while developing new PC products or supporting software.

Please note that Bootvis.exe is not a tool that will improve boot/resume performance for end users. Contrary to some published reports, Bootvis.exe cannot reduce or alter a system's boot or resume performance. The boot optimization routines invoked by Bootvis.exe are built into Windows XP. These routines run automatically at pre-determined times as part of the normal operation of the operating system.

...

The Bootvis.exe tool is no longer available from this site.

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Thanks. I will report my success. –  Konrads Apr 7 '10 at 6:08
    
BootVIS crashed on my XP :) Any other tools you can recommend? –  Konrads Apr 8 '10 at 10:30
    
Nope, that was pretty much it. i did say that it was unsupported :) –  Ian Boyd Apr 10 '10 at 21:59
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