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  1. #1
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    How to determine loading order during boot.

    I have several obvious apps (and, of course, a lot of less obvious ones) that load during boot. For example, my antivirus program, mouse and keyboard driver, temp monitoring software, hard disk activity light, etc. I've noticed that these items don't necessarily load in the same order every time. For example, my mouse driver may load early on a given boot, or may load last on another boot, increasing my wait time before I can actually use the computer. How can I choose the loading order of these programs so that it's not left to chance? I would always want my AV app to load prior to connecting to the internet (I think it does that now), and I'd like my mouse driver to load early in the process. In general, I'd like to control what loads when, at least among those apps that I can control.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Les,

    Check out this How-To-Geek article. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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  4. #3
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    Thanks for the reply RG.
    From the information on the link you included, this does not do exactly what I want. Rather than delay the execution of some of the startup items (only one of which is located in my Startup folder, by the way), I'm more interested in having Windows execute these programs in a specific order during the normal boot sequence (maybe by putting them in a specific order in the Startup folder?), without using an intermediate app (or batch file) to orchestrate a delay. I still don't know if this is possible, and I'd like to know how Windows determines the start order (which appears to be inconsistent from boot to boot).

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Les, Winpatrol handles more Startups (in my experience, everything 3rd party) than you will see in the MSConfig/Startup tab, it's certainly worth trying out for a few weeks (as well as it being a valuable adjunct to System safety as an early warning system). From memory, Windows' own processes are optimised for fast boot when installed on a HDD anyway (on SSDs, it's not done, not worth the effort) so it's probably not worth your time trying to improve on them; some Windows Services can be run as Delayed Start items.

    Boot is a complex process, there will be many background items that cannot finish load until another has also finished, this can vary, there's not a lot that I know of that can be done for this.

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    Satrow, thanks for adding to the information about Winpatrol. I'll give it a closer look.

    I would have assumed (in fact I DID assume) that whatever the Windows boot process entailed, it would be consistent from boot to boot (i.e., wherever it accessed the startup files from, it would always access them from the same place, and in the same order, every time). So I was hoping that if, for example, it used the registry to accessed some startup apps, if I were to move all startup references to the same registry key, they could be accessed in order (just thinking out loud here, maybe overthinking the issue). I'm only talking about external apps like those mentioned in my OP, not the internal workings of Win.

    This post is not directly related to boot times (my system boots quickly enough), but rather to boot order. Delaying some startup items would, of course, allow me to choose the loading order, but would also unnecessarily increase boot time. I'm just trying to understand the process Windows uses to decide when to load what, and why it's not consistent.

    Again, thanks to both of you for the information. I'll download Winpatrol and have a look at it.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    There are innumerable changes that the boot processes checks for, any changes in the Prefetch or the User Registry hive, for instance, could easily change the order that some things will load between boots. The early part of boot is single threaded, later it splits to multiple threads (Sessions) - there's a decent breakdown of Vista's boot (it is very similar to W7) and where boot error messages happen here: http://www.carrona.org/boottrbl.html

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