Help: which program loads at what time

By nazartp ยท 4 replies
Mar 31, 2009
  1. I need advice with the following:

    Is there a software that would let me know what Vista does at a specific time while loading or shortly after?

    The reason for asking: ever since I built my computer (about year and a half ago) and clean installed Vista Home Premium, shortly after I log in and my desktop shows, the OS slows down for about 15-20 seconds or so doing something. Not a big issue, I just want to know what is going on.

    A couple of wild guesses here:
    - antivirus loading and scanning memory;
    - Vista checks the network and what's present; and
    - some obscure old driver is loading and looking for some hardware that I removed.

    Just to give better idea about he system that I'm running:

    Gigabyte P35 motherboard;
    Intel Core2Duo E8400 processor;
    Two WD hard drives (500 GB and 1TB);
    nVidia 8800GTS 512 MB;
    OCZ Reaper DDR2-1066 4 GB of RAM;
    Vista Home Premium 32 bit.

    No overclocking. Attached peripherals: Epson photo printer, Epson photo scanner; network printer. Also on the network: two desktops and a Linux file server.

    Printers directly attached to the computer and the Linux file server should be of no consequence - issue started before those were introduced. Malware should not be an issue - I'm paranoid about security and the issue started pretty much immediately after an OS install.
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

  3. nazartp

    nazartp TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 178   +12

    Thanks! Will give it a try today.
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Check your event logs but they may not give you the info you're looking for (e.g. they don't log the startup of each application/startup on your computer)

    Suggest you install Process Explorer. The first time you open it, click Options and set Hide when Minimized, Allow Only One Instance, Confirm Kill, CPU History in Tray Icon

    Process Expolore (i'll simply call PE) can provide sooooo much info about your computing system, i'll just outline some of the stuff you can may find handy
    • Use PE minimized view
      • When PE is minimized, you'll see red and green waves through its system tray icon
        • Green indicates total CPU usage
        • Red indicates the process using most the most the CPU time
      • Hover cursor over the icon to get info on which process is taking up the most of your CPU at that instant in time
      • btw.. i find this handy to have available for a visual cue ANYTIME i think my system is running slow and want to know what's causiing it
    • Use the PE when its window is open
      • Whenever PE is open, you can click CPU column header to see processes sorted by CPU usage. When usage high, check top of the list
      • In addition, you can also click the Process column to change between its three Process views: Ascending, Descending, and Process Tree.
        => Process Tree view shows process and their relationship to one another. You can see all processes started after on your logon by looking at the child processes under explorer.exe
      • Another thing to try is when PE is open, click View->System Information to see the CPU History. Move your cursor over the CPU spikes to see what process was taking up CPU time

    You can also have PE start automatically and in minimized view at logon. (i remember how to do it for XP will have to check and get back to you for Vista). Suggest you download and start playing with it in the meantime (is a really awesome tool!)

    /* EDIT */

    Actually, this is probably the info you need to know. Just double check on the mechanics
    In Vista, there's a Control Panel for controlling your program startups. Use it to add Process Explorer to your startups. To start PE minimized you need to edit the command line that starts it. At the end of the command you just append a blank followed by /t

    /* EDIT2*/
    In System View, note you also see I/O history. Use this as well to see if the slow down is due to disk activity (as well CPU activity)
  5. nazartp

    nazartp TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 178   +12

    Thanks for the advice - had a quick try yesterday, but did not have enough time to get any useful result. Will tackle it on the weekend. If I find anything interesting or educational, will report back.
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