Boot Time As A System Health Indicator?

by Al Hartmann

March 21, 2013

access_time 3 min read

Boot Time Influence on User Experience

Boot times are a prominent factor in user perception of system health and overall performance.  The experience during these first few minutes influences user impression of IT service and infrastructure quality.  Many end users begin their workday on their laptop or desktop with a fresh system start.  Other users avoid restarting their machines, because their boot times have become unnecessarily long.

Shutting down the system is recommended, because it conserves power use, reduces wear and tear, and clears out RAM.  These users, however, don’t want to wait for their system to start up.  Over time, this can cause a decline in system performance and manifest as actual problems, resulting in increased support calls.  Microsoft’s own IT organization focuses heavily on startup and logon performance in their internal client health assessment program across the global Microsoft campuses.

Boot Time Stresses Reveal System Health Issues

System boot sequences stress all major components in a client endpoint, including processor, memory, and network and storage subsystems.  These stresses expose numerous system health issues:

  • Non-optimal or misconfigured system and services settings, especially for non-essential or deferrable services
  • Extraneous applications, processes, BHOs and services configured to auto-start
  • Unnecessary, misconfigured, or missing drivers
  • Intensive security or systems management start sequences
  • Processor, memory, network, or disk I/O starvation
  • High-latency OS or application virtualization operations
  • Poor disk layout optimization for sequentially streaming the boot image

Ziften changes the OS default settings to an optimal system configuration:

  • Eliminate extraneous processes and autostarts (toolbars, BHOs),
  • Registry modifications,
  • Decrease expensive and unnecessary hardware upgrades