The Microsoft SBSL (Slow Boot Slow Logon) Community continuously works on improving performance during system startup and logon. This can be anything from hardware to software issues, this blog is a summary of a fair amount of those recommendations. Do note, this list is far from complete and it doesn’t have to reflect Microsoft’s best practices.
During system startup Windows needs to read a lot of data from the local storage device. Depending on whether this is a clean Windows installation or an image containing provisioned applications, this can be anywhere between 150mb and 500mb (or possibly more), most of it random being random I/O.
Rotational hard drives have high seek times due to the need to travel the arm to the track of the disk where the data will be read or written. This makes them relatively bad in random I/O. Solid State Drives (SSD) are similar to the memory you put in your camera, no physical movement is needed to read or write data. Have a look at the random I/O speed difference on a my local system containing two drives, one SSD for the operating system and one Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for bulk data storage.
Figure 1 – Winsat disk results on a SSD drive
Figure 2 – Winsat disk results on a HDD drive
In the figures above you can see that the SSD is about 150 times faster compared with the HDD in doing small random reads. The main takeaway is that fast storage is crucial for quick startup and logon performance, in most scenarios much more important than the CPU. When considering the purchase of new hardware, I’d rather have a fast SSD with a slower CPU than visa versa.
Having enough physical memory for the current operating system, applications and future service packs is also crucial. Due to the low prices of physical memory this bottleneck which is getting rare on todays Windows Clients.
Some other settings that can impact performance on hardware level are:
On existing Windows 7 (and Windows 2008 R2) computers, consider and test the installation of all known fixes for known SBLS delays to avoid troubleshooting known issues and potentially improve boot and logon performance. This boils down to the installation of KB2775511 as mentioned in my other blog post, this rollup contains 90 fixes. Make sure this goes through a proper test cycle before deploying in production.
Also consider the installation of KB2792026 - Windows 7 SP1-based or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1-based SMBv2 client computer freezes when the computer is under a heavy load.
Also integrate the same fixes into your OS build process for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 2008 R2 Server images.
Hope this information helped you, if you have any comments or questions please consider leaving a reply.
Good stuff. Thanks.
Any comments how to do this for Win8 and if there are any differences? Currently trying to tweek my windows 8 workstation to the max perf. :-)
Thanks for the reply! Some of these tips are generic and also apply to Windows 8, however much is already tweaked out of the box. If new tips arise which apply to Windows 8, I will definitely blog about it.
Very Nice!!!! Will bookmark this one! (Houdoe!)