Dude where's my PFE?

I am a Premier Field Engineer (PFE) for Microsoft.

How to collect a good boot trace on Windows 7

How to collect a good boot trace on Windows 7

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Assume the following:  You have a Windows 7 host that you want to collect a trace from.  A good trace.  One that you know other people will be able to decipher as well as yourself.  Maybe I’ve asked you to collect a boot trace so I can look at it and pointed you to this blog.  Maybe your Sherpa of IT has decided you should learn this and you are doing it to learn….

(edited 11-2)

[You may also use xperf's xbootmgr with a syntax similar to this:

xbootmgr -trace boot -traceflags base+latency+dispatcher -stackwalk profile+cswitch+readythread+threadcreate -notraceflagsinfilename -postbootdelay 30

]

 

In any event, you have a Windows 7 host.

Lets cover a few basic rules here as we get started:

1.  If host = Windows 7 AND bitness = amd64 THEN Set DisablePagingExecutive to 1 and reboot:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc959492.aspx

2.  Make sure the user account we want to trace is local administrator, even temporarily.

3.  Set AutoLogon up in the registry for this user so we don’t flub a password input and invalidate a trace with bogus data:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324737

 

After we have that, install the Windows 8 ADK on the target machine, or copy the Windows Performance Toolkit from a machine it has already been installed on onto our target machine. (link http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30652)

(We can install by running ADK Setup and deselecting EVERYTHING except Windows Performance Toolkit, by the way.)

installADK-WPT

 

So, its there, somewhere.

 

1.  Run WPRUI elevated/as administrator

 

wprui1

 

2.  For a boot trace, click More Options on the bottom left, revealing the window that looks like this:

 

image

3.  For the boot trace, I would like to see CPU Usage, Disk I/O Activity and File I/O Activity.  I would like you to change the Performance Scenario to “Boot” and number of iterations to “1”, as so:

image

 

4.  Click “Start” and then type something into the box and select a convenient place to store your trace and then hit “Save” which will reboot your machine and collect the trace.

image

 

5.  Let it reboot, let it logon as the user you specified in the auto logon, let it count down the normal boot process and end with the ETL trace in the directory you specified.  Get me that trace, stat!  Or if you are doing this to learn, poke around in it in XperfView.exe and WPA.exe, two entirely different ways to view the data set.

Hope this helps, after I stand up a VM or two I’m going to do some WPA examples….

Comments
  • Very nice Jeff! I really need to start writing again.

  • Yup, nice one.

  • best part, detailed description = sdf.    

    imageshack.us/.../thesimpsonsphoneitin.jpg

  • ty

  • I'm worried. I just did as you said, and after Starting Windows I've had a black screen for about five minutes. Safe to manually restart?

  • Hey Chase, did you have slow boot before?  XP, 7?  Shoot me an email if you like.

  • Hello Jeff,

    I've been given the task to find out why certain PC's in our network at the same building are taking longer to log on from logon screen to desktop than normal. In some instances it is taking between 10-20 minutes!! This is outside my area of expertise as I've never dealt with GPO's and such, but I am willing to learn and go above and beyond to resolve this issue. I was told to use any resources necessary to figure out this issue. Ive been reading multiple posts written by you and you seem very knowledgable in this area. Any help, suggestions, or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • Hey Stumped! In the Options of this blog page, click the "Email blog author" and lets get started.

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