Analyse The Boot And Shutdown Performance of Windows

Speed seems to be something that Microsoft intends to improve further in Windows 8. Especially the boot performance will be noticeably faster, according to reports.

While I cannot really say if that is true or not, considering that there are no official versions of the operating system available, I can show you how you can analyze the boot and shutdown performance of your operating system without third party tools.

The Windows Event system logs many system events automatically. This includes installations, hardware errors and events that are important to diagnose a system. Two of those values that get recorded automatically by default are the boot performance and the shutdown performance of the Windows operating system.

The time recorded here is often more accurate than the time recorded by third party software such as Soluto, BootRacer or Boot Timer.

Event Viewer

You can use the Event Viewer to go through these performance indicators. Launch the Event Viewer  inthe following way:

  • Bring up the run box with the hotkey Windows-R, type eventvwr and hit enter.


The program displays a tree structure on the left sidebar, the content of the selected folder in the middle and actions on the right. I suggest you click on the hide action button in the toolbar to increase the available room for the other two panes. This may not be necessary if you have widescreen monitor, but if you don't, you make going through the listing better this way.

Microsoft has changed the Event Viewer significantly for Windows Vista which means that Windows XP users will see a different layout than Vista or Windows 7 users.

Read also:  How to delete downloaded Windows Update files

boot performance windows

The events that we want to analyze are event 100 which logs the boot performance, and event 200 which logs the shutdown performance of the Windows system.

Follow the tree structure to the following folder:

Applications and Services Log > Microsoft > Windows > Diagnostics-Performance > Operational

Windows XP users can sort the system events to find all events with the numbers 100 and 200.

The event listing lists the date and time of the event, the event number and the task category. If you click on an event you see detailed information about it in the lower half of the interface. Locate the entry Boot Duration for Boot Performance events, or Shutdown Duration for Shutdown Performance events.


Divide the time by 1000 to get the boot or shutdown time in seconds. The value listed is in milliseconds.

Now what can you do with the information? You could analyze boot performance optimizations for instance, or analyze the system's boot time over time. I personally like to use the information to measure the impact of newly installed software on the system boot time.

What's the boot duration of your computer?

Article Name
Analyse The Boot And Shutdown Performance of Windows
Find out how to look up the startup and shutdown performance of a computer system running Microsoft's Windows operating system.
Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Analyse The Boot And Shutdown Performance of Windows

  1. DrTrunks August 9, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Between 30 & 770 seconds. I think that maximum was from the installation of SP1

  2. MagicAndre1981 August 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    this doesn't help much. The only way to analyze the boot process correctly is to use xbootmgr:

  3. Ron August 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I noticed that some Event ID 100s have levels of "critical" and "error". One "error" level had a IsDegradation value of 'true', although I don't recall any problems with the boot up sequence. If you write an article about these levels, I would find it very interesting!

    Thanks for this post!

  4. Gordon August 10, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I have my computer coming up in less than 5 seconds, but that's from Standby, not cold boot.
    It's a somewhat unorthodox approach:
    XP Home with SP3, running Microsoft SteadyState with Disk Protection ON, profile locked (like a kiosk), and all updates set to Manual only (I run Windows Update and update my antivirus and everything else just once a week).
    With MS SteadyState (and the older MS Shared Computer Toolkit) if you reboot the machine it starts afresh, each boot up.
    It's a win-win setup. You worry less AND you're in control of what you want to do with the computer.

  5. Jojo August 10, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    I'm on WInXP and I do not see any event records with ID 100 or 200.

    Do these have to get turned on somehow?

    • Martin Brinkmann August 10, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      Jojo I cannot really say. I'm not even sure if the boot performance is logged by XP to be honest. One thing you could do would be to open the Event Viewer right after system start to see if there are new events listed, maybe under a different ID, that list the boot performance.

      Anyone using XP who could clear this up?

      • henryg August 10, 2011 at 9:35 am #

        Well the article say "Windows XP users can sort the system events to find all events with the numbers 100 and 200" ;-}

      • Martin Brinkmann August 10, 2011 at 9:41 am #

        I was assuming that Microsoft did not change the event ids. I add information to clarify the issue.

    • MagicAndre1981 August 10, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      XP doesn't have the Diagnostic services, so no events are logged. Also the Eventlog was improved in Vista, XP doesn't have those log entries:

      Applications and Services Log > Microsoft > Windows > Diagnostics-Performance > Operational

      You can use xbootmgr on XP, too if you use UniversalExtractor to extract the WPT MSI. But you can't use the viewer to open the ETL, this must be done on >= Vista. XP is simply too old.

  6. MagicAndre1981 August 10, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    @Martin Brinkmann

    no, I don't want to maintain 3 guides. The English guide are on msfn with pictures from my SkyDrive so that guest can see it, too. The German guide is on WinVistaSide and those are enough places.

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