Something is slowing down my pc on start, but only on start, what could it be?

I suppose that it is normal for a pc to work slower for the first few seconds when you first start it up, but my pc completely crawls and freezes for around 5 minutes, even though in Task manager RAM&CPU usage is apparently perfectly normal, no processes apparently use more than 1% of cpu power,etc. I have a pc for around 10 years and I never had issues like this before, as I said it may be normal for a pc to work somewhat slower when you start it up, but not this much and this long, it is basically unusable for up to 5 or even 10 minutes, even though previously all this “waking up” lasted for 10, 15 seconds at most.

However, when those 5, 10 minutes pass, it works great, I can play demanding games on medium settings, some even at high (can’t go much higher since I have a low end gpu), I can render videos and do anything else, I can open up several tabs in Firefox and open Chrome and even Opera all at the same time and those other browsers open in less than 2, 3 seconds, so the problem is not in the hardware. The problem is just that while the 5 to 10 minute waking up thing is going, I can’t open even one browser and use it.

The only thing I can remember doing, that maaay affect this, is that I upgraded my AMD video drivers to the latest version and now I have 2 or 3 additional processes in the task manager, but I doubt that that is the problem…

Is there a good up to date anti-malware, virus,etc. program I can try to run? Avast doesn’t really find anything and I have a program called Regcash, which allows you to block certain startup programs, but that also doesn’t help much.

I have a windows 7 sp1 btw.

Your problem is widespread, going back a long time. You may want to start there since the variety of issues don’t seem to have a specific pattern.
Plus, upgrade to Win10.

Could it be looking for a network drive that no longer exists? Trying to connect to other devices? A laptop, a phone or whatever?

Look at Win Explorer. If you see an X over any drive letters, that’s gonna slow it down on start up.

The short answer. Format and reinstall if you haven’t done it within the past 2 years. 10 years is a long time to keep running without a major OS cleaning or reinstall.

The long answer. All software listed is free or have free versions

If you installed the full AMD suite, uninstall and reinstall only the programs you need. Those two or three additional services may be slowing things down
Download and run Crystaldiskinfo to check the health of your hard drive
Defrag your hard drive if it’s not an SSD. If it’s a SSD download and run the manufacturer’s optimization program
Download and run Malwarebytes. You can use the realtime monitoring free for 30 days, but it’s not really necessary as long as you practice safe surfing

Yes, upgrade to Win 10.

One of the improvements since Win 7 was reducing the work done at start-up, so that your machine is available sooner.

Free upgrades to Win 10 might still be available for disabled users, but the cheapest way might be to just buy a new machine with Win 10 installed on it.

Arggggghhhhhhh. Yes Win10 had improved startup. But the biggest reason Win10 starts faster is because people start from hybernate. Which you can do with WinXP. And the second biggest reason is because people rrun SSDs. Fast disks let you start faster even with Win3.1.

As against which (1) Win10 is different. If you want different, why not OSX or Linux? And (2) Win10 is a whole world of new problems.
Anyway, if you are thinking of upgrading to win10, you may also wish to consider upgrading to a new disk and a fresh install of Win7. The new disk because after 10 years, your old disk may be full (which is irritating, and also causes slowness) or failing (which is irritating and also causes slowness) or just slower than a modern disk (which is irritating, and also causes slowness). The fresh install because (1) it’s not Win10, and (2) it may get rid of whatever is causing slowness.

Have you looked in the event manager to see if there are any problems shown? There are many causes of slowness at startup, and a few of them show up as events in the event manager.

I wouldn’t recommend updating to Win 10 on a ten year old computer. It’s served it’s time, far better to buy or build a new PC that will take full advantage of Win10. Be sure to dig around and disable any of the numerous unnecessary programs that are set to startup on boot. I’ve recommended this before, but visit to shut more unnecessary Windows processes. He has tweaks for Win7 also.

Another thing to note. After a clean boot, check the Task Manager to see if there’s any internet usage. There shouldn’t be any activity, if there is, it may be a sign of something malicious or not phoning home. If you’re running a program like say a torrent client at startup, disable it to check if it’s the source of the activity.

Op here, I somehow fixed the issue by doing one of the following:

  1. I completely uninstalled AMD drivers (which were actually 2, 3 months older than the new version) and then I installed new ones. However, I did start up my computer without them while doing this and the problem was still there, so the issue wasn’t with them.

  2. I ran Malwarebytes, even turned on rootkits thing, which is in more advanced options, and it didn’t find anything, I also downloaded some registry cleaner program and that found a bunch of third party program related issues in the registry (for example game xyz’s registry is not good), so I fixed that.

  3. Probably the thing that actually made a difference, I turned of search service, that includes search indexing (computer checks folders and files and remembers their places in order to find them faster once you type something into the search bar). Perhaps something was slowing down the search indexing, but now without it, it just took me 10, 15 seconds for Firefox to completely load up when I started the computer, as opposed to more than 5 minutes with freezing that it took yesterday.

The downside is that I can’t use search now, but I use it maybe once every 2 months, so in my case it makes much more sense to turn it off and have a working computer, than leave it and have a freezing one.

What I did was get a cheap SSD and then reinstalled Windows 7 on it. I also used the offline updater, so I got that handled quickly.

I didn’t need to worry about room in my case: these things are tiny, and I just kinda secured it with some cardboard holding it in. As for making sure I had cables: I just unplugged my DVD drive since I never use it.

I did the whole reinstall without the hard drive plugged in, then plugged it back in and use it as a secondary drive, where all my documents and downloads are stored.

Windows boots in less than a minute, and I have full search–and even the searching is much faster, once I index the locations. I also moved My Documents and other such folders to my old drive.

I have seen this problem many times professionally. The issue is often that Windows is waiting for something and waits until whatever it is appears or times out. As mentioned above this can often be a network drive. But it can also be a local one: maybe your search service is trying to index a non-existent USB drive or load an index from one. You can open up the search service in Control Panel and check what gets indexed.

There is usually an easy way of finding out: open the Event Viewer and look at the Application and System logs. Filter the logs so you see only the ones with red icons and work your way through them.

Windows 10 also added a tool to the Task Manager app specifically to identify and disable applications that slow down your startup. If you have it, click the Startup tab. Items with a “Startup Impact” of “high” are slowing down your computer on startup-- you can disable them by right-clicking them in the list and selecting “Disable”.

For the OP specifically:

You could try a quick and easy refinement to your solution by disabling indexing rather than disabling searching entirely. That way you could still search on the odd occasions you want to - it would just be slower. Quartz’s suggestion in post 11 would be a better route to a proper fix rather than a workaround, but it would take more work if you’re not familiar with using Event Viewer.

In general for anyone else having a problem with startup time:

Other options to try are bootracer and autoruns. They’re both free.

The former is an easy to use program that gives you a good idea of what loads and runs at boot and how long it takes.

The latter gives you very fine control over what loads and runs at boot, but it’s more technical.

Ccleaner is a useful progam for cleaning the drive and/or the registry. That might help with boot times (but probably won’t).

Migrating your OS to an SSD would also speed boot time up quite dramatically. Paragon’s Migrate OS to SSD is the easiest way to do that and it’s cheap. You could do a fresh install, of course, but migrating the existing installation is convenient. You could just clone the drive if the SSD has enough capacity, but cost might well be an issue and you’d have to do some manual optimising for SSD (there are guides to that online). You mention games, so you probably use quite a bit of storage space and high capacity SSDs are rather expensive. I migrated everything apart from some games to an SSD and that reduced total boot time from cold to idle at desktop with no disk activity to ~15s. I might be able to have my browser loaded within 10s of powering on if I typed my password in quickly enough. SSDs aren’t the epic overall performance increase they’re sometimes made out to be, but they do make a very large difference to boot time.

I wouldn’t move to Win10 for any PC running anything I cared much about. Too much spyware, too much control over your PC from MS and no reliability because of issues with all the software forced on you by MS. Every month some people have something broken by the latest forced update that’s rushed out. When Win7 support ends, I’ll probably build another PC and have one running Win10 solely as a games console and one running Linux as an actual PC. And then probably buy a games console so I could play on that when MS breaks their Win10 installation on my PC.

Start > Run > msconfig.exe > Startup tab. You can uncheck things that are not obviously Microsoft, and restart the computer to see if one of them is slowing things down. If it’s not the culprit, try another program/set of programs and recheck the working one.

You can turn off search indexing, and then use a better search program like voidtools Everything (free).

One annoying thing about this combo is that Windows makes a big hiberfile.sys that’s a couple gigabytes on C:, eating up your SSD. There are ways to move it to your less precious non-SSD space, which I do.