Slow Windows Startup

by john on January 3, 2007


The other night Amy brought home her boss’s laptop, with a plea to address a problem their IT staff could not resolve. The problem was framed as “it takes 10 minutes to boot up.” That turned out to be an exaggeration but it did definitely take longer than normal to boot up, in particular seeming to freeze while displaying “preparing network connections” before actually presenting the Windows login.

I spent a little time validating that there wasn’t anything obviously wrong with the network configuration and then moved to Google, seeing if others had experienced (and resolved!) the problem. It didn’t take long to confirm that others were having the problem but it did take a little digging to find the solution, which was posted in a Usenet posting.

After seeing others confirm the fix also resolved their problems I gave it a try myself and was happy to see that the “preparing network connections” message flashed briefly instead of taking over 2 minutes. A significant improvement!

The solution is to append the word “ProtectedStorage” (without the quotes, see the image) in the registry key HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\DHCP\DependOnService

I can’t guarantee it will work for you but can confirm it worked for me. But I won’t pretend to know why it does.

I posted this for a couple of reasons, first to help out anyone else who may search for this and come across my page and second, because it illustrates how important research is in the IT resolution process. I was not able to solve this problem because I have seen the problem before, I was able to solve it because I’m good at identifying core problems and then using internet search (ok, ok I “Googled” it to use the new verb) to find possible solutions for problems with used laptops. This is a key skill for anyone in IT, even a dumb ole manager like me.


Joe Grossberg January 4, 2007 at 8:52 am

I tend to think that every person who works with a computer ought to take a class called “STFW”. For those in IT, it should be flat-out required. Every time a coworker asks “How do you output the date in XYZ language”, a little part of me dies.

john January 4, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Search The Farking Web, indeed.

ben May 7, 2008 at 6:02 pm

this worked wonders. thanks so much

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