Factors Affecting the Boot-up Time
||Some staff wonder why their machines take so long to
boot-up while others wonder whether the boot-up time can be improved if their machines are
upgraded. The following will provide answers to these questions:
- Boot-up time, whether booting from network or from local hard disk, is sensitive to the
number of peripherals as well as the number of application software installed especially
when they are defined in the Startup Folder to be brought up automatically during boot-up.
- Network boot-up time is sensitive to the network traffic.
- Client hardware configuration definitely affects the boot-up time. The boot-up time for
Pentium II 233 is 1/3 of that for the 486-33. It also depends on how well your hardware
and software are optimised.
- Boot-up time for Win95 and application software installed on the network is around 3
times the boot-up time for the same installed on local hard disk.
- Network processes such as network logon and display of network messages, depending on
machine speed, typically consume 3/4 to 4/5 of the total boot-up time.
(Note: The boot-up time is defined as the time interval between the time when the
self-test of the machine has just been completed and the time when Win95 is completely
loaded. It consists of three phases, namely, the network logon phase, the show message
phase, and the startup phase. Interested users may refer to the "Evaluation Report on
Network Win95 Startup Time Analysis" accessible from the URL http://www.cityu.edu.hk/csc/win95bootup.pdf
As a general rule of thumb, if your Pentium II 233, Pentium 90, and 486-33 take
significantly more than 1 minute, 1.5 minute, and 3 minutes respectively to boot from the
network, you may contact the CSC Help Desk at ext. 7658 for help. A special team will then
be dispatched to provide you with free optimisation services. Alternatively, you can
consider installing Win95 and all the required application software on your local hard
disk instead of loading them from the network to speed up the boot time. However, this has
the following drawbacks as well as advantages:
- Incur additional first-time installation work or cost.
- Incur additional application software license costs (as these licenses can no longer be
shared within department or within campus).
- Require more subsequent support effort (as you have to constantly guard against virus
attack and accidental deletion of files belonging to the Win95 and the application
software, and to try or adjust different settings, etc.), thus increasing the support
- In the case of file corruption due to disk malfunction or virus attack, it will also
take a longer time to reinstall or restore all these software.
- From time to time or upon notification from the CSC, users have to manually start the
updating process of some system files belonging or related to those locally installed
software as these updates can only be applied from their PCs but not remotely from
- Faster boot-up time and software start-up time.
- Users can still run application software even when the departmental file server is down.
- Users can be self-supported as their office PCs are entirely under their control.
- Users can have total freedom in choosing whatever application software they prefer as
long as they are compatible with the CSC supplied software modules for accessing central
In summary, users can enjoy worry-free, support-free network software at the expense of
longer boot-up time and software start-up time. Alternatively, users can reduce these time
by installing all software onto the local hard disk but at the expense of higher license
costs as well as greater supporting effort or costs.