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Submission details

50 +58/-8 votes

More feedback at boottime

Submitted by nick on November 3, 2008 to Annoyance

In Vista, when the system boots you get a black screen for a long time, then the 'orb' comes up and after that the login screen.
The first 'black' screen can take up to 10-20 seconds and the only thing that shows progress is by looking at the disc activity.
In Windows 2000 e.g there was the progressbar that gave an indication on the progress.

I saw in Windows 7 that now there is a text 'Starting Windows...' and a progressbar that just scrolls and scrolls... followed by the Orb. (A bit related to:

It would be much better if there was a real progressbar (0->100%), because what purpose does the current one have besides wasting CPU cycles and letting the user just watch it scroll over and over?
And maybe even some more text (although not too much) like: Starting Windows, Starting Services, Loading login screen,... (just a bit more feedback on what it is doing, but ofcourse much less than you would boot in safe mode)


1. Show the real progress when booting with a percentage progressbar.
2. Maybe show some more text about what is loading.
3. Is the orb really needed?



Not fixed

Discussion (20 comments)

Ensign Joe wrote on November 3, 2008, 9:19pm

+ for the progressbar
- for the detailed text

crush2k7 wrote on November 3, 2008, 9:25pm

The new progress bar is kinda' sexy :p +for Microsoft

DavidTaraso wrote on November 3, 2008, 9:43pm

Yes, yes, yes! I never understood why a real progress bar was never used...

sukeshak wrote on November 4, 2008, 6:24am

Real progress bar with an accurate percentage might be a big ask keeping in mind there are several windows services etc which gets started.

But I'm all for Detailed text shown just below that progress bar...
Which could also show those buggy startup apps delaying the OS startup time :)

Paralityk wrote on November 4, 2008, 7:46am

It should be as simple as possible with some option for advanced users to show more details ;)
Besides making 0-100% progress bar is impossible because it can't be accurate ;)
I'm voting for removing ORB and "Starting Windows" text... god damn it, I know it's starting!

nick wrote on November 4, 2008, 8:08am

Well regarding the progressbar: the progressbar control of 7, that should certainly be kept.
Although it can't be accurate in time, because e.g services timeout or something, it at least gives an indication at which stage it is and it is a 1000x better solution than what is there now.

And if this was the reason why Microsoft removed it, it is a very cheap solution and I would be ashamed in their place: quick & dirty is not the way to go for such an important screen.

sibbl wrote on November 5, 2008, 5:05pm

Well I remember the longhorn boot screen. It showed what's currently loading. Maybe it would be good to know what needs most time while booting to reduce the time manually. Just knowing the reason why it's so slow

nick wrote on November 5, 2008, 6:18pm

Indeed, it's much easier for users to start hunting for the culprit when it says: Loading Drivers, instead of having the progressbar hang at 25% for half a minute. I think both of them should be in... But the messages should be fair and not too many either.

nitz wrote on November 5, 2008, 10:54pm

Several other operating systems do this as well. I think it's a wonderful Idea, even if broken into (some previously stated) broad stages: (Semantics here are probably far off, but you get the drift.)

Loading Windows -> Loading Drivers -> Loading Services -> Loading (whatever else) -> Starting Windows...

Seeing a hang on 'loading drivers' would lead me to examine which of my drivers I've recently changed.

Not only for feedback, but useful for simple diagnostics too.


tino wrote on November 6, 2008, 4:20am

I think the boot time even for Vista is that fast that it wouldn't make a lot of sense to show me that e.g. at this point Windows has bootet 63 %. And I do believe that a correct progress bar will only work if they implement a time machine ;)

So I'm fine that Windows shows me that it is responding and the new boot screen looks very nice.

nick wrote on November 6, 2008, 4:54pm

The progressbar shouldn't be time related, it is an indication of how far you are in the process.

e. if you have 5 messages:
Loading Drivers -> Loading Services -> Loading X -> Loading Y -> Starting Windows
If it is at stage 'Loading X', do you know if that was before 'Loading Services' or After, or after 'Loading Y'?
The progressbar would then be e.g at 60% which indicates only 40 to go. It could be divided in the amount of messages that should be displayed. It doesn't have to go the whole way with increments of +1... It's just a visual indicator of how much of the process has been completed and the message gives feedback at what it is doing at that stage.

d_e wrote on November 18, 2008, 2:41pm

1. Please no text. The Windows 7 boot screen is sexy.
2. No orb. It's useless.
3. Right after the boot screen the login screen should appear. Not a black screen for several seconds. Only switch when everything's ready.
4. Measure all boot times and average the last 5 times. Then use that to display a progress bar.

Arayta wrote on December 7, 2008, 6:21pm

I think they can mark this as fixed. The Build 6956 boot video has a nice little animation, seen here:

nitrous9200 wrote on December 10, 2008, 10:10pm

I'd like a real progress bar, that's it. It should be able to track what it's doing and what else needs to be done.

nick wrote on December 10, 2008, 10:15pm

The animation isn't really what we are looking for, we want some more feedback, an animation doesn't show where it is in the process of booting...

.Chris wrote on December 11, 2008, 2:52pm

@nitrous9200 If you want a progress bar boot screen, then download or create your own

.Chris wrote on December 11, 2008, 2:53pm

@ nick. a lot just dont care whats booting. They want a quick boot time, Thats it. they dont want to read useless crap.

Arayta wrote on December 14, 2008, 8:40pm

Actually, a real progress bar like in Ubuntu would be nice. But they should still keep the Windows animation, and put the progress bar underneath, like where it was before, because the animation is nice. ;)

A nice little fact: Windows 7 now boots faster than Ubuntu on my computer. =]

.Chris wrote on February 1, 2009, 8:00am

linux sucks. i wanna shoot the damn pegwin!

there should be a linux os taskforce :P

dabski wrote on February 7, 2009, 10:53am

+1 It would be nice to know what's slowing the loading time down.

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