Fix Windows 7 Poor Start-Up Performance due to Solid Color Desktop Backgrounds

Via a hotfix from Microsoft

There’s no denying that Microsoft has labored intensively in order to boost the performance of Windows 7 as much as possible, especially in scenarios related to start-up and shut-down speed. The Redmond company has reportedly already revealed that it will continue to focus on increasing performance for Windows 8, and to speed up as much as possible the time it takes the next major iteration of Windows to boot and to switch off. But although Windows 7 brings to the table superior start-up performance compared to Windows Vista, in some scenarios, users have experienced problems.

Microsoft explained that customers running either Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2 that have set up a solid color as their desktop background might experience longer boot times. In this specific case, the software giant noted that the welcome screen could be displayed for 30 seconds during the logon process.

“Consider the following scenario: you have a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2; you set a solid color as the desktop background; the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service is running; you log on to the computer locally. In this scenario, the Welcome screen is displayed for 30 seconds during the logon process,” the company said.

Ideally, the entire boot process of Widows 7 should be complete in less time than the 30 seconds users will be forced to look at the Welcome screen. Still, this is far from the norm, and a few conditions need to be met in order for the problems to be experienced: “This issue does not occur when one or more of the following conditions are true: you log on to the computer by using Remote Desktop Connection; the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service is stopped or is disabled; you set an image file as the desktop background,” Microsoft said.

The specific issue described above will be fixed with the advent of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. However, considering that Windows 7 SP1 will only be offered to customers in the first half of 2011, users affected by this specific issue can access a hotfix from Microsoft Support.

In addition, the Redmond company has also detailed a few workarounds designed to allow users to manually fix the problem.

Method 1 - Set an image file that has solid color as the desktop background.

Method 2 - Configure the value of the DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout registry entry. This value determines the time-out interval of a session before Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 switches between sessions.

To configure the value of the DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout registry entry, follow these steps:

Click StartCollapse this imageExpand this image, type regedit in the Search programs and files box, and then press ENTER.

Locate the following registry subkey:


Double-click the DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout registry entry. In the Value data box, type 5, and then click OK. On the File menu, click Exit,” Microsoft said.

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