If your Windows Vista PC takes forever to boot then it's easy to blame Microsoft, but in reality there could be many possible causes: driver problems, network issues, a sluggish Windows service, and more. To find out, you need a way to monitor and report on exactly what's happening when you PC boots - and that happens to be just what you get with WinBootInfo.

Close down all other applications, launch WinBootInfo, click Measure Boot Performance, and the program will install a special driver to monitor your next restart. This only takes a second or two, and when the process is complete then your PC will reboot.

Once Windows has started again, WinBootInfo will pop up, remove its monitoring driver (so it doesn't slow down normal operations) and display its report of what happened during the last boot.

The simplest view provides basic statistics on the total boot time, number of processes and drives loaded, CPU time used, and so on. If you plan to uninstall drivers or disable services in future then these figures will provide useful feedback on the effect of these tweaks.

The real detail comes in the Boot Process Tree, though, a lengthy list of every single process that was loaded when your PC started, and the DLLs and other support files that those programs loaded.

Interpreting this data isn't straightforward, and unfortunately the program doesn't do much to help. There's no attempt to detect and highlight slow processes, and no direct answer to the question "why is my boot time so long?".

Still, the sheer volume of raw data on the boot process could be invaluable in tracking down the culprit behind your slow start, and the program is definitely worth a try.

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

WinBootInfo produces extremely detailed reports on the boot process, but understanding them requires some work. You'll need to be an experienced Windows user to get the most from the program