You are here

Win7 x64: Platform 10.0.1 slow start or stuck

25 posts / 0 new
Last post
RadioMan57
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-18 15:50
Win7 x64: Platform 10.0.1 slow start or stuck

My 8GB USB stick contains some 300 portable apps, many of them from other sources than PortableApps.com. Started to use the platform recently because of the easy update process.

I have autostart and initial update check disabled. When launching Start.exe, I am observing very different responses:

(1) Progress bar moving slowly to anything between 10 and 50%, then the platform app seems to be stuck (Task Manager says "Not responding").

(2) Progress bar moving very slowly all the way to the end, then the installed apps are listed. This takes several minutes.

(3) Progress bar moves all the way to the end within 30 seconds, then the installed apps are listed.

Case (1) happens most often, followed by (2). The likelihood of (3) is less than 10%. Any ideas how to identify the cause of this problem?

KevinM
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 57 min ago
Joined: 2010-09-03 09:36
Try from HDD

Try copying your USB to your hard drive. Start the platform from your hard drive and see if the problem persists.

300 apps is a lot to run from a stick. I'm willing to bet the issue is the thumb drive. In my experience, thumb drives often exhibit strange intermittent pauses (or in your case, intermittent non-pauses) especially as they get older. I've always assumed it was due to garbage collection, which probably can't be implemented very well on cheap flash controllers.

Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2007-04-15 21:08
N/A

Garbage collection is memory management; with flash storage it's other things that cause pauses. But you're right about pauses; cheap disks in particular don't cope with an abundance of files.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

RadioMan57
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-18 15:50
Thanks for all

Thanks for all comments.

Copied the entire PortableApps tree to my HDD. First launch of Start.exe took 4.5 minutes to show all apps. Subsequent runs only take 7 seconds.

After reformatting my old thumb drive I will write the entire PortableApps tree back and test again. If the problem persists I will try a better thumb drive.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 9 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Speed Improvements Coming

The platform isn't yet optimized for large numbers of apps and will have a slow initial start time. We'll be enabling a caching feature so that it's only slow for an initial full app scan and very quick on all subsequent runs even as you move from PC to PC. This will be released in the next few weeks to the beta channel first.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

renetrevi
renetrevi's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2008-11-18 10:15
Cache for Apps

Hi John, is what I've been waiting, which PortableApps generate a cache of all applications, and only update when you add more apps or updated, because I have too many apps installed and it takes a lot in XP, with Sophos antivirus, Windows even freezes.
Greetings.

RadioMan57
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-18 15:50
not all thumb drives are made equal

Writing the 66k files back to my reformatted no-name thumb drive took 7 hours, but then the PortableApps.com platform was running ok:
- 2 minutes initial launch
- 15 seconds in subsequent runs
Conclusion: This thumb drive was extremely fragmented due to heavy usage over several years.

Did the same using a branded thumb drive with better specs. Writing the 66k files just took 30 minutes. PortableApps.com platform launch times:
- 5 minutes in the initial run
- 10 seconds in subsequent runs

Experiment closed. Thanks again for all comments.

matrox
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2010-03-01 10:09
Slow startup

Could i just add, i have looked through the forum for slow startup and could only see this post. i have a 32GB Dane-elec mem stick, (7GB spare)14.5GB Portable apps folder with 46k x files, 7k x folders) which on startup on XP (any PC with any A/V) takes about 30 seconds. On every WIN 7 PC about 5 minutes, thats on 32/64 bit. (2 x 32bit 4 x 64bit) Antivirus s/w includes Sophos, AVG, Windows own. is the slow start anything to do with indexing?

depp.jones
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
DeveloperTranslator
Joined: 2010-06-05 17:19
Are you saying, you use three

Are you saying, you use three antivirus programs at the same time? Hopefully not, because that will cause slowdown of your system at best and complete lockout at worst.

RadioMan57
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-18 15:50
Here comes an update, 3

Here comes an update, 3 months after I reported my problem as solved.

Even my Corsair Flash Voyager GT stick started to show the same symptom:
Start.exe freezing with the progress bar anywhere between 20 and 50%. After stopping it in task mgr, same thing happens again at around 50%. Normally, start.exe only loads in the 3rd attempt and is taking minutes to do so. This is a real pain, as the updater refuses to run without the platform itself already running.

Would like to understand what happens when launching start.exe. Does it scan every file on my entire flash drive? Would it help to move all non-PAF programs away from the PortableApps tree?

OzPortableLongTerm
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2012-06-04 14:10
slow start

We experience this problem all the time, on a numerous small USB keys (1GB max) with only half a dozen applications installed.

It is so annoying that it is another reason I have reverted myself and my users to the 1.6.1 platform.

The 2.0 platform is slow to start, slow to update, slow to eject, and we receive eject.exe failure errors on every_single_eject under Windows XP.

1.6.1 works a lot better for us.

Zach Thibeau
Zach Thibeau's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Developer
Joined: 2006-05-26 12:08
I'm receiving no such issues

I'm receiving no such issues with 2.0, 1.6.1 was a little buggy for me but 2.0 did it for me, just needs some advanced features to be in the options menu instead of manually editing the settings ini file but that's nothing.

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

OzPortableLongTerm
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2012-06-04 14:10
Further testing under Windows XP SP3 32-bit shows ongoing bug

On Windows XP SP3, on running Start.exe, the PortableApps windows pops up but is blank except for a horizontal progress bar which progesses in jerks to between 1/3 and 1/2 completion, but never to full completion no matter how long we wait. The PortableApps window remains white with no apps visible.

During this whole process, the drive access light on the USB key blinks a couple of times initially and then stays off - there is no apparent drive activity.

(We have had this problem since release of 10.0.1 which has been generally considerably slower than 1.6.1 to do almost an operation. As 1.6.1 is faster and more reliable, we use that.)

If we lose patience after a minute or so and click on the PortableApps icon in the system tray, the blank window is *instantly* replaced by the expected PortableApps window showing all apps.

There are about 6 apps on this USB drive. The drive passes integrity tests and has no detectable problems. This happens on other similar USB keys. The capacity of all the test drives either 512MB or 1GB.

As our users are disturbed by this behaviour, we just can have them using 10.0.1.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 9 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
AntiVirus

Is there any antivirus running? If you copy all the files locally and run it, how does it perform?

Keep in mind we have millions of users who run just fine without any issues and that the purpose of this topic is for a user with 300 apps, not 5. So your problem is unique and non-reproducible by us. There must be something specific (and peculiar) in your setup and we need to determine what it is. It would also help to know which apps have the issue, if you are using any custom theme, if you are using any portable fonts (corrupt fonts can hang the platform, 1.6.1 doesn't support portable fonts), etc.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

OzPortableLongTerm
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2012-06-04 14:10
10.0.1 startup freezing

Thanks for your reply. The problem relates to 10.0.1; we don't have this problem with 1.6.1

Antivirus is Microsoft Security Essentials.
(By the way, unusually, MSE has recently started repeatedly asking for permission to submit samples of various PortableApps .exe files as it has not seen those binaries before and wants to take a closer look. Files it has requested to submit include the eject.exe (old and your experimental replacement) and the 7-zip.exe, as well as other .exes from your platform, but not from the apps. This occurs with both 1.6.1 and 10.0.1)

Back to the issue in hand,
1. copying the USB contents to C: and running it from there, after a delay of 5 - 10 seconds the PortableApps window pops up fully populated with apps. The behaviour is OK.

2. We are runnning 10.0.1 standard with nothing customised.
The theme is Classic red/red, menu transparency is off (100% opacity).
The only option we have changed is to switch off the "check for app updates on startup", as this causes other problems (which I'll document separately).

3. We have done nothing with fonts.

4. Interesting: after doing the test running the platform from HDD, (and then deleting from HDD) the next test starting from USB behaves differently. After running start.exe, nothing visible happens for about 30 seconds - no empty window, no progress thermometer bar - after a long delay the window just pops up, again fully populated with the apps, as if it had been started from the HDD.
Strange: it does this repeatedly.
We are not currently able to reboot to see if it still happens, but will try later.

Thanks again.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 9 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Disable AV

Could you temporarily disable A/V automatic scanning (it's in MSSE's options) and try it again as well to see if that eliminates the delay? It could be that MSSE is scanning INI files or image files (for some reason) as they are accessed. 1.6.1 did not properly support PAF files and just showed stuff based on pulling it from the EXE (single file access) whereas 10.0.1 accesses an INI file and an ICO/PNG for each app.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

OzPortableLongTerm
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2012-06-04 14:10
Microsoft Security Essentials real-time protection on/off

This makes a difference. Talking about PA 10.0.1 ...

As previously reported, with Microsoft Security Essentials real-time protection enabled, on executing start.exe,
PA window pops up, but is white, with horizontal thermometer bar in the centre. Bar moves jerkily across, stopping at half-way, and never proceeds further no matter how much time it is given. USB key LED shows no activity. Then either a click on the system tray icon, or twice Ctrl-Alt-spacebar, and the PA window pops up fully populated.

Now with Microsoft Security Essentials real-time protection disabled, on executing start.exe,

PA window pops up, white, with horizontal thermometer bar in the centre. Bar gets straight to business: moves more rapidly and smoothly along, pauses for about a second or less at half-way, then immediately slides smoothly and rapidly to completion and the PA window then pops up fully populated without any further prompting.

Thanks for suggesting the experiment. I hope the difference is meaningful.

RadioMan57
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-18 15:50
This is the original poster,

This is the original poster, back with an update:

Yes, MSE real-time protection is also running on my system. But I found another solution in the meantime:

Among the 300+ apps residing in the PortableApps tree I moved all those away to a parallel tree which are not distributed in PAF format. One or more of them must have caused the slow start of the platform. Now the platform progress bar makes its complete way in about 10 seconds, with MSE on.

depp.jones
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 17 min ago
DeveloperTranslator
Joined: 2010-06-05 17:19
Might be not only one, but

Might be not only one, but the sheer number of non-paf apps in conjunction with MSE. You will experience the same behavior when you open an explorer folder with a lot of executables. The icons are shown one after another as long as MSE monitors every file access to extract the icons.
Same happens with the platform. The icons of non-paf executables have to be extracted to be shown in the menu and MSE massively slows that down. For paf-apps it doeasn't access the executables to provide the icon but reads the one stored in the appinfo folder.
So, the more non-paf apps have to be included, the longer the icon extraction/refresh time as MSE checks every access.
Maybe when one time by an upcoming version of the platform, the icons are cached, MSE will not interfere any more.

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 9 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Soon

We'll be adding caching of non-PAF app icons soon.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

inscreve
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2007-07-07 18:45
Cached non-PAF is working?

I still having this problem (first run takes a lot of time, i have some non-PAF apps (essential to me) ).
Cached non-PAF would work for me, or even stop/start option checking non-PAF apps.

This was a reason to stop using, in passed, your superb platform.
was sad to see that this problem still happens.
Any workaround?

Zalc
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2016-01-05 22:18
Sorry to raise the dead, but has been implemented yet?

It can still take quite some time to load the menu over usb 2.0

Thanks!

John T. Haller
John T. Haller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 9 min ago
AdminDeveloperModeratorTranslator
Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Not Yet

It hasn't been implemented yet, but I may bump up its priority as this would be handy with some additional functionality that's been added.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

olavina
olavina's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2016-04-14 01:33
check if your computer you

check if your computer you used. May be it cause broblem

OLA SHOP - Đồ chơi công nghệ | Sản phẩm độc đáo | Điện thông minh
Website https://olashop.vn

hltdev
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 2020-01-22 14:35
the idea to move the

the idea to move the PortableApps exe to the main HD worked perfectly for me, so thank you to those who advised doing this.

For me what worked was to move the "PortabeApps.com" directory to "C:\PortableApps.com", and then make a directory junction to the folder on my sdcard ("D:\PortableApps\PortableApps.com").

Anyone with these same issues should definitly try making a directory junction as shown above, this brought my boot up time from 2-3 minutes (sometimes crashing altogether), to a matter of a few seconds.

Log in or register to post comments