Recently, a bug was discovered in Windows 7-based PC—it had been causing a 30-second delay when users tried to log on to their computers. We’ve got the scoop, and will show you how to get rid of this nasty bug in this blog post.
The root of the bug: Solid-Colored backgrounds!
Both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 suffer from the same problem. If you have specified a solid color as your desktop background (for example, a solid dark blue), it might be slowing down the logon process.
We’ve tested this on all of our Windows 7 machines, and the problem was reproduced every time. We measured logon delays between 23 and 35 seconds; the average is about 30 seconds on most computers.
Solution one: Solid Color background image
The most obvious solution to this annoying bug is to select a JPG image as your wallpaper. Right-click on your desktop, and select “Personalize”. Then, go to “Desktop Background”, and click on the box next to “Picture location”, where it says “Solid Colors”.
Click on “Windows Desktop Backgrounds”, and select the wallpaper of your choice. However, if you don’t like too much eye-candy and want to keep the solid color background, follow these steps:
- Launch your favorite photo editing program—even “Paint” is enough for this easy step. Create an image (the size doesn’t matter), and use the “Fill” tool to fill it with the color you want.
- Save the image to any location you like, for example, your “Photos” library. Open up this library, right-click on the image, and select “Set as desktop background”.
There you go! From now on, the delay should not occur.
Solution two: A little registry hacking
The second solution is for the more advanced, tech guys out there, as it involves a small change in the heart of Windows—the registry. Be careful while changing it and make sure you have set a System Restore point in Windows. However, if you follow the below step-by-step guide, you will be just fine.
- Click on the Start orb, enter “regedit”, and press the “Return” key.
- Go to the following “folder” (also known as “keys” in Windows registry slang): HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
- If you see an entry called “DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout” on the right-hand side of this folder, move on to the next step. Otherwise, you need to create this entry. To do that, right-click on a free space in this folder, and select “New/DWORD (32-bit) Value”. Type in “DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout”, and press “Return”.
- Double-click on this entry. Now all you need to do is to enter the number “5″, as you can see in the screenshot above, and click “OK”.
Solution three: Microsofts hotfix
Microsoft just released a hotfix that is supposed to solve the problem (see the official Knowledge Base article). We have tried the hotfix on three Windows 7 installations, but found working only in one instance. Note: Hotfixes have not gone through the incredibly long approval and testing process of usual Windows Updates. Eventually, a thoroughly tested version of this hotfix will be available via Windows Update or in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
Log off and then on to your computer—the problem should now be solved!