[ipxe-devel] Win7 x64 iSCSI install - insanely slow shutdown time

Steve Cross hairlesshobo at stevecross.org
Thu Jun 6 00:06:31 UTC 2013

OK so I think I finally figured out what's going on, and it has
NOTHING to do with iPXE or iSCSI. I purchased and setup an identical
Intel NUC (literally copy-pasted the disc image and booted it up) and
it does not suffer from the problem. There is only one thing different
between the two machines - the remote control receiver unit. The
newest NUC uses a standard MCE IR receiver and when shutdown remotely,
shuts down in less than 15 seconds. The first NUC uses a SnapStream
Firefly RF remote and when shutdown remotely takes 5-8 minutes. The
really weird part, if you shut it down locally, it shuts down in less
than 15 seconds. I know that's the problem, because I unplugged the
receiver and did a remote shutdown, and it took 11 seconds. So now at
this point I am either going to replace the RF receiver with a
different one (which I was already considering doing it anyways) or
use pstools to initiate the command "locally." More than likely, I am
just gonna toss that old RF remote.

Steve Cross
hairlesshobo at stevecross.org

On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 2:50 PM, Steve Cross <hairlesshobo at stevecross.org> wrote:
> Thanks for the good suggestions, definitely some good ideas. I did try
> increasing the write back cache from 128 to 512 (I can't spare any
> more than that on this server), but it did not help any. I disabled
> windows search service to see if it was trying to index and there was
> no change. I also disabled the pagefile and it didn't seem to make a
> difference. I am still seeing 5-8 minute shut down time vs. 60 second
> startup time.
> I have also been doing some performance monitoring and there is
> basically 0 device activity after the first minute or so of shutdown,
> so it leads me to believe that something on the system itself is
> causing the shutdown process to hang.
> Since this is the kid's HTPC, I don't get too much time to play around
> with it but I have a second NUC (identical model) that'll be here
> today and it's going to have the iSCSI setup. I am going to see if
> there are any bios settings that might make a difference, and try to
> do some more debugging.
> Steve Cross
> hairlesshobo at stevecross.org
> On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM, Andrew Bobulsky <rulerof at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 7:38 PM, Steve Cross <hairlesshobo at stevecross.org> wrote:
>>> Hey everybody,
>>> Been a little while since I posted on here. I finally got my Intel
>>> NUCs that I wanted to get and they run great. Got them up and running
>>> with iSCSI and everything is great - except shutdown time. The system
>>> will go from power off to running windows in 60 seconds, but it takes
>>> 6-8 minutes to shut down and I have NO clue why. This is quite
>>> annoying because whenever I do have to shutdown my iSCSI server, I
>>> want to make sure that all clients are cleanly shutdown first and this
>>> is quite an insane length of time for a very clean install of Windows
>>> 7 to shut down. I was wondering if it could have anything to do with
>>> iSCSI, or if perhaps there may be some suggestions (not directly
>>> related to iPXE) that you might could offer.
>>> Thanks in advance!
>>> Steve Cross
>>> hairlesshobo at stevecross.org
>> Hello Steve,
>> During Windows shutdown, aside from general write cache buffer
>> flushing, sometimes the process of reconciling the pagefile can slow
>> things down, too.
>> I can suggest that, if you really want to debug this issue from the
>> Windows side, you could run Sysinternals' Process Monitor... though it
>> occurs to me that while the tool supports boot-time monitoring in
>> addition to running on a live system, I have no idea how it would play
>> out for shutdown.
>> As a general rule, I like to disable the swap file on iSCSI-booted
>> systems, or at least move the page file and hibernation files to a
>> local disk.
>> You can disable the swap file from the GUI as normal, and the
>> hibernation file can be shut off by running
>> C:\> powercfg /h off
>> from an elevated command prompt.
>> This may not fix your problem at all, but I thought I'd throw in my
>> two cents as to where I would start, at least on the Windows side.
>> Additionally, on the iSCSI target, make sure it's configured with at
>> least a reasonable amount of write-back cache; say a gig or so.  That
>> really speeds up buffer flushing on the initiator side (or I'm
>> suffering from the placebo effect, but I swear it works :P).
>> Cheers,
>> Andrew Bobulsky

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