Occasionally very long boot time

Colibri iMX7D 512MB V1.1D on Custom Carrier Board
WEC 7, iMX7 WinCE7 Image 1.3 (latest official)

Occasionally the iMX7 start time into our application is much longer than normal. When our application is started and the delay happens, our startup sound we play in the app is very distorted and system responsiveness very degraded. After some time, the system is back to normal responsiveness. When restarting, start time is back to normal. The usual start time is ~16s - and the delayed one can take well over a minute.

We have no idea, yet, what the cause of the rare delay might be. We do not see a pattern, yet.

Our board hosts a 24bit RGB touch screen at 800x480 pixels, cap touch via I2C, multiple UARTs, both USB host ports, SD-Card, RTC, speaker.

Have you seen delays like this and give us ideas on drivers issues or hardware issues to be aware of?

Thank you :slight_smile:

While it’s difficult to diagnose the exact cause without more information, here are some possibilities to investigate regarding the slow application startup on your iMX7 WINCE system:

Your application might be actively polling some system resources that are currently blocked by other tasks. Use profiling tools to identify which thread or process is consuming the most system time during the slow startup. This can help pinpoint the specific area causing the delay.

Enable serial debugging and compare the system logs between normal and slow startup scenarios. The logs might reveal error messages or clues about resource contention.

Try excluding external hardware components during startup to see if any of them are affecting boot time. This could involve:

  • Disconnecting SD cards or USB devices.
  • Disabling the network connection.
  • Disabling any non-essential hardware peripherals.

Try quitting the application after a slow startup and then restarting it without restarting the entire system. If it starts normally this time, it suggests a potential issue during the initial system boot process.

It’s important to note that WINCE uses the TFAT (Transaction-Safe FAT) file system on raw NAND flash devices like the Colibri iMX7D 512MB. If the system was previously shut down unexpectedly during a write process, the next boot might involve file system integrity checks performed by TFAT. This can cause the delays you’re experiencing.

1 Like

Thank you Alex :slight_smile:
Your hints are very helpful.