How might I speed up Dorico startup?

When I launch Dorico Pro, it takes about 80 seconds for the software to launch. How might I speed up Dorico’s startup time?

System details: I’m working on Windows 10, with a pretty fast, overclocked 8-core Intel CPU, with 32G RAM, running entirely on M.2 SSDs. Though I’ve got beaucoup VSTs, all of my version 2 VSTs are blacklisted.

I suspect the time it takes to start up is related to scanning all your plug-ins, but we can verify that if you don’t mind doing Help > Create Diagnostic Report and attaching the resulting zip file here.

Time for plugin scanning time seems likely.

Here’s the diagnostic zip file.

As a wish list item, perhaps Dorico cache the plugin details, and use that cache to speed up startup. Of course, there would need to be an option to force plugin scanning, after new plugins have been installed.

Currently I need to either ‘babysit’ the startup, telling the pop up prompt to continue waiting (2 or 3 times), or wait for it to time out and close the program. Once it times out and Dorico startup quits, Dorico launches quickly. (Perhaps the 'scanning that has already occurred has been cached.

Alternatively, terminating the process, via the pop up dialog, then acknowledging another pop up prompt, then closing the desktop folder that pops open automatically, (messy), also works.

Thanks for any streamlining of the process that you can manage.

Dorico should indeed cache the result of the initial plug-in scan, and should only scan again if it detects a change. You do have a very large number of effects plug-ins on your system, but once they’ve been scanned once, I believe subsequent start-ups should be faster.

I’ll just page @Ulf in here to see if he has any further thoughts on why it’s taking more than a minute to initialise the audio engine on your system.

Hi and sorry for my late reply.

As Daniel mentions, normally plug-ins should only get scanned once and then put in a cache file, so that they don’t get scanned over and over .
On the other hand, indeed, I do see a big “hole” in the log files. E.g. in the most recent log I see

2024-03-26 11:31:11 : Plugin refused: Vocal Doubler.dll
2024-03-26 11:31:11 : Plugin refused: VocalSynth 2.dll
2024-03-26 11:31:11 : Finish scanning VST3 Plugins...
2024-03-26 11:31:55 : License Info: ping response received: from silk service
2024-03-26 11:31:55 : License Info: ping response received: from silk service
2024-03-26 11:32:37 : Register VST3 Plugin ---------- (1):
2024-03-26 11:32:37 : Name   : AAS Player

So it seems it takes 1.5 minutes to scan the VST3 plug-ins with you.
I would like to find out what is happening on your machine during that long gap.
Could you please download the free utility Process Explorer from here and run it. In the upper right corner is a search field, where you please type in “vst” with out the quotes. When Dorico starts up, it should show the VSTAudioEngine process as well as a vstcannermaster process plus vstscanner processes coming and going. What is the situation after waiting for half or one minute?
If only the VSTAudioEngine process is around, please click on that item and do a right click. From the pop-up menu choose Create dump > Create mini dump, save it and send me please.

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Thanks, Daniel and Ulf! Just messaged Ulf with the requested details.

Thanks to Ulf, I’ve finally got this figured out, so now Dorico loads very quickly on my Windows 10 system.

Dorico had been taking about 90 seconds to start. The majority of that time was spent waiting for the Audio Engine.

The problem was solved by whitelisting these two directories, in Windows Security:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3

Big thanks to Ulf for his patience and resourcefulness in helping me solve this issue.

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Windows Security
—>Virus and threat protection
------->Exclusions
------------>Add an exclusion