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"Normal" for old Celeron D to take over a minute to settle desktop?

By Squiggly1
May 3, 2009
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  1. I've got an old Dell (Windows XP) with a Celeron D processor (2.53 GHz) and 512 MB RAM, with a three-generations-old Intel 865GV (Springdale) chipset. Is it "normal" for an old machine like this to take 1 minute and a half for the system to "calm down"? I've cleaned up the startup processes, cleaned up the background services, deleted unnecessary programs, deleted temp internet files and cookies, ran McAfee, Avast, Spy Bot Search & Destroy, Ad-Aware, and C Cleaner, error checked and defraged the drive, etc. In viewing the Task Manager the only thing sucking up CPU is the Windows "idel process". If I try to open up FireFox during this startup process it is a long wait! Again it takes at least a minute and a half. Once the startup "settles" then everything is very calm and stable.

    Is this just typical of an old machine to be this slow to settle?
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,594   +864

    Actually a minute and a half seems pretty good. I'm assuming by "calm down", you mean from time you hit the power button until the hard drive stops rattling.
  3. Squiggly1

    Squiggly1 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 54

    No. From the time I see the desktop 'til the time the hour glass quits for the last time. This takes 1 1/2 to 2 minutes actually.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,594   +864

    Um OK, I have a Celeron based machine, but it's >3.0Ghz and 1GB RAM. It takes it's good old time to boot, never timed it though, I just walk away 'til it's finished. It is a fair amount slower than my other machines, always was though, so I don't worry about it. Is it the mobo or the IDE HDDs? Meh, don't really care.

    When you say, "system idle process" is "sucking up CPU", do you mean that on the process tab of task manager you get a high number? That actually would mean that that much CPU is NOT being used. System "idle" is the same as an automobile idle, the system is only using enough resources to keep itself running.

    Click on the "performance" tab of task manager and check the bar graph @ the top left, that's how much CPU is actually being used. Shut down all your programs, and don't touch the mouse. Now what's that number?

    I believe that you can configure some AV programs to scan certain files as the system boots, this would slow down the machine at startup. So, check to see how your AV is configured. That could help, but use good judgment, don't sacrifice speed for security.
  5. Squiggly1

    Squiggly1 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 54

    The 512 MB of RAM is definitely part of the problem. The performance tab shows that the CPU is peaking up to 100% a lot at start up. The bulk of that CPU usage is from "System Idle Process". Once this long start-up process is done, the CPU settles down close to zero and everything works fine. I can run a diagnostic startup (load basic devices and services) and it still takes perhaps 1 1/2 minutes to settle.

    I guess this is just an old machine with dated chips and not enough RAM. Just making sure though.
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