Slow cold boots on winxp home

By Rin
Apr 30, 2006
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  1. Hello, :)

    I've been trying to solve this problem for a few days now, but can't seem to do it. My computer is an amd 2100+ with 384 megs of ram and it runs pretty smoothly. The issue is that it's taking 10 minutes or more to start windows on a COLD boot. (reboots are ok) I turn my computer off nightly and it just takes forever to get it to boot the next day. I have noticed that BEFORE the splash screen, there is a white segmented load bar that goes across. What is this? What's causing this computer to boot so slow...

    I've recently had the motherboard replaced and a fresh install of windows, everything worked fine for a week until the white load bar started showing up frequently. now it just happens daily and takes forever to load.


    I have ...
    - run hijack this to make sure nothing else was causing it (was clean)
    - run norton AV (clean)
    - run windows defender (clean)
    - disabled start up items (still having trouble)
    - disabled all OTHER items EXCEPT for microsoft programs (still having trouble)
    - run a chkdisk, and that didn't do anything
    - Reseated ram/checked cables
    - Defragged

    I've also run the western digital diagnostics tool and the program SAYS the hdd passes "SMART" status, but when i go to do a SMART test, it fails, giving me an 07 code. On their site, it just says to replace the drive. Also, the extended test took 9 hours, never finished, and said I had too many bad sectors. This prompted me to run the chkdisk program.

    If my hdd needs to be replaced, that's fine, I just want to make sure there is nothing else I can do first! The white load bar has me stumped, I have NO CLUE what it is! Never seen it before. Also, if the drive needs to be replaced, how come windows runs smoothly once it's all nice and booted up? :)

    I have made backups, and for the record, the replacement motherboard is a pcchips m285g v 9.2a I believe!

    Thanks a bunch
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,333   +49

    wouldn't trust Norton AV

    I wouldn't trust NAV to validate your HDD - some poeple claim it misses up to 50% of bad things - try a house-call check (trend micro) as well. Having said that, your symptoms are 90% consistent with a bad HDD anyway - they can last anywhere from 6months to 10 years, but any HDD reporting bad sectors is almost certainly faulty.
  3. Rin

    Rin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Hmm, yea I've moved data over. After I did a defrag yesterday, the boot time halved from 10 or so minutes to 4-6 minutes. But after the bios shows the ram check/hardware check and is done loading, the screen goes black and then the white segmented bits appear on the bottom to be loading something. I can't find what this is anywhere. I'll try and scan with housecall!

    Thanks :)

    Also, if the hdd had bad sectors, wouldn't chkdisk report that? I ran the western digital diagnostics in windows for about 9 hours but then when i ran a chkdisk, it wanted me to reboot so it could access everything before windows loaded... so maybe i did the diagnostics wrong?

    The bit I'm not able to grasp, is if the hdd is bad/going bad... I've had like 2-3 hdds go bad before, only they just die without warning. If it's my hdd causing cold boots to be slow, it's just odd that it works perfect whilst everything is booted!
  4. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    chkdisk, although thorough, will try to fix anything if it can and if you tell it, but wont tell you much unless there is significant amounts of damage. However... i would deduce that the maker of the drive knows it best.... hence a more accurate result..
    i assume you tried to test using the dos mode or safe mode? may give you better accuracy although that is a theory on my end...

    i would say backup your data, it will save you a painfull and expensive experience (data recovery) in the future. go buy or have a backup hdd in case that one flatlines, and ready your warranty info just as well...


    white segment bits i dont have much clue, unless you can provide some more info?
    other things you'd probably overlooked- drivers and updates...
  5. Rin

    Rin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    There isn't much more infortmation about teh segmented bar that I can give. I just know that it comes up AFTER bios loads the hardware and before the winxp splash screen... and its like little white boxes situated horizontally across the bottom of a black screen. Alternating white black white black, and fills to a solid white bar as it gradually loads whatever its loading. I can't find information on this anywhere
  6. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    sounds alot like your resumeing from hibernation or something.. or it could be something else... although it doesnt sound like its effecting anything major.....
  7. Rin

    Rin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Hey buddy! :p

    Yea, that's why I keep trying to clean things out. I failed to mention that I had winfixer on my machine because I thought it was completely gone. I did not think this problem was related, as I did not see popups until after the load bar started appearing. (maybe it installed itself on reboot)

    Anyhow, I followed instructions recommended by several sources, using Norton, Vundofix and HJT, and THOUGHT it was all removed. HJT log was clear after. I was not getting anymore pop ups. However, today, I installed ad-aware, and it caught one reg key I think. I installed Ewido AV/malware, and it spotted 4 reg keys, a trojan sitting in sys restore area and waiting to activate (this is from a game, heh), 4 adware.sysprotect things, your normal tracking cookies, Adware.virtumonde(???), and a downloader with a weird name (USYP_0001_n76m2004NetInstaller.exe).

    Around the time of the pop ups and after i thought i solved the issue, I noticed my IE pop up blocker was disabled for some reason. After Ewido/ad-aware scanned my machine, it's now working... :)

    Would those things above cause the slow boot time?

    Ps I'm going to fish around for another spyware removal program and hopefully another AV -.-
  8. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    they could, some nasties can range from screwing your pc up badly to slow performance or no effect (silent)

    go to the security and web subforum of techspot, and read teh stickies about removing nasties, pay special attention to RealBlackStuff's ones. follow all instructions to the dot. if something doesnt work, proceed to the next step if possible, but post us what you missed etc...

    those stickies are more in depth than one you will find at security firm (AV) websites... just so we make sure that you are 100% clean
  9. Rin

    Rin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yea, I did all of that down to the t! Kaspersky or whatever its called (online av) caught another reg key from sys protect which was removed, and that's about it. I think i may just reinstall everything. I have things backed up. I just wanted to make sure I couldn't fix it first.
  10. Rin

    Rin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yea, having the drive replaced, RIP Western Digital 40gig hdd :p Thanks for the help guys
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