Hiatus at Desktop - WinXP Bootup

By Smafie ยท 10 replies
Mar 4, 2005
  1. Hello..

    Anybody got any ideas or experience of this possibly common problem that is bugging me?

    WinXP on bootup gets to the desktop then a hiatus occurs for some 50 seconds while it 'thinks' about something and then continues to load the rest of the O/S normally.. A similar thing happens at shutdown too as a matter of fact. :mad:

    Now i have been through a number of things and so as not to confuse the issue i will list them..

    Defrag HD
    Defrag Registry
    Been through all the Startup apps in msconfig and shut them down - no effect
    Shutdown AV and Firewall
    Run both AV and Spyware - system clean
    Cleared out Win/Prefetch folder

    I think that is all so far although i may have missed the trivial ones maybe..

    System is WinXP - 3Ghz, 1Gb RAM on 80Gb HD 30% used.

    The annoying thing is it was ok a month ago and has developed this fault. Incidentally is this an XP issue as i've used Win2000 for a few years and never had this problem (or was i just lucky) ?? :confused:

    If anyone has any comments i'd be happy to hear them..

  2. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Go to this site and download BootVis. Open the program and click on trace, then Next Boot+Drivers Delay. Your computer then needs to be rebooted. It takes a few minutes for the program to run before it opens again. You can look at the graphs and see which drivers are slowing down the loading. Then click on trace again, then optimize system. This will rearrange the files on your hard drive to make them most accessible for a quick boot. It is a Microsoft program that was discontinued but works very well. It is freeware.


    There are a few more tweaks you can use to speed it up. If this is a home computer, I'd go into services and disable workstation and indexing. There are some registry things too. Let me know if you want to get into that. Those are more performance things, not boot speed fixes.
  3. Smafie

    Smafie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply LH :)

    That is a very interesting little utilty isn't it.

    I ran it and duly discovered the O/S loaded in 23 secs and then paused till 39 secs when 'mrxsmb.sys' loaded (for 3 secs). A Google search of that file brings up numerous issues with it although none quite as i am experiencing atm. I did a further 2 scans to see if it is infected maybe, and although it appears not to be i am not convinced.

    As suggested i did the Optimiser mode and rebooted to see it move the mrxsmb.sys into the boot sector but take a wopping 109 seconds of its own and slow down the bootup to well over 2 minutes now. Sadly i had to do a System Restore to get it back to the previous state.

    At this point i am unsure as to what or how to proceed and fix this driver problem, or what to do with it...?

    Many thanks
  4. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    Steve did it take two minutes after the program finished optimizing. When you give the command to optimize and reboot, it takes a long time for the program to finish optimizing. The following reboot should have been better. This file I see there is a lot of data on it, but not much info. The OS keeps backup system files for repairs. Although the file in question resides in system32/drivers, there is a back up copy in windows/drivers cache/i386. If you thought it was corrupted and wanted to replace it with a copy from the cache folder. But it sounds like from what I'm seeing is it has something to do with writing errors to logs, so the delay may not actually be that file, but rather the delay is caused by that file doing it's job writing about the error that is causing the delay. Hmm. At this point I'll be getting into guess work so I better quit. In msconfig I would maybe try going to the services tab instead of the start-up tab and start disabling those that show running a few at a time and see if it's a service rather than a startup item that's slowing you down. You might want to look at this free utility called autorun by sysinternals, that will show you what's really starting up on your system when you boot. It may surprise you and/or point to something not showing up on normal startup programs that shouldn't be there.

  5. Smafie

    Smafie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes LH it did take a long time on each reboot since optimizing..

    I searched for all the mrxsmb.sys files and found 4 of them which initially made me suspicious..

    However since leaving it over night and looking again this morning, and going deeper into the BootVis reports (which are extremely useful) it appears this mrxsmb.sys driver relates to the wireless router i have. I disabled all Network connections and rebooted to see what effect it would have, and it loaded without the aforementioned hiatus! Aha..

    Upon reinstating and Enabling the Wireless Network Connection, it once again slows down after getting to the desktop, although at a reduced time now for some reason. Surely it cant be this simple?? I ran the Bootvis again and the mrxsmb.sys remains the device loading slowly after the boot is done when the wireless router is Enabled.

    The question remains why it should have been OK before and now it's doing this is still a mystery atm, but i'm continuing the investigation of all the suggestions, but at least now i am getting somewhere. I did stop some of the Services in one of the former attempts. I've just d/l Autorun util to try that of course in an effort to see what is happening at bootup yes.

    Thanks again for the very useful tips and help so far, and i'll post further info if i get it totally sorted. Once you get something like Bootvis it begins to make much more sense, so i'm grateful for that. :approve:

  6. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I've had the same delay problem before, but not nearly as extreme as yours. The fix for me was to go to Network Connections in your Control Panel, right click on your connection, highlight Internet Protocol, click properties. You will probably see "Obtain an IP Address Automaticaly" and "Obtain DNS Server Address automaticaly", checked. What mine was doing was searching at bootup for the IP address. If you know all the info to enter below, uncheck these and enter the info directly. It will then not have to search, and may speed up your boot. It did for me. A lot.
  7. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    S. Reading through some of the sites that came up when I did a google on that file, was several mentions of updated versions of that file being released by M$ in some fixes. I went and checked through my files and found 2 things both involving MS Updates. The blue link is to an update from last year that loaded another version of this file.


    This one (red) is from last month that loaded an even newer version of the file. My money is on this update as your culprit if this started happening just last month


    You may want to try and uninstall this one and see. It should be listed in add/remove programs. You can always reinstall it again. I don't have SP2 but if you do and the updates don't show, I think SP2 put a box at the top of the add/remove window that needs to be checked or unchecked to show updates. And what olefarte said, I had a similar situation with my kids wireless connection as well. You may want to check that out.
  8. Smafie

    Smafie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry was out yesterday..

    Thanks, I did put the IP address in and it appears to be quicker again now. I'd forgotten about that and as in the usual lazyness tend to let Windows do it automatically as long as it works when you set up Networks etc. I also did that to the laptop which needed similar tweaking.

    The thing has now got back to it's former state and boots much faster again with all these helpful tips and advice.

    I have checked the version of the file and uninstalled the update to see if it made any difference, as it happens it didn't, but certainly worth the test of course. I dont have the much talked about SP2 ;) At this point i dont feel like doing that particular one to be honest.. Do either of you have any thoughts about it? It does seem to provoke much debate and complaints about things not working after it :suspiciou

  9. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    I use Zone Alarm and don't need the SP2 Firewall. I have had "My Computer" on the security tab for Internet Options long before SP2 came out. I did get the CD from MS when it was available, and have tried it twice. Once with a fresh install and once after the fact. I had problems with it both times. I also found it a bit obtruding. I use Deepnet Explorer (http://deepnetexplorer.com/tour/tour_1.asp) which is much more secure than Internet Explorer and more feature rich. I prefer it to Firefox as well. So I'm not too bothered that IE7.0 will only be available for XP SP2. And lastly I can already see SP2 updates are just going to be as numerous as SP1 updates so why bother. And since my ntoskrnl.exe file is tweaked 1/2 the updates I can't use. When they stop updating SP1 and have all the bugs out, I'll switch. That will probably be around 2010, a year before they release Longhorn. <g> And that of course is only IMO
  10. Smafie

    Smafie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah, i kinda thought that might be the response. I also use ZA and have done for years. By coincidence i have recently started using Firefox after being irritated with IE on a couple of occasions when it refused to play properly, like saving all images as bitmaps when the cache filled up for eg. I have not heard of Deepnet though and have just downloaded it to test out as it looks very useful, so thanks for that.

    I think i'll give SP2 a miss as well as i dont need it at this point either, and tend to agree with your views about it and the need to debug it, and then when Longhorn is out and we are filling the forum with our problems with that.. :D - am i a cynic? Yep!

  11. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 443

    There was a spoof vulnerability toward the end of last year. The security report said that IE Firefox Opera, all the usual suspects were vulnerable, and the only browser he found that wasn't was Deepnet. That's when I first heard about it. I like being 5 places at once and I really liked the idea of being able to have multiple start pages. It kind of fits my schizophrenic life style <g> The phishing alarm has a link so you can send them sites you find so they can update their data base. Also if the site only identifies itself with an IP address they will flag a little warning even if it's not in their database. Not perfect but better than most have got. Ya I'm digging this browser a lot. Also their adverts killer and floater killer work well and are independent of the pop-up blocker which is also good.
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