Ridiculous start-up time 25 mins!

By jools182 · 37 replies
Sep 2, 2009
  1. My PC has started being really slow on start up, just tried it now and its taken 25 mins

    Its only happened for the past few weeks, I haven't added any software in that time, but i have noticed the card reader light seems to be on all the time, as though there is a card inserted, and on start up its flashing all the time

    Would I be able to just unplug it or would that mess other things up? Or is there any way of downloading a driver to re-install it?
  2. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 392

    U can try removing all your USB devices before turning on the pc. U can unplug the card reader when the pc is off. Use chkdsk to repair your system, accessible by right clicking the drive and selecting "tools" and then "Check Now". Then Scan for Malware(Viruses and Spyware and Adware and Rootkits). Try cleaning up the pc using Microsoft's disk cleanup utility and then use ccleaner.

    It can also be a PSU issue IMO. Try removing dust(if any) inside the case.

    Or if all the above doesnt work, reset the bios.
  3. jakgra

    jakgra TS Rookie

    First it depends on what type of PC you have, how much RAMetc, next thing, what OS do you use? Most slow start ups are a result of excessive program auto start, and a full RAM. Try CCleaner and see if you can delete some start up programs
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You either have a failing hard drive, failing memory module, or a major infestation.
    Power supply failures rarely cause it. Unless you are running 512 MB of memory or less, the startup programs will not cause a 25 minute delay.
    Please tell us more about the brand and model of computer, or the motherboard and configuration.
    What antivirus and spyware are you running? Suggest you run Avast or Avira, then MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware as a start. Depending on what you find, we may suggest more.
    First, though, go to the hard drive manufacturer's web site for their hard drive testing software... Every manufacturer except Toshiba has software on their site to do this.
    Scan Your Hard Drive Using Error Checking in Windows XP
    First, search for the error checking dialog Box in Windows XP
    Scanning your hard drive with the Error Checking tool in Windows XP using Error Checking can help diagnose and even correct a wide range of hard drive errors.
    These procedures will look for hard drive issues, including bad sectors. Or you can use the older and less effective scandisk and chkdsk. It will take you perhaps a half hjour to as long as 2 ½ hours to run depending what is on your drive.
    Next, go to My Computer which you should see on your startup screens, then right click on the drive you wish to examine for errors. The normal choice would be C: but you should know your own computer setup.
    Select the Tools tab, then select Check Now, which will give you two options... “Automatically fix file system errors, which will correct common file system problems. This is a good first step.
    Then select, Scan or attempt recovery of bad sectors. This will search the entire hard drive for damaged or worn out or defective memory media on the platters. It will mark these areas as bad and prevent their use anytime later on. This takes a very long time. but is effective.
    The error checking procedures will run until done. Find something else to do while you are waiting.
    Restart your computer to see if it runs any better.
    But the drive testing procedures previously mentioned are a better choice, methinks.
    Get back to us if the problems continue.
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Did you check the drives- including the card reader and make sure there's nothing in them?

    You haven't given us any information about your system. That makes it like trying to troubleshoot in a closet with the door closed and the light out!
  6. jools182

    jools182 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 104


    I run crap cleaner regularly
    I'm running Bitdefender anti virus

    my system info

    OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
    Fujitsu Siemens P5GD1-FM
    X86 based PC
    Processor x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 3 GenuineIntel ~3391 Mhz
    BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 1011.001, 22/08/2005
    SMBIOS Version 2.3
    Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
    Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2111)"
    Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
    Available Physical Memory 111.90 MB
    Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
    Page File Space 2.41 GB
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    On top of that, you need two antispyware programs... at least.
    Where is your virtual memory coming from?
  8. jools182

    jools182 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 104

    not sure how I find out where my virtual memory is coming from, I'm a bit slow when it comes to all this
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You posted the virtual memory numbers, so I assumed you would know.
    Never mind, if you don't
    From where I sit, you need to run a good antivirus scan, and two antispyware scans, then if anything is removed, run HiJackThis and post here.
  10. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Ray has brought up an excellent point: "where is your virtual memory coming from?"
    Right now, you have twice as much memory as you actually have assigned to the Virtual Memory:

    You have 1GB (1024MB) of RAM
    You have set 2GB ( 2048 MB)to Virtual Memory.

    Try resetting this per Microsoft:
    Your range, based on the total RAM installed, would be:
    1536MB- minimum
    4608MB- maximum

    There is more information here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308417

    The settings you have now only show that you have 10% of the Total RAM free because so much is assigned to Virtual Memory.

    When you ahve the task Manager opened, look on the lower left corner for "Processes"- how many are running?

    Note: If anyone finds different math figures, please let us know. Math is not one of my better points!
  11. jools182

    jools182 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 104

    I tried this, the minimum size was already set at 1536 ,and for maximum it wouldn't let me go above 4096

    1536MB- minimum
    4608MB- maximum

    I'll try the antispyware and let you know what happens
  12. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 392

    set it to 2048
  13. jools182

    jools182 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 104

    Ok tried the anti spyware, 2 different programs came up with nothing

    I ran the full check disc and repair errors thing, which took about 3 hours!

    Tried a full virus scan with bit defender

    The card reader thing is still flashing a lot on start up, and once it is upand running the light is on all the time as though there is a card in there

    If it were something like the harddrive is it worth replacing, or should I just save a get a new PC?
  14. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 392

    Did you remove all the devices plugged to the computer before booting up? Remove CDs and Floppies( If any ) also.
  15. NunjaBusiness

    NunjaBusiness TS Rookie Posts: 36

    Sorry bobbye, add virtual memory to that list math is on!

    Your physical RAM is not used to create virtual memory, it is space on the hard drive reserved for that purpose. Specifically a file called "pagefile.sys."
    Your info from MS is correct - 1.5X physical is a good number for virtual memory. Just let Windows manage it and THAT will not be an issue. It is extremely rare that anything YOU can change in those settings will help, but it can certainly hurt. Just make sure (on a non-server) both Processor Scheduling and Memory Usage are set to Programs and you'll be fine.

    If your hard drive error test did not reveal any problems, to see what is happening at bootup, click Start>Run>msconfig (you can also just navigate to C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\BINARIES\msconfiog.exe and double-click it)

    On the General tab, choose "Diagnostic Startup" and reboot.
    If the problem goes away, it is a software or driver issue.
    If it persists, it is hardware.

    If it boots up normally fast, telling us it is software, go back to msconfig and click on the Startup tab to see what is being loaded at boot. Just use common sense and disable anything that looks weird or you really don't recognize. Also change the Startup selection on the General tab back to normal and reboot.

    Lather, rinse, repeat. :haha:
    It is a painstaking process sometimes, but you should get some idea of where the issue is before long.

    I assume you already disabled any startup scans in your AV and disconnected any external drives?
  16. jools182

    jools182 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 104

    I've noticed MSN messanger is now crashing

    it signs me in, but then closes

    is it related?
  17. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Thank you for that clarification! I have said often that I am not a hardware person.

    The paging file is set too high.
  18. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    People seem to have drifted off your real problem, which seems to me to be a faulty USB situation. Either the device has gone bad (likely) or the USB services have got screwed up (only slighlty less likely). Either way, your 25 minutes wasted is the PC trying to make sense of the USB device and failing.

    Can you just disconnect the device? open the case and trace the wiring if possible - but it may be soldered directly onto the motherboard. You could try disabling the device in system manager (not removing it, it will just come back)

    Failing that. follow page two of this link http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/39025.aspx which describes how to simply reset all the USB devices and allow them to be re-installed automatically. It first mentions a rollback to when all was working - not your case I think, and that a firmware fix may be required, but since you cannot associate this with any significant hardware or software event, that may not be the case either.

    When you remove all USB devices in system manager, and before you reboot, remove physically any devices you may have plugged in all the time.

    Finally, are you certain this 'just crept up on you' so to speak. Have you started using any other USB devices lately, had an infection etc?
  19. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 392

    That I was telling him to do some time ago. Don't know if he did it.
  20. jools182

    jools182 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 104

    just looking at my device manager

    not sure which is the card reader?

    generic storage device USB device (there are 5 listed)

    or WDC Wd2500 JD 55HBC0 (Ip resume this is my hard drive)

    or would it be listed under floppy drives or IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers?
  21. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    A failing hard drive remains the most common cause of such long slowdowns.
    Have you run the hard drive test from the manufacturer of the hard drive. Every hard drive manufacturer but Toshiba has one on their web site.
  22. jools182

    jools182 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 104

    I have unplugged the card reader and start up is a lot faster

    it still takes almost 10 mins, but it was almost half an hour before I did that
  23. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 392

    Then I think you need a quality PSU. Borrow a quality PSU from someone and try booting with card reader plugged. I believe a PSU of brand Corsair, Antec, OCZ, Themaltake Toughpower and topower are of good quality, you might want to try these one.

    Or, you could try removing dust from inside the case. This also helps.
  24. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Did you see any yellow triangles with black ! points? That is sign of error. Click on + sign next to USB to expand USB section.

    10 minutes to boot is still way too long!
  25. CapnYousef

    CapnYousef TS Rookie Posts: 38

    I would advise the Diagnostic MSCONFIG startup mentioned earlier in the thread - if its anything but hardware (pretty much) that'll tell us.
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