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Very slow bootup on XP - over 7 minutes

By shuck · 16 replies
Jun 5, 2008
  1. Hi everyone, this is my first post here and I'm in serious need of help. When turning on my PC it takes about 8 minutes to boot up. It goes through the DOS screens at the beginning ok, the windows splashscreen ok and then loads the desktop, showing only the volume icon in the tray at the bottom right of the screen. No icons on my desktop are loaded at this time, but the wallpaper is.

    7 minutes later (the clock keeps ticking by whilst its doing nothing) and the rest of the icons appear. In the pause I'm able to click on the start menu and pick a programme, but it won't load up until the system has finished loading the programmes in the bottom right corner.

    Is there something I can do to see what the hold up is and correct it? Any help you can give me would be brilliant.



    PS....The icons I have in my tray are as follows:

    AVG free edition
    ZoneAlarm Pro
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Bootvis may help

    Once installed, click on Trace->Optimize System->Restart->Wait again (but don't click anything until it's finished optimizing

    Restart, is it still the same?
  3. shuck

    shuck TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply kimsland. I've installed and ran bootvis, and used the optimize system command. This has not changed the speed of the reboot.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Please try this:

    Manual steps to run Chkdsk from My Computer or Windows Explorer
    • Open My Computer, and then right-click the hard disk that you want to check.
    • Click Properties, and then click Tools.
    • Under Error-checking, click Check Now. A dialog box that shows the Check disk options is displayed
    Use one of the following procedures:
    • • To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, click Start.
    • • To repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors, select the Automatically fix file system errors check box, and then click Start. (tick)
    • • To repair errors, locate bad sectors, and recover readable information, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box.

    Note If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open, you will receive the following message:
    Click Yes to schedule the disk check, and then restart your computer to start the disk check.

    Wait until Chkdsk finishes Checking / Repairing any faults
    Windows will then either restart your computer or continue loading Normally.
  5. shuck

    shuck TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I ticked the selected option, ran the Chkdsk option but it has had no effect. Bootups are still taking over 7 minutes. :(
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Run Startup Control Panel
    Untick alll Startups on all tabs (this is reversable)

    Is it still the same?
  7. shuck

    shuck TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The system now boots up with only my volume icon in the tray, but still takes over 7 minutes to full boot up.

    Should I retick all of the options I took off before or leave them unticked for the moment?
  8. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Ok man what is your System Specs???? This may cause something.

    Also what program have you install recently before getting the problem or changes make to windows...
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Start the Startup Control Panel program again
    Retick the shortcut programs that you want to start with your computer.
    In most cases this is usually just AntiVirus and possibly your 3rd party firewall (if exists)

    Download and run CCleaner.
    CCleaner will remove all temp files (not required) on your system

    Download and run HiJackThis
    Click on Scan. After the program is done with the scan, click on the "Save log". It should be the same button as the previous "Scan" button you clicked on.
    Save the log to wherever you want. You can now attach your HJT log without having to rename it as a .txt file.

    Attach the HJT logfile as an attachment to a new reply
  10. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    System Specs are available.

    I note you have an AMD processor. Did you get the SP3 update for Windows XP? This is causing numerous problems and I ask if the problem you have now is new or ongoing?

    And although the Notification Area only shows a few icons, others could be hidden. Have you physically used the msconfig utility to uncheck everything on the Startup menu EXCEPT the antivirus, firewall, touchpad for laptop and network process if on network?
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Post Removed
  12. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Bobbye is telling you - but not being explicit - uninstall SP3 and don't put it back for at least 3 months, if ever !

    SP3 is so bad that if we didn't have plenty of prior evidence that MS are fundamentally unable to test SP's properly, we might think they are doing it on purpose to force us to Vista !
  13. shuck

    shuck TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I checked my system specs and I'm only running SP2. Thanks for the heads up!

    Sorry for the delay, been away some of the weekend, and only just got back.

    I've re-enabled the anti virus and firewall (AVG and zone Alarm), then followed the steps for CCleaner and HiJackThis. Here is my attachment........I had to save it as a .txt file otherwise it wouldn't upload :(

    Attached Files:

  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Your AVG Antivirus version is now old, please un-install it through Add/Remove programs in Control Panel. Then Restart
    The new AVG Antivirus is here: http://free.grisoft.com/ww.download?prd=afe
    Read all the things you want (or don't want) installed through the setup process, basically it's preferred not to have all these extras, and definately not daily bootup scanning!

    You have Alcohol (virtual drive software) installed
    Please un-install it, again through Add/Remove programs in Control Panel
    Alcohol can be a menace in lots of Windows programs, including your ZoneAlarm firewall.

    If by doing the above, still it takes a long time to load, then un-install Zonelabs and test again.

    Please reply back once done.
  15. shuck

    shuck TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Boot up times are down to 2 minutes 20 seconds, and I'm a very happy person! :D

    I removed and updated AVG, and removed Alcohol too. Reboots were still taking ages, time not coming down at all. When I finally removed Zone Alarms the boot up times dropped. Any idea why it was taking that long?

    Question now is a) do I still need a firewall, or will AVG/Windows firewall be sufficient and b) if I do need a firewall, any recommendations?

    Massive thanks for all your help so far Kimsland, and everyone else who has chipped in.
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    You know there are many members here that say you need this Firewall and 2 X Spyware removal programs and blah blah blah.

    But in reality, as long as you browse and go to your normal everyday sites (ie not cr@ack sites or p0rn sites) then a standard Antivirus will probably never even find a new virus, and Windows firewall is enough!

    Anyway, I was speaking to another member about your long delays (now that's geeky) Anyway, does it actually get to your Desktop and then have a delay? Of is it a delay getting to your Desktop?

    2 Mins is still too long I feel, but is actually just ok, and within the the limit as Normal operation (just)
  17. shuck

    shuck TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I better stop going to my normal sites then.........:rolleyes: (joke) 2 mins is a HUGE difference to me, thanks ;)

    The delay was timed at 7 minutes and 54 seconds. It would get to my desktop and then just hang. The mouse pointer would be normal but when you hover over the start menu it turned into an egg timer. Opening the start menu and picking a programme would freeze that menu until the 7 mins or so was up, then it would load it up. (this is the same time it would finish loading up the programmes into the tray)
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