PC Takes over 10 minutes to boot up

March 27, 2009 at 16:41:39
Specs: Windows XP
Hi all,

Ok, I am having a nightmare with my PC. The PC is a Compaq, ageing at around 4-5 years.
Ive never had any problems with the PC, until about a month back.

The problem - When the PC is turned off, It takes from anywhere between 5 mins - 30 mins to boot up. The fan accelerates at full speed, the PC recieves power, but windows just doesn't boot up. When it finally boots up, I have some graphic problems. Icons arent displayed properly, and any attempt at playing a game results in a fail. Other than this, the PC seems fine.

I feel that I could be the reason for this big problem. Over the course of a few months, I have accidently caused damage to the PC ( Shouldnt have messed with things I dont understand).

After messing around with everything, I carried out a 'Recovery operation' on the PC. The PC has a separate HDD for recovery. It resets windows but keeps my files and documents. This didnt fix the problem, so I went for a full reformat.

Firstly, my housemate wanted to try and install one of his programs for work. It required an older version of .NET frameworks. I cannot recall wether it succesfully installed or not. Could this cause problems?

Secondly, when I followed a tutorial to uninstall/install the ATI drivers for my card, I followed a step which asked me to go into something like regedit, and delete the ATI entry. Then uninstall the software via control panel. I did this, then was prompted with a question asking to remove just the software, or the chipsets aswell. I stupidly chose Remove ATI/AMD Chipsets. Could this be the graphic problem?

When I try to play games, it works fine for around 5mins, until the graphics all spike. Making it unplayable. I get a message from ATI CCC quite often, that the VPU accelerator has stopped responding.

I also had my PC exposed to dust. I had the side of the case off for the best part of a year. Dust filled the machine, but ive cleaned it all out now and replaced the side panel.

The PC had also been exposed to harmful viruses. After purchasing High-end antivirus software, it scanned and found over 15. This may of corrupted something?

I took the PC to an 'expert' who claimed for £109.00 i needed a new Graphics card, and that something had gone wrong with windows during reformat (even though the reformat came after the problems occured in hope it could fix it). The 'expert' would not resolve the problem, nor advise me what to do, unless i paid an extortionate fee.

I am really frustrated because im trying everything with no luck. When I reformatted, i lost everything, for nothing. I am considering buying a new graphics card, to see if this sorts it out.

Thankyou for taking the time to read my post, and all replies are appreciated. I am a complete PC noob in need!

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March 27, 2009 at 16:57:17
Sounds like you just probably need to save the money and get a new computer.
1st, you messed with hardware inside the computer. Goodness knows what you did there.
2nd, depends on what kind of viruses you cleaned off your computer. If you cleaned trojans, thats nothing you should be worried about. But if you cleaned something more dangerous, then you should probably get it checked out.
3rd, and when the guy said that you needed to buy a new graphics card, for the messed up icons, he probably was 50% right. Usually when stuff on screen starts screwing up and its not the fault of the monitor, its the graphics card.

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March 27, 2009 at 16:58:24
What model is your computer? Laptop or desktop?

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March 27, 2009 at 17:04:18
Thanks for responses.

Is this the model ect?...

Compaq Presario

other specs shown here are...
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor
1.99 GHz, 1.00GB of RAM

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Related Solutions

March 27, 2009 at 17:10:07
If the hardware got even slightly disturbed while dust was present there is a good chance that oxidized edge connectors are now playing up.

Clean all of them (inc RAM and Video card) with a pencil rubber then pop the items in and out a few times to clear oxide on the sockets themselves.

It's a boring old standard but very often causes misleading symptoms.

some other bloke...

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March 27, 2009 at 17:20:49
Thankyou, I will give it a go. By connectors, im assuming you mean the parts that connect the hardware to the motherboard? The gold bits?

Sorry my PC knowledge is very minimal.

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March 27, 2009 at 18:34:04
Well, its worth checking just in case.

Yes the little gold flat tabs on the sides of boards.
Here's one on changing RAM which might help:

The video card is much larger and usually held in by one screw at the top.
It is the one (obviously?) that has the socket for your monitor.

If you have a SATA HD then the two edge connectors on the HD unit can give trouble too.

Run a soft brush over the edge connectors before you put them back.

some other bloke...

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March 27, 2009 at 19:02:24
Presario is not helpful. There is more to the model than just that.

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March 28, 2009 at 05:33:25
ahhh got it...
Model # SR1619UK

I think thats it?

Thankyou for your help.

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March 28, 2009 at 09:28:51
In my opinion, you should just jump on newegg.com or tigerdirect.com and buy components for a new PC. You can keep the Hard Drive from you old one, Video Card and the Ram if it is DDR2. I suggest going for a combo deal. Frys.com also has really good combo deals. You can grab a motherboard, RAM and CPU for less than $200 and you still have the cd-rom, floppy, hard drive and video card (chances are you will have to get a new video card too, PCI-E upgrade from the AGP) that should just be another $40-$60 if you swing it right. So for a little over $200 USD you can rebuild your comp better than before. Before you buy motherboards though be thorough and make sure you read reviews for them. some models are considerably worse than others.

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March 28, 2009 at 09:58:14
and he will probably need a new power supply, to run the new hardware and thats if it fits in the case. So now maybe your talking 300.00.
He can fix what he has for free. A 2gig processor & 1 gig of ram, is good enough for internet and office apps. Don't spend your money.


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March 28, 2009 at 11:17:05

You should be able to get the computer running well again. No need to buy new stuff. That kind of advice is not helpful.

The long lag for your computer to start is the main concern.

There are a number of things that could cause that.

Did you buy a new graphics card?

Do you have an add in graphics card or just integrated graphics?

The power supply can cause that to happen but shouldn't cause graphics issues once the4computer starts.

Describe what you see on the screen and what sounds, like beeps you hear when starting the computer.

You say the computer take a long time to restart. What about when it has been sitting for a while?

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March 28, 2009 at 14:33:49
I bought a new graphics card shortly after purchasing the PC... Its an ATI Radeon X800 256mb. Its added in.

Maybe theres a possibility that the power supply isnt fuctioning correctly, nor the graphics card? Before the start-up lag, my in-game graphics started to fail. Then shortly the slow-restarts started to occur.

When I start the computer there is no irregular beeps or sounds. It just starts up as normal. Its as if the PC thinks it is too hot, with the fan speed going at max speed, then eventually turns on.

The screen is just black, and it the monitor says 'No Signal'. Then my loading 'Compaq' screen displays. Defently not a montior problem though, because when the machine eventually boots up, the fan goes back to normal speed, reducing noise.

From starting the machine when it is 'cold', it takes longer. But then again, when its been on for a day or two, its not much quicker at all.

Ok i dont confuse you with my poor computer knowledge and lingo here, but sometimes if its taking TOO-long to start up, il attempt to turn it off via the power button on the front. Sometimes it turns straight off..sometimes it like, restarts. Just turns off and on again. Off with my finger on the button, then when released back on. I dont understand why it would do this either.

When the PC is booted up, all is normal. With the exception of the Graphics card not displaying properly. I was thinking of buying a cheap graphics card for around £30 ($60), to see if that would resolve the issue. But i cant see how that would stop the boot up- lag.

Thankyou for your help so far, really appreciate it.

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March 28, 2009 at 15:27:40
Whata may be wrong is that some of the hardware is not making a good connection. Refer back to #4. I suggest you clean all the RAM sticks as suggested and then snap them in and out 4 or 5 times each. Unplug and replug the large connector from the power supply to the motherboard. There is a lock on that plug that you need to squeeze in before pulling.

Also remove the screw holding the graphics card and remove it and reseat it. There may be a sliding lock on the opposite end of the card from the screw.

Blow out all the hardware with canned or compressed air. Do the power supply from both ends too. This will be pretty dirty so I suggest you move the tower to another area.

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