Slow Windows Startup - Suggestions please?

Microsoft Windows xp professional w/serv...
September 29, 2010 at 17:16:21
Specs: Windows XP Pro
Hello, I was wondering if anyone might have any suggestions for speeding up a slow startup on an IBM Thinkpad R51 laptop.

Most of the time, I am grateful that it starts up at all, but as startup is running at around six minutes or more lately, it would be nice to speed it up a little.

I have tried using MSConfig and Autoruns, though there may be more I can do with Autoruns than I have tried.

I uploaded a video on my youtube account of the computer starting up, for reference. It is located here: . The video is unlisted and I may be deleting it later. (Please ignore the random noises and wallpaper - the noises are people, not the computer, and the just silliness. In addition, WinPatrol is seen loading in the video, but it has been removed from the startup programs list since then.)

A verbal description, as the loading has changed slightly since the video was taken. As I start up the computer, first it displays the Windows loading screen for around 30 seconds, after which is a black screen and cursor for a few seconds before the loading screen comes up. After that is the Welcome screen, for another 30 seconds, then the wallpaper comes up. The wallpaper is the only thing displayed for a minute and about 10 seconds, before the taskbar pops up. It takes about sixteen seconds for the Desktop icons to show up after that. After about a minute, maybe a minute and a half, the programs in the taskbar begin to load up. It takes about a minute to finish loading up after that. Once those are complete, Cacheman reports something using most if not all of my RAM and CPU. Then, just like that, it's done loading and ready to go.

I have tried using MSConfig, as I said, and don't really think there's many programs I can take off the startup at this point. I'm not sure if there's anything else I should shut off with Autoruns - as I'm not sure which of the entries it lists are necessary, I haven't played with it much, beyond the loading tab.

I'm ready to leave things as is, for the most part, I would just like to see if anyone has any ideas how I could possibly speed it up a touch or why it might be taking so long on things like the wallpaper. I have scanned it, and do scan it, every day for viruses, so I'm pretty sure that's not the issue. I actually did some deeper scans recently as well for another issue which has been fixed. This actually started back in June, I just haven't gotten a chance to give in to the irritation it causes to try and do something about it until now. (The system took a hit in March, and I ended up reformatting the computer, but it just seems like it's been one thing after another since then. All have been fixed, but still...)

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September 29, 2010 at 19:11:38
Where's your much RAM do you have? Less than 512MB?

The video is basically useless. You've already told use that it takes forever to boot. What are all the icons & pop ups in the system tray? Looks like there's a lot of crap loading. And why didn't you show the MSCONFIG > Startup list?

I just looked at my startup entries & I have a total of 4...firewall, antivirus & 2 releated to audio. That's it. And in my system tray, other than the clock & the network status icon, I have icons for the firewall, antivirus & 2 releated to audio.

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September 30, 2010 at 10:05:01
I have very little RAM - this is a very old computer, roughly 6 years old. It desperately needs some more RAM.

I wouldn't call the video useless. After all, it let you make a judgement call about the things I consider useful to have loading at the startup of my computer.

I do not know how to show the MSConfig startup list as a text file. I do know how to do so with Autoruns, though. If that would be useful, I can provide that, though I have already attempted to slim the load a bit.

I also checked the eventviewer this morning after startup to see what could be loading. There were a few entries, but nothing that I could see to explain the hanging on various screens.

My main concern is how long it takes to get to the loading of the programs. The time it takes on the Welcome screen, Wallpaper, and desktop icons in particular.

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September 30, 2010 at 13:12:56
If it worked fast when it was new then consider a clean install from the OEM disks. After time malware and poorly written programs and system changes slow down your computer. When you reload only put on what you need for the next few months. It should work fine.

I have an old dell with a 1.5 G processor and 512 ram. After a clean install it is zippy again. Good enough for internet and easy tasks.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?

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September 30, 2010 at 14:13:18
I've considered a clean install, but I generally reserve that for major problems. As it is, I've just been dealing with it. I use this machine for everything - writing, image editing, internet, a lot of things - it's my primary machine and the best working one here.

So far today I've tried a couple different things, though I haven't restarted to check them yet. I checked the event log to see if it could tell me anything. I noticed a few things - ACU Configuration Service timed out connecting, and Lightscribe Service started up (it is not a service I told to load at startup and does not appear in MSConfig). The ACU was later in the startup, but Lightscribe started up very early, along with Windows Security Center and my antivirus. I went into services and changed Lightscribe Service to manual, as I haven't burned a lightscribe disk for a few months now.

I also ran Autoruns again to take another look at what was loaded up. I noticed a few "file not found" entries under the drivers, and looking online says that if the drivers aren't loaded at startup than they don't go into the system32 folder and autoruns cannot find them, and that unchecking them was safe, so I did so.

I'm not sure if either action will help, but it's what I've tried so far. Still haven't figured out, even with quite a bit of Googling, what could be making it hang or delay on the welcome screen or wallpaper, but I'm still trying. At least it isn't affecting system performance or anything important - just an irritant, and something to worry a little over while it happens, but nothing major. I've had enough of those problems for awhile.

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September 30, 2010 at 16:54:53
"I have very little RAM - this is a very old computer, roughly 6 years old"

6 yrs is not all that old. And it would help to tell us how much RAM is "very little". If you have 256MB or less, you shouldn't have installed XP in the 1st place.

"it let you make a judgement call about the things I consider useful to have loading at the startup of my computer"

Not really. I have no idea what it is you have loading due to the poor quality of the video. Regardless, the only things that need to load are what I've mentioned....firewall, antivirus, sound, network. That's it!

You do NOT need stuff like AIM, Yahoo, Google, iTunes, QuickTime, RealPlayer, WinAmp, Adobe, cameras, printers, scanners, etc loading at startup. These programs can all be started & stopped on an as-needed basis. It's stupid to have that stuff load immediately, especially on a system with "very little RAM".

Run MSCONFIG again, go to Startup & uncheck all the boxes except for the few things I mentioned (firewall, antivirus, sound, network), click APPLY, then OK. Allow the system to reboot, then see if there's a noticeable difference in how long it takes for the desktop to fully load. You can always go back & recheck all the boxes again if you're not happy.

Also, having a complicated desktop image shows the system...change to a plain solid color desktop. Complex screen savers also slow the system....go with something extremely basic. Another thing you should do is turn off indexing. To do that, go to My Computer, right click on C:, click Properties, then uncheck the box next to "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk...."

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September 30, 2010 at 18:31:57
By this time you could have reloaded it.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?

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October 2, 2010 at 06:29:30
Destop icons use a lot of memory as do taskbar programs, you don't need most of them to load at startup. Better to not have them at start up as I doubt that you actually use any of them most of the time.

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