Windows reinstallation very slow to boot.

Gateway 200arc notebook
August 12, 2011 at 14:11:31
Specs: Windows XP SP3, Intel 1.4G / 1024MB RAM
My wife got a new netbook, so I took her old laptop, wiped the drive, installed more memory and then reinstalled Windows XP with all the service packs and updates. The only program installed at this point is Microsoft Security Essentials, so no other programs are autorunning at startup. It takes about 8 minutes for the computer to boot, load the anti-vi, quit clicking away and accept input. Once it's ready it seems fast enough, but the boot time is exasperating.

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#1
August 12, 2011 at 15:56:08
Make sure that the memory that you installed belongs there. What happens if you reinstall the original memory?

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#2
August 12, 2011 at 16:26:48
Hi, Guapo; the first thing I did was to run Memtest_86 utility recommended on, and downloaded from, the Web. The original memory was only 256M. This ran okay with the early version of XP when the computer was new, but with each set of service packs and other updates it ran slower and slower until the machine was virtually useless. Now with more memory it is very quick, once it gets going, but it just takes so long to boot. Even the MS Security Essentials, which I picked because it was supposed to use minimum resources, comes up initially as 'not turned on' and takes about 5 minutes to finally show as running. Task Manager lists just the usual suspects, and shows System Idle Process using over 90% of the CPU, while the poor computer labors to get itself up and running. Again, when it gets there it seems just fine.

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#3
August 12, 2011 at 16:34:29
I would still like to know what mother board is in there & what memory you installed but in the meantime, click start, run, type msconfig & press enter. Go to the startup tab & disable all, for now. Everything is still there. It just doesn't load into memory at boot time. Click apply, ok & reboot. Click ok again.

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Related Solutions

#4
August 12, 2011 at 18:54:04
Slow boot usually is a driver issue. Some device is either not being installed or wrong driver. Unless you have a hardware issue.

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#5
August 13, 2011 at 15:31:56
Still trying to resolve this; hate to just write off this machine. I did as suggested and turned off all Startup items. There were only two: MS Security Essentials and Ctfmon.exe... not sure what that is. This made very little difference, but I did find another MS application running, MsMpEng.exe, part of Windows Defender (which I don't have installed), but evidently it's also used for some MS antimalware utility that may be part of Security Essentials, but still runs even when S.E. is set not to start. Anyhow, here are some benchmark times for things happening, both before these things were stopped from running and then afterward. The time in minutes and seconds from turning the computer on is given in this form: x:xx/x:xx for before/after.

Desktop image comes up: 3:30/2:50
Start and taskbar appear: 4:13/2:56
Able to click on Internet Explorer: 5:30/4:07
IE finishes loading and works: 14:50/7:28

Again, once you wait until this point everything seems to work okay; good surfing speed, programs open, etc. Is it possible for the computer to show the extra memory I installed in the BIOS screen, and also for the memory to test good with Memtest_86, and have the memory still not truly be active? I thought I might go back to the original 256M of memory and try the boot time test again.

Good note about the drivers, but how do you test this? Going into Safe Mode, where minimum drivers are installed, makes very little difference.

Thanks, all.


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#6
August 13, 2011 at 16:01:59
I'll ask one more time. What motherboard do you have & what memory did you install?

Secondly, I know you said that you only have MS Essentials installed but I have to ask anyway. Do you have Norton running?

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#7
August 20, 2011 at 18:49:34
I give up. After downloading and running a self-booting hard-drive checker utility, I'm convinced that there is either a problem with the hard drive or its controller. A test of the hard drive out of the computer, at a local fix-it shop, indicated the drive was okay, but in the chassis it won't complete the check or even wipe using DBAN.

So much as it pains me to do so, the computer is now on eBay for parts or whatever. Thanks, everyone.


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