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Slow Boot-Up...


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Posting to see if anyone has run into this problem.

My machine:

AMD AThlon XP 2700+ 2.17ghz

1.5GB RAM PC2100

GeForce Ti4600 128MB 4X AGP

Maxtor 60GB Hard Drive 7200RPM 2MB cache

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Gamer 5.1

Windows XP Pro with all the latest updates courtesy of Microsoft

APC Battery backup connected via USB

Running Norton Anti-Virus with Auto Protect turned Off

This machine used to boot-up in 45 seconds flat but now it takes 2 minutes 45 seconds to boot-up.

I'm at a loss...

I've emptied out the TEMP directory

I've looked for Spyware using Spyhunter

I've run Defrag and Chkdsk

I've checked for viruses/trojans using Norton and Stinger software

Still boots up slow. After it comes up it screams but it takes a long time to boot up. Didn't used to so I'm guessing something happened along the way.

Your suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance!

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Do you have anything autoloading on boot (application, new hardware driver, etc.) ? Do you have any USB devices plugged in ?

Between the time it used to boot up within 45 seconds and your current boot up speed, have you installed a lot of software programs ? Has new hardware been added (internal or external) ? Is there a CD in any of your CD/DVD drives (remove them if this is the case) ?

Is your computer hooked up with a network connection (broadband internet or home network) ? If it is, disconnect it on the next boot to see if this makes a difference.

It may also be a case of 'registry bloat' which can happen with the installation (and potential removal) of a lot of software. I'm not sure if the registry gets defragged or not with the built-in Microsoft defragger. Here's some registry related utilities that may help, but I can't vouch for any of them.

[ March 30, 2004, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: Schrullenhaft ]

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Originally posted by Schrullenhaft:

Do you have anything autoloading on boot (application, new hardware driver, etc.) ? Do you have any USB devices plugged in ?

Between the time it used to boot up within 45 seconds and your current boot up speed, have you installed a lot of software programs ? Has new hardware been added (internal or external) ? Is there a CD in any of your CD/DVD drives (remove them if this is the case) ?

Is your computer hooked up with a network connection (broadband internet or home network) ? If it is, disconnect it on the next boot to see if this makes a difference.

It may also be a case of 'registry bloat' which can happen with the installation (and potential removal) of a lot of software. I'm not sure if the registry gets defragged or not with the built-in Microsoft defragger. Here's some registry related utilities that may help, but I can't vouch for any of them.

Nothing autoloading on boot. I've pretty much stripped that stuff out so as not to take up unnecessary system resources. I'll check again to make sure.

I do have a few USB devices plugged into it. Scanner and printer as well as the APC battery backup. I'll unplug these and see if things improve.

I haven't really installed too much since those wonderful 45 second boot-up days.

I upgraded the processor from a AMD XP 2400+ to a AMD XP 2700+. A slight increase in horsepower but not much. I also upgraded the power supply from a 300 watt to a 430 watt. The slow boot-up was occurring before I did these two upgrades though. The hardware that I used to upgrade this machine came from another machine I had that I upgraded.

I did recently hook my two machines together via cat5 into a hub, 3COM NIC cards, shared hard drives. A little head-to-head Combat Mission set-up. Again, the slow-boot-up was occurring before I networked the machines.

I'll check out the tool that you referred to and try all of these things. Hopefully I'll be able to get to it tonight.

One other thing I aught to mention, The machine still comes up to the Windows XP Desktop in 45-50 seconds and it appears as though it's ready to rock but if you click on something, anything, it just kinda hangs for the aforementioned 2 extra minutes and then the "Welcome to the Wonderful World of Windows XP" music graces my speakers. Then it executes everything that I've been clicking on in a fast, catch-up fashion.

I'll let you know how I make out.

Thanks...

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Originally posted by Schrullenhaft:

It may also be a case of 'registry bloat' which can happen with the installation (and potential removal) of a lot of software. I'm not sure if the registry gets defragged or not with the built-in Microsoft defragger. Here's some registry related utilities that may help, but I can't vouch for any of them.

Registry bloat, im thinking maybe this is the reason why my boot time went from about 20 secs to 1-2 minutes. I install an awfull lot of games and demos, which in turn i need to uninstall alot too. But the change in boot up time literally happen in like 1-2 days difference. It kinda hangs up on bootup, like clockwork, every time after my nvidia settings and intellipoint icons boot up in the taskbar it just stops and in about 30secs to 2 mins the rest(norton, soundcard volume control, and msn messenger) will boot up.

The weird thing is that nothing was changed in my startup settings, no new programs are autostarting and no new applications running in the background too. I always constantly monitor them.

Anyways, i might try another reg cleaner when i feel brave enough. Last time i used one(about 3-4 months ago) it screwed up my system. It turned out to be a helluva hassle. So ever since then ive just decided to live with the slow boot up times. But this thread is making me wonder if i should give it anothe shot. :confused:

Specs:

P4 3.0Ghz HT

1GB RDRAM PC-1066

GeforceFX 5800 Ultra

Creative SB Audigy 2

120GB Hd

WinXP SP1

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Originally posted by Jack Carr:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Schrullenhaft:

Do you have anything autoloading on boot (application, new hardware driver, etc.) ? Do you have any USB devices plugged in ?

Between the time it used to boot up within 45 seconds and your current boot up speed, have you installed a lot of software programs ? Has new hardware been added (internal or external) ? Is there a CD in any of your CD/DVD drives (remove them if this is the case) ?

Is your computer hooked up with a network connection (broadband internet or home network) ? If it is, disconnect it on the next boot to see if this makes a difference.

It may also be a case of 'registry bloat' which can happen with the installation (and potential removal) of a lot of software. I'm not sure if the registry gets defragged or not with the built-in Microsoft defragger. Here's some registry related utilities that may help, but I can't vouch for any of them.

Nothing autoloading on boot. I've pretty much stripped that stuff out so as not to take up unnecessary system resources. I'll check again to make sure.

I do have a few USB devices plugged into it. Scanner and printer as well as the APC battery backup. I'll unplug these and see if things improve.

I haven't really installed too much since those wonderful 45 second boot-up days.

I upgraded the processor from a AMD XP 2400+ to a AMD XP 2700+. A slight increase in horsepower but not much. I also upgraded the power supply from a 300 watt to a 430 watt. The slow boot-up was occurring before I did these two upgrades though. The hardware that I used to upgrade this machine came from another machine I had that I upgraded.

I did recently hook my two machines together via cat5 into a hub, 3COM NIC cards, shared hard drives. A little head-to-head Combat Mission set-up. Again, the slow-boot-up was occurring before I networked the machines.

I'll check out the tool that you referred to and try all of these things. Hopefully I'll be able to get to it tonight.

One other thing I aught to mention, The machine still comes up to the Windows XP Desktop in 45-50 seconds and it appears as though it's ready to rock but if you click on something, anything, it just kinda hangs for the aforementioned 2 extra minutes and then the "Welcome to the Wonderful World of Windows XP" music graces my speakers. Then it executes everything that I've been clicking on in a fast, catch-up fashion.

I'll let you know how I make out.

Thanks... </font>

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I have the same problem without the nvidia card, I have a ATI Rage 128 Pro. My problem started after a power outage. I think something has been corrupted but haven't been able to pin down what.

I have been through all the suggestions above but no help. This one has me stumped.

SysSpecs:

Win Xp Pro (latest updates)

512 RAM

Rage 128 Pro Video Card

1.2 GhZ chip speed

60 Gig HD

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Originally posted by Vomitmeister:

Have you checked the version of your NVidia drivers? They released new ones a couple of weeks ago.

My Nvidia drivers are 56.55. The driver I have is not the official release version. I have no problems with video whatsoever. What driver version do you have?
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Something to consider although from what I can see from 2 of your 3 system specs (MeatEtr and Jack Carr) it looks like you have fairly new rigs. Check you mobo and add-on cards for leaky capacitors (the cylindrical doo-hickeys)

This happened to my old rig (RIP) which was a 1 GHz Celeron and it caused all kinds of boot issues/hang-ups. It started slowly and progressively got worse over a period of a month after which it would not start period!

Leaky capacitors will look bulged at the top or you may see evidence of leakage. There was a problem with capacitors a few years ago due to the theft of an incomplete capacitor electrolytic fluid formula (or whatever it is inside) which was then used in manufacturing gazillions of these things that then were used on all kinds of electronic components. The stolen fluid recipe is prone to failure.

A long-shot to be sure, but who knows, eh?

Also, Jack, I noticed in your initial post you stated that you run Norton AV with the Auto-Protect off???? Norton AV Help states:

"Keep Auto-Protect turned on (enabled) at all times to prevent viruses from infecting your computer. Auto-Protect works in the background, without interrupting your work.

Auto-Protect automatically:

Detects and protects you against all types of viruses, including macro viruses, boot sector viruses, memory resident viruses and Trojan horses, worms and other malicious code.

Protects your computer from viruses transmitted through the Internet, checking all files you download from the Internet, including Java Applets and ActiveX controls.

Keeps your system safe at all times by checking for viruses every time you use software programs on your computer, insert floppy disks or other removable media, and modify or access documents.

Monitors your computer for any unusual symptoms that may indicate an active virus."

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I don't remember what version I was at, but after upgrading to 56.64, it cleared it up. Does it boot up slow when you boot in safe mode? If not, use msconfig to try to determine if it is anything that is auto-starting. If you turn everything off and it still boots slow, then it could be indicating a driver issue, video or other. Otherwise, work through the services and try to figure out which one is the culprit. Could mean rebooting many times. You can also try doing a Google search for BootVis. It supposedly can be used to track down what is loading during boot and how long it takes. My machine was pretty messed up when I tried it, and I only ran into more problems. However, you could give it a shot. If you want, I can e-mail the program to you, if you want it. It is only 329K.

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Originally posted by Andrew Kulin:

Something to consider although from what I can see from 2 of your 3 system specs (MeatEtr and Jack Carr) it looks like you have fairly new rigs. Check you mobo and add-on cards for leaky capacitors (the cylindrical doo-hickeys)

This happened to my old rig (RIP) which was a 1 GHz Celeron and it caused all kinds of boot issues/hang-ups. It started slowly and progressively got worse over a period of a month after which it would not start period!

Leaky capacitors will look bulged at the top or you may see evidence of leakage. There was a problem with capacitors a few years ago due to the theft of an incomplete capacitor electrolytic fluid formula (or whatever it is inside) which was then used in manufacturing gazillions of these things that then were used on all kinds of electronic components. The stolen fluid recipe is prone to failure.

A long-shot to be sure, but who knows, eh?

Also, Jack, I noticed in your initial post you stated that you run Norton AV with the Auto-Protect off???? Norton AV Help states:

"Keep Auto-Protect turned on (enabled) at all times to prevent viruses from infecting your computer. Auto-Protect works in the background, without interrupting your work.

Auto-Protect automatically:

Detects and protects you against all types of viruses, including macro viruses, boot sector viruses, memory resident viruses and Trojan horses, worms and other malicious code.

Protects your computer from viruses transmitted through the Internet, checking all files you download from the Internet, including Java Applets and ActiveX controls.

Keeps your system safe at all times by checking for viruses every time you use software programs on your computer, insert floppy disks or other removable media, and modify or access documents.

Monitors your computer for any unusual symptoms that may indicate an active virus."

I'll check the capacitors on the board. Actually, the PC is not that new. Built from components over several years. The motherboard is an ASUS A7V8X, older board. I'll take a look at the board to see if any of the capacitors look strange. As far as Norton goes, I have read that Norton Anti-Virus has caused certain slow boot-ups on some machines. I'm thinking about removing it entirely and seeing how things boot-up then. Thanks for the advice.
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Originally posted by Vomitmeister:

I don't remember what version I was at, but after upgrading to 56.64, it cleared it up. Does it boot up slow when you boot in safe mode? If not, use msconfig to try to determine if it is anything that is auto-starting. If you turn everything off and it still boots slow, then it could be indicating a driver issue, video or other. Otherwise, work through the services and try to figure out which one is the culprit. Could mean rebooting many times. You can also try doing a Google search for BootVis. It supposedly can be used to track down what is loading during boot and how long it takes. My machine was pretty messed up when I tried it, and I only ran into more problems. However, you could give it a shot. If you want, I can e-mail the program to you, if you want it. It is only 329K.

Thanks. I will look at upgrading to the official release of the video driver. I have not tried booting up in safe mode yet. What will this tell me? MSCONFIG is clean as far as what is loading up. I have BOOTVIS and have used it. Doesn't really tell me much but I'll admit I'm not sure what to look at as far as that software is concerned. My honest opinion is that it is one of two things:

1) Registry bloat - as Schrullenhaft suggested

2) Motherboard on the fritz

I have always suspected that the motherboard was dying a slow death whose first symptom was a slow boot-up.

I was considering upgrading my other machines motherboard to one with a 333mhz bus. Perhaps this would be a good excuse. Both of my machines have an ASUS A7V8X motherboard at the same BIOS revision level. Easy swap and then my better machine gets a quicker motherboard.

I'll see how long I can live with the 2 minute 45 second boot-up before I pull the trigger on this one though.

Thanks to everyone for coming to my aid on this.

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BOOTVIS - from what I read, but never saw it myself, it should give you the amount of time each driver is taking to load. A driver with an unusually high time might be your culprit. I never got to the point that I saw anything reporting this. i just read that it should show this.

Safe Mode - If it boots quickly in safe mode, then it probably isn't you MB. Safe mode is using Windows' basic drivers. If your MSCONFIG is clear, the only thing different between safe mode and a normal boot is the drivers that are being loaded. My machine booted quickly in safe mode but not with the msconfig cleared. Searching on the web, I found a few people with similar problems saying it was the NVidia drivers.

I know registry bloat wasn't my problem, since I just reloaded my machine and booting slowed down when I loaded up my slightly older Nvidia drivers.

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I got BootVis as well awhile back, but im not really sure how to use it. I thought i did it right but nothing happen when i boot up, no report. Nothing comes with the program to show you how to use it. Has anybody got it to work, so you could see the program/driver which is causing the hang up? Anybody by any chance know of some sort of FAQ or instruction manual for using this program?

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Just a side by side for those following this thread.

I have two machines, nearly identical. Here are the specs for both:

Machine A

ASUS A7V8X

AMD Athlon XP 2700+ (2.17ghz Thoroughbred Core)

Kingston 1.5GB DDR PC2100 RAM

GeForce Ti4600 128MB 4X AGP

Creative Labs SoundBlaster 5.1 Gamer Sound Card

Maxtor 60GB 7200RPM 2MB Cache Hard drive

Windows XP Pro

CD-ROM 52X

CD-RW

Floppy Drive

(BOOT UP TIME - 2 Minutes 45 seconds)

Machine B

ASUS A7V8X

AMD Athlon XP 2800+ (2.25ghz Thoroughbred Core)

Kingston 1GB DDR PC2700 RAM

GeForce Ti4600 128MB 4X AGP

Creative Labs SoundBlaster 5.1 Gamer Sound Card

Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache Hard Drive

Windows XP Pro

CD-RW

DVD/CD-RW

Floppy

(BOOT-UP TIME 50 Seconds)

The funny thing is, Machine A used to beat Machine B's boot-up time by 5 seconds! Now it gets beat by 2 minutes 5 seconds!

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I have a second machine as well. The machine I was talking about as an Athlon 2600. My other machine is a much slower Athlon 850Mhz system and it was booting faster than the 2600. The 2600 has a Geforce 3 ti200 vs. a TNT2 in the old machine.

Do you use Windows Update on both machines? I vaguely recall now that my slowdown occured while updating drivers and other things with Windows Update. Maybe there is a security patch that screws up some driver that Nvidia uses. Just throwing out ideas.

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Originally posted by Vomitmeister:

I have a second machine as well. The machine I was talking about as an Athlon 2600. My other machine is a much slower Athlon 850Mhz system and it was booting faster than the 2600. The 2600 has a Geforce 3 ti200 vs. a TNT2 in the old machine.

Do you use Windows Update on both machines? I vaguely recall now that my slowdown occured while updating drivers and other things with Windows Update. Maybe there is a security patch that screws up some driver that Nvidia uses. Just throwing out ideas.

I do use Windows Update on both machines. Both are up to date. Whatever Microsoft has thrown out for Windows XP Pro I've got it on both rigs. It's a real puzzler...
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Couple of other things to check since I see both machines are real close in specs. If you are comfortable playing around with computers then you may consider these suggestions.

Compare the two BIOSes. Same versions? Same BIOS settings?

Also maybe an issue with RAM. Can you run machine with only one stick at a time and see what impact that has? Can you switch sticks from one machine to the other and see if that has an impact on boot times.

Also, as a lot of the components look identical, you could try swapping them one at a time to see if they are impacting boot times (e.g., sound card, video card). Do NOT swap OS hard-drives/mobos as Win XP cannot handle that at all in my experience (but add-in cards should be okay). Do all of this one at a time to see if you can isolate what might be giving you a problem (if it is hardware related)

But only if you are comforatble with this.

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I have the opposite problem: my Windoze 2000 shuts down very slow. I work around it by suspending it and then switching it off which should be safe enough.

It might be time-wise connected to my switch from ATI to a NVidia 4400 TI. I use the old known-good drivers that only work with AGP 2X (release number escapes me right now).

If I try new drivers, does NVidia driver generally allow a clean doing back to the old drivers?

Any other ideas why it would shut down so slow? How do I debug this? Does Windows 2000 something like a shutdown log with timestamps for each activity?

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Originally posted by Andrew Kulin:

Couple of other things to check since I see both machines are real close in specs. If you are comfortable playing around with computers then you may consider these suggestions.

Compare the two BIOSes. Same versions? Same BIOS settings?

Also maybe an issue with RAM. Can you run machine with only one stick at a time and see what impact that has? Can you switch sticks from one machine to the other and see if that has an impact on boot times.

Also, as a lot of the components look identical, you could try swapping them one at a time to see if they are impacting boot times (e.g., sound card, video card). Do NOT swap OS hard-drives/mobos as Win XP cannot handle that at all in my experience (but add-in cards should be okay). Do all of this one at a time to see if you can isolate what might be giving you a problem (if it is hardware related)

But only if you are comforatble with this.

Thanks for the suggestions. RAM should be the easiest thing you mentioned. The slow-boot machine has three 512MB modules. I certainly could swap the video cards. They are the same card but a different make, the fast-boot up machines card is a Chaintech while the other slow-boot machines card is a Jaton. This shouldn't really make a difference as both cards are Nvidia GeForce Ti4600 128MB 4X AGP. Currently, both are using the same exact driver as well.

I'll try some of these things this weekend.

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As a thought go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, then choose event viewer. Then click application and see if you have any warnings during boot up. You might be able to narrow the problem. I found that my back up dial up modem was crapped out by using the above method. Reloaded the drivers and no more warnings on boot. Still hasn't completely cured my slow boot problem but I am getting closer. I'll know tonight and will post my findings.

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Originally posted by Frenchy:

As a thought go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, then choose event viewer. Then click application and see if you have any warnings during boot up. You might be able to narrow the problem. I found that my back up dial up modem was crapped out by using the above method. Reloaded the drivers and no more warnings on boot. Still hasn't completely cured my slow boot problem but I am getting closer. I'll know tonight and will post my findings.

That sounds promising. I'll definitely give that a try.

Thanks

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