2 minute pause after Windows boots up

I'm sure many have encountered this, and I think it's an issue with the careless programming of WinXP...
After installing a fresh copy of Windows XP, it always takes about 1.5 - 2 minutes before I'm able to do most actions of Windows XP, such as establish a connection to the Internet or go to System Properties. It just sits there, not loading anything. I've installed Windows XP hundreds of times in the past on many computers, and it happens every single time. However, after some usage for a few days and installation of drivers/utilities/programs, eventually the problem goes away. I know it's a certain thing that has to be installed on the system to trigger it not to do that anymore, but I don't know what it is. Anyone have any ideas?
I use virtual machines a lot and I don't install any programs on it, so it's always taking like 3 minutes before I can do anything in WinXP. Just sits there and does nothing for 2 minutes.
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  1. Never had that problem. I can boot into XP in under 30 seconds.

    It has to be something in the start up, or you have a lot of unnecessary things running in the background.

    The only delay I ever see if when McAfee antivirus is starting up. I get a couple seconds of delay, but that's expected.

    Try disabling services you don't need. I'd guess it's a network service that has a 60 second time out that's causing your problem. Or you're booting up with a CD in your CD-ROM and for some reason it's reading that before it finishes loading up Windows.
  2. You could also look into this.. it might give some insight on what is causing your problem. I have never seen that delay..

    then again, maybe your swap file is too small, too big, or you don't have enough RAM.

    I have an amd 64 3000+ with DRR400 Dual channel.. haven't had a problem.

    <A HREF="http://www.weethet.nl/english/hardware_bootvis.php" target="_new">this is bootvis info, a microsoft program. check it out and it might help you.</A>
  3. Thanks, I'll look into the program... however, it's not something just on my computer. I have installed Windows XP on dozens of computers and hundreds of times and literally every single time it does this. It's only in the initial stages, after a FRESH installation of XP, so of course you don't notice it now, and neither do I, but it does happen on every computer as far as I've seen. Windows updates don't seem to fix it... Perhaps I'll try installing the regular utilities that I normally install one by one until I find what it is exactly that stops it from doing that, but I was hoping someone would save me the hassle. Anyhoo, I'll try this program you're talking about.

    CPU - AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (NewCastle)
    MoBo - Asus A8V Deluxe - Socket 939
    Memory - 1GB DDR PC3200 400MHz Micron / Ultra Technology
    Video - 128MB DDR ATI All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro
    HD - Maxtor 120GB+80GB
    PSU - Aspire Clear-Top Dual-Fan 500W
    CD-RW - LG 52x32x52
    DVD-RW - BenQ 16x DL
    OS - Windows XP - SP2
  4. I just installed SP2 about 2 weeks ago. I didn't install anything and I ran it for a while. Only last night did I install any software on it.

    I know during your initial boot up, you will have some delay because it's configuring everything. After that, I have never seen a noticable delay.

    Did you install extra services/protocols/etc when you installed XP or did you remove or take a basic install? I normally go in and remove things that I won't need and install other non-standard items.

    On my bare XP SP2 computer I was booting into Windows within 30 seconds and didn't see any delay. The biggest delay I get is actually going into Windows after I log in, but that's all the services starting up and loading whatever else I have set. Only last night did I go about loading more software than BF2.

    I'd take a look at what services are running and pull off a lot of those. I think BV's website said you could run XP on a total of 6 needed services and the rest weren't useful.

    I haven't gone through and disabled any, but I don't install things like QoS. You might also want to consider doing a defrag after your Windows install.
  5. Ok, found the problem you're seeing. I thought this issue was resolved in SP2 though. I know there is a reghack out there you can do to make Windows behavior change this, but that was pre-SP2.

    The largest HDD I've used is an 80GB and I noticed you have a 120GB drive, 200GB in total. There something about XP seeing more than like 154GB or something.. but I swore that was fixed in SP2. I guess this is a different problem along the same lines though.

    After you choose to start Windows from the Boot menu, you may experience a long delay (or pause) before your computer finishes starting. Note that this delay may range from 10 seconds to a minute. Also, this delay occurs before the Starting Windows progress bar appears, and your computer may appear to stop responding (hang) during this time.

    This behavior can occur if Windows is installed on a drive or a partition to which Windows cannot gain access with normal Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) INT-13 or INT-13 extension calls. When Windows Setup determines it cannot use BIOS calls to start, it uses scsi() or signature() syntax in the Boot.ini file instead of multi() syntax.

    When booting a system that requires scsi() or signature() syntax, Ntldr loads an additional device driver (Ntbootdd.sys) to initialize and interrogate the boot controllers in your computer. Ntldr then seeks the associated boot drive attached to the controller to finish loading the kernel. These additional operations take more time in Windows because of the Plug and Play nature of the operating system.

    This behavior is expected, however, Windows Setup may use scsi() or signature() syntax, even if your computer can boot using the normal BIOS calls. This may occur on Integrated Drive Electronics-based computers when using a large capacity boot drive. In this case, you can try adding an additional entry in the Boot.ini file and use multi() syntax on the new entry to boot from. Note that if this works, your computer starts without pausing.
  6. Usually I leave all settings as defaults when installing the OS, since usually I'm installing for other people. After an initial install, there are no programs needed to load. But it's not that Windows is actually loading anything. It simply HALTS for a minute to 2 minutes. CPU utilization is at 0% during that time and hard drive is not churning at all. This happens whether I'm installing to a laptop or desktop or any PC.
    Now I use a slipstreamed CD (with SP2) and I can't quite recall if I used to encounter this when I used to use a regular WinXP CD without SP2...
  7. The only thing is that I notice the problem after I see the desktop. So the desktop comes up, and the volume icon comes up in the SysTray, and that's exactly when it hangs for 1-2 minutes before it can take commands.
    It's not quite the same as what the symptom says.
  8. Check out this program too:

    <A HREF="http://www.nliteos.com/" target="_new">nlite</A>

    it'll remove stuff you don't need.
  9. Thank you, I'll check it out...
    However, I'm sure it's an issue with Windows XP itself. I know because I've installed it on many computers, old and new and on hard drives as small as 15 GB, and it always does the same thing...
    Oh well, it goes away eventually. After installing many programs, it stops doing that.
  10. The only time I notice a delay is when I have a network card in. I use to manually set the IP address so windows would load faster, since it didn’t have to search for it. My current PC has a built in network adapter and doesn’t have a problem loading fast.
  11. Oh wow, jiffy, I actually tried disabling my NIC card on my virtual machine, then rebooted it, and sure enough, the delay was completely gone! I didn't expect it to work, although when I ran bootvis (thanks, riser), it did say that the NIC card took longer than other devices to initialize, but stated like 5 seconds or so, so I ignored it...
    Hm... only problem now is how to fix this... my NIC card is integrated and I'd hate to buy a new one then find that this won't fix the issue.
  12. I use a 3Com NIC on my newly 'old' computer.. my new board has 2 onboard NICs..

    I find 3com and Intel Pro cards work good, along with most onboard NICs.

    What card are you currently using, and what is suppling your DHCP?
  13. My NIC is integrated. It's a Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PC Gigabit Ethernet.
    I'm not sure what your 2nd question about DHCP means, but if it helps any, I'm not on a DHCP connection. I use WinXP PPPoE (Dynamic).
  14. Right. So you're using a software to authenticate against radius or are you using a router to do that? If so, the router would be handing out your DHCP address while maintaining your PPPoE connection with your ISP. If you're not, loading into Windows your NIC sends out it's DHCP request, times out, then continues on to assign it's own IP address to itself.

    For example, I boot up my computer and I get my DHCP address off my router, so I don't have to wait that time for it's DHCP request to fail out before getting an IP. Assigned a static IP, that request never happens. Disabling your NIC, that request never happens.

    I also have a marvel NIC on my motherboard, but again I never experience that problem because I normally have something dishing out a DHCP as soon as my NIC shows live on the lan.

    Make sense?
  15. No I'm not using a router... Just a regular Windows XP PPPoE dialer using authentication method.
    So how do we recitify the issue? I certainly can't assign a static IP, since I'm on a dynamic IP.
  16. I’m not sure why this only happens when you first install windows and then it goes away. It always delays for me, unless I change the IP address. I also don’t know why my current mobo doesn’t have that problem, it is also integrated. All my other mobo had that problem.

    Anyways what I do is change the IP address to The one can be any number between 1-255 and the sub The only problem I had with doing this is it made it tough to network PC’s together and it wasn’t very reliable, because they kept losing each other for some reason.
  17. What ISP service are you using? You could pick up a router and let that take care of it.

    I'm guessing you're on a monthly plan and not paying per time used?

    You can set the router to communicate with your ISP and keep your connection alive. When you fire up your PC it'll pick up a DHCP address from the router.

    OR.. you could see what IP you're pulling from your ISP and see when the lease expires. If they're nice and they made it last a long time, you could hard code it (static) and just change it when/if it changes.

    I know my cable services just renews my current lease instead of changing my IP address with a new lease. So I could technically use that as a static IP.. it all depends if each time you authenticate you get a different IP address.

    But most commonly and widely accepted is using a router. Within the router you can select PPPoE, enter your authentication information and walk away. Works great on DSL so you don't need to use their software to connect.
  18. I have Sympatico high speed DSDL (monthly plan), and I get a new IP every time I authenticate, which is how I like it.
    I used to use a router, but I got rid of it. I prefer to use a PPPoE dialer, which I have set to automatically connect at Windows startup, so it's no inconvenience.
    I have a modem which in a way could function as a router, in the sense that it's able to authenticate for me with an internal PPPoE connection, not in the sense that you can hook up multiple computers to it. However, I have it set to bridge mode because I prefer to use the WinXP PPPoE dialer. I wonder if configuring it with PPPoE will solve this issue... maybe I'll try it.
    Ah well, it's no big deal
  19. Well, I configured my modem to PPPoE and sure enough, that got rid of the delay and fixed the problem! Well, it's been fun guys. Thanks so much for the help.
  20. Can you please explain to me what you did differently for I can note it, in case I have that problem again? This is how I been creating a connection.

    <A HREF="http://www.petri.co.il/configure_a_pppoe_dialer_in_windows_xp.htm" target="_new">How can I configure a PPPoE dialer in Windows XP?</A>
  21. He's using his modem to keep his PPPoE alive, instead of using the software to connect each time.

    Just like using your router with PPTP over DSL. The router maintains the connection so you don't need to use the softwrae to establish the connection.
  22. Care to explain just how you do that? Does that means he’s connected to the internet when he boots up? I don’t care for that, but would like to know how just the same, plus on my other PC that would be another option. Inquiring minds what to know :wink: .
  23. Quote:
    So how do we recitify the issue? I certainly can't assign a static IP, since I'm on a dynamic IP.

    Why not?

    That's exactly what I've done at home. I assigned my NIC a static IP, while the DSL modem took care of getting it's own IP address from the interent when I dialed up using my PPPoE client software. I think you're confusing your modem's IP with your computer's IP... they are different and making your NIC's IP static won't affect you dialing up with PPPoE.

    <font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
  24. Yeah, maybe you're right Zoron...

    jiffy... If you were using a router, you'd normally access its settings from Internet Explorer by an address similar to Once in there, there are numerous options, among them being the ability to configure your router as PPPoE, as opposed to DHCP. DHCP is really easy, since factory defaults of the router should be sufficient for it to pull in an IP, but if you're setting up PPPoE, there would be an option in the router settings to do so, which will then enable you to type in the ISP provided username and password, which are authenticated against the Radius server to ensure they're correct. By the time the computer has finished booting up, the router has already obtained an IP address from the ISP, at which point once you reach the desktop, the NIC card instantly grabs that IP from the router.

    I still can't explain why that doesn't happen after a while though. It instantly connects to the Internet after a while. I suppose it's a possibility that after a while I have numerous programs and processes that launch at startup, so as they're all launching, the NIC could be doing its thing, and by the time the SysTry fills up, the NIC card would have probably done its thing and obtained that IP... just thought of that.
  25. The router will have it's own IP address, from the ISP. Even if your computer is off, it still has that information. It's "always on."
    When your computer boots up and the NIC is initialized, the router hits it right away with a DHCP address, hence the 192.168.1.x or 192.168.0.x address.

    It could either eventually store the IP address based on it's lease, or as you said, it takes longer to load and picks up the IP while loading.
  26. Do you have to have a router to do this, because I don’t use one?
  27. You would have to have a router or a modem that you can set a PPPoE connection in. There are many different types of modems; it depends what your ISP provides you with and they would know if it's capable of functioning as a router, in the sense that you can manually configure its internal PPPoE connection.
    But generally, this type of connection is most common in routers.
  28. Thanks, that would explain why I can’t find these options. I have the original modem since DSL came to my aria and they don’t seem to be anything fancy.
  29. All ISPs that I've aware of will only provide a modem for their service. You'll have to pick up a router. They'll charge a standard $5 per each extra IP address. For a long time they wouldn't allow people to use routers on their connection or support them. Now they're tolerated.. but besides using a router for security, it now allows multiple computers to be connected over 1 IP address, instead of making an end-user purchase more (more money for the ISP).

    So now a router will allow multiple computers to use 1 line for the same charge.. They won't provide a router because that's an unnecessary expense to them. You'll have to pick one up yourself. Even on Ebay you can find them for cheap.. but if you don't want the hassle, pick one up at a local store.
  30. i have seen this issue since NT4, the PC thinks it is on a network if the NIC is active & is waiting, hence the halt... up to 2 minutes then it goes on...

    Trust me I know what I'm doing... ooops, grab the cat...
  31. Verizon (whom I work for) actually provides the Westell Versalink 327w, which is actually a modem and a wireless G router in one box (up to 4 hardwired computers). They also ship Linksys routers.
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