Why is XP Pro so slow when I logon?

I have a P4 3.0GHz with 2x512 PC5400 with XP Pro. For the last couple of months it's been loading for a very long time when I logon (not boot-up). I share this PC with four of my family members and they are complaining of the same thing.

I've been running Spybot and doing a virus scan weekly since I built theis PC a year ago. Finally, I downloaded Ad-Aware a couple weeks ago, it found hundreds of thingst that Spybot did not. I purchased Registry Mechanic yesterday and it found over 3,000 "problems" when I did the scan. Still, it tooks 45-60 seconds after logon before it stops loading. I went through an uninstalled old software, disabled services and start-up programs, but can't tell any difference.

It used to be so fast...

What else can I do besides a reinstall of the OS.
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  1. go into msconfig -> startup tab and unselect all
    This will prevent these programs from loading at startup.
    If the computer loads faster then you can go back and start checking the ones that you really need and leave the others unchecked.
  2. Thanks. I'll give that a try.
  3. I don't see any mention of defragmenting in your post.

    If you've been running XP for over a year without it, this may be the answer.

    I recommend that you buy Diskeeper ($20) and run it every three days forever & ever. The native defrag in XP is Diskeeper Lite. It doesn't do as good a job as the full version.
  4. Yes, I've tried. I only have 10% of the space left. It asked me if I wanted to continue anyway. Either it has enough room or it doesn't. It says it completes the defrag, so I don't know if it's only doing a partial defrag or what... I'll try Diskeeper. I uninstalled several programs the other day, but nothing that freed up much space. I don't know what else to remove...

    Will Diskeeper degrag with only 10% of the drive left?

    I'll try to delete free up more space as well.

  5. Couple of things to consider (and do) since it sounds as if you're "tight" on space on your hard drive. Don't do anything about the Diskeeper (but follow through on that), until you complete this maintenance.

    Clean out the following AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK: (but do these right away)

    1. Go to Start - Run - (type in) %temp%

    This is each individuals' temp file. Delete everything. One or two files you will not have access to. Just leave them alone. Do this for every family member - five separate logins.

    2. Right click My Computer - Explore - hit the +sign on "C" drive - hit the +sign on Windows - go down to Prefetch and then Temp and delete everything in there it will allow.

    That Temp folder is global; it is completely different from the others I mentioned.

    3. Go to Start - Settings - Control Panel - Add,Remove Programs. Remove all the crap in there that is not used, & almost never used. Reboot after each deletion.

    4. Run Registry Mechanic.

    5. Get rid of spyware, adware, malware. Download Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.06. Install it; immediately get the update; and run it!

    A much better app for this stuff, if a few dollars is not a problem, is Pest Patrol from Computer Associates.

    6. Get your hands on another hard drive ( a good, used one is okay in the 40-80gig range) and install it. Circuit City, CompUSA, or BestBuy may be clearing out 80s (new). Check them out.

    Assuming you're running the first hd on the Primary IDE channel, Slave it to your (now) Master. If going into your box terrifies you - relax. Let me know, and I'll walk you through it. It's really quite easy. This will have to be set up by XP in Disk Management. We will need to know if your file system is FAT32 or NTFS. You find this out by right clicking the "C" drive and go to Properties. File System is shown about a third of the way down.

    On this second drive ("D") you will transfer the Swapfile (pagefile) firstly. You will also transfer all the My Documents folders for all five of you, as well as the storefolder for the email program. If this is beyond your experience, post back on this after you've done the hd install.

    I know this is a lot of homework, but this is the way to go to get that machine of yours to "rock" once again.
  6. Wow. Thanks for all the info.
    It's not that I'm so tight for space on the HDD, it's that I partitioned the drive when I built this PC. My family is not as comfortable as I am around technology. Should I remove the partitions? I've been thinking about upgrading to a Raptor to help increase game performance, also.

    And TG just posted a article on tweaking your BIOS to help speed it up.

    Thanks for your all your info.
  7. You don't have to remove the partitions. Just be diligent with the maintenance and do the drive "D" scenario (if you're running an IDE drive now. You didn't post that.) Your comp will run well.

    As to gaming, I believe that a "Family" machine and gaming shouldn't mix. I strongly urge you to build a separate unit for that. I refer you to the Gaming section of this forum for help (not my expertise). With the cheap prices today of most parts, you should be able to build one for around 1k.
  8. I have taken your advice, except for the new HDD, and have noticed a HUGE improvement. Thanks for all of your help. I have one more issue, though.

    XP hangs during startup and when logging off for about 1 min. It doesn't lock up to the point where I must reboot, but it's very annoying and obviously not normal. I've purchase the full version of Ad-Aware and have used it several times. I use Spybot S&D and Registry Mechanic and McAfee regularly. My definitions are all up to date. What is causing this? What can I do? I'm going to post this as a new question also to see if anyone else has any ideas.

    Also, sometimes my mouse cursor disappears, too. It usually comes back, but it takes a while. I'm using a Microsoft Optical Mouse? I don't know if this is related to the issue with the OS hanging or not.

    Thanks for your help again.
  9. I did. Thanks.
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