Why is Windows XP taking forever to start?


This is my first time posting here but I have been a long time reader of the forums.

Lately I have been having this problem of Windows XP taking a good 5-15 minutes of starting up. When i get on my desktop it then tends to freeze a lot! If it goes to sleep the screen generally just freezes. Keyboard and mouse still works but everything else is just frozen.

I reformatted my hard drive because of this problem but i still get the same results.

I am beginning to think it's faulty RAM. I have 2 sticks (4gb in total) and i even took one out to test to see if it is just one stick. It seem to worked for a little while but even then i got the same problem. I got annoyed and put both sticks in and to my short luck it worked.... for a little while but same results.

I'm back to 1 stick of RAM and still having the same problem.

My Rig:
Biostar TA790GXE 128M
4GB of RAM
AMD Phenom II x4 955 (black edition)
WD Green 500gb hard drive
512mb Nvidia 9800GT
Ultra LS 600W Power Supply
49 answers Last reply
More about windows taking forever start
  1. What kind of PSU do you have?
  2. Ultra LS 600W Power Supply
  3. Try running a chkdsk.
    start-->run-->chkdsk /r

    If you haven't already, running memtest is a good idea.
  4. now with memtest all u do is burn the iso to a cd and boot to it right?
  5. i think there is a problem with chkdsk cause it shouldn't take 16 hours. When i left my house for work it was at 85 percent, when i came back later it went down to 73 percent at the same stage. if my comp restarts does chkdsk run all over again?
  6. Yes, if it restarts, it will resume.

    Are you sure it was on the same stage? There are 5 stages. The first 3 normally run pretty quick, but 4 and 5 can take hours. When using the /r switch, it will try to repair any damage it finds. That is the main reason it takes longer than a normal chkdsk scan. As long as it is still moving, you should let it do its thing.
  7. it actually finished its job, it was just when i restarted my computer it started up again.

    However, after the chkdsk /r everything went alright with the computer running smoothly etc. until now.... So i did chkdsk /r again and its back to sticking on the windows loading screen for a good 10-15 minutes. The computer still just randomly freezes. It can be when the PC goes to sleep and all i get is a black screen and my cursor or possibly when running any application like a game or even firefox.....
  8. If you have a windows disc, try doing a windows repair. It won't effect any of your personal data, it will just repair all of your system files. Here's a good guide.
  9. Alright, so I ran a repair and i still encounter the same problems. It takes 10 minutes to fully start up and then my desktop freezes at just random times. This is getting really annoying.
  10. Have you run a memtest yet?

    If not do that, a quick google search will get the program and a how to guide.

    It will run indefinitely until you stop it though, so after a few passes stop the test.
  11. You want it to run more than a couple passes. Memtest should be ran for 5 or 6 hours. It's best to just let it run overnight.

    Check the event viewer to see if it's logging any system or application errors.

    What Antivirus are you using?
  12. Alright i just completed memtest. and i got 6 passes 0 errors.

    I am currently running AVG Free.
  13. To be honest your start time is normal if you have a lot running.

    If you're worried about a virus causing this run a trail scan with NOD32.
  14. 10 minutes isn't normal to start up windows.

    Boot into safe mode with networking (F8 on startup). Download, install, and update malwarebytes. Do a full system scan.
  15. 5 minutes is though, if it's clogged up with alsorts of software.
  16. yeah, my windows Xp machines take less the a minute each, removed unnecessary services and programs from startup and this will greatly improve speed ( the PC with SATA HDD takes 35 seconds to start XP, the other 2 systems have IDE/PATA HDD and max is about 56 Seconds to start, and that's from click power button to Anti-virus up and running and can fully use PC)
  17. the thing i had this problem before so i reformatted. and still the same problem. I dont have that many programs really. i put nothing for my start up, just sound. HOWEVER the PC works fine a few days and goes back into this normal slump. Yesterday and the day before, after i ran a memtest it ran fine. no problems at all. Now, im back to my old state of a sluggish PC.

    It wouldn't hurt to boot in safe mode and do a scan.
  18. this would indicate an issue with the hard drive boot sector, you may want to buy a new drive and use the current as a backup, but again, go into services in administration tools and disable the following (alerter, messenger, remote registry, secondary registry and Wireless 802.xx service if using a desktop) this will also greatly improve start up time, after run msconfig and click start up tab, how many things are actually starting? java updates? probably a few things, remove all but sound and anti-virus, once this is done restart PC, does this help? then run a disk defrag after all is said and done, reboot PC again, did this help? you should at this point have an improvement on start up.
  19. The safe mode with networking scan with malwarebytes is a good idea. You may also want to try running Combofix while you're at it.

    Check the event viewer. Do you see any errors (red X) in the system or application sections?
  20. click my computer
    click control panel
    click add remove software
    look at the list of installed programs
    tell us what programs are installed, list them here

    click my computer
    click control panel
    click system
    tell us what memory and CPU is shown in the properties display

    download and install CPU ID, what are the voltage readings? Are any of the voltage readings wrong? What is the 3.3 volt buss reading?

    From what you describe, a bad motherboard possible, or other hardware failure
  21. I ran malwarebytes in safe mode and it ran perfect after a few days. The boot times were normal and the freezing was minimal. Now, im back where i started with the long boot time and the long freezes. at this point i hope its a bad hard drive and nothing else.

    is there anything that causes these slow and freezing slumps?

    i will attempt the combofix and i have CPUID installed on my PC so i will check the voltages on that.
  22. You might try Panda internet security, that blocks the spyware and malware from being planted in the first place. Malware bytes (free version) will get rid of things after they are planted.
    One works automatically as the crap enters, the other one works manually after it enters.
    There in is the difference.
    slow and freezing slumps in your case seem to be caused by spyware cookies, malware. That is not unusual. These things get in the system and eat the system resources, leaving you little resources to run the actual computer.
    You used malware bytes, got rid of the crap, the system worked again.
    After a few days more crap came in and slowed the system down again.
    What you need is to stop the crap from entering automatically, every day.
    Empty the cookies folder. Do you know how to do that?
    click my computer
    click control panel
    click internet options
    click general tab
    click delete cookies
    click the advanced tab
    scroll down the list to security
    check the box that says: empty temporary internet files folder when browser is closed.
    click apply, click OK

    click my computer
    click local disk C
    click documents and settings
    click the folder with your user name on it
    click the cookies folder
    delete all the cookies except "index"
  23. aight these are my voltages http://img683.imageshack.us/i/voltage.jpg/

    i deleted the cookies but i dont think that it is spyware/malware because i reformatted my computer because of these problems and yet i still get this slump even after the reformat. After my memtest diagnosis it went well for a while and after the malwarebytes run it ran well for a while.
  24. most cookies contain spyware.
  25. Have you ran combofix yet? It's a real good software.
  26. i ran combofix. the PC started up fine.

    I left it on a little bit. It went to sleep. It froze. I restarted. My hard drive won't even boot to Windows now and it sounds like there is a problem with it, making a whole lot of noise. My hard drive is dead i think. It annoys me that i have gone through 2 hard drives in two years.....
  27. Mmmmm, it's not really the hard drives, I think you have a bunk motherboard.
    hook the hard drive to a known good system and test it. I think you will find that it's working. 2 drives in 2 years is not likely or normal. Think Gigabyte.
  28. Your righjt it isnt the hard drive. It started up and windows is booting. The hard drive is making some weird noises though which is why i thought it was the hard drive.

    the 2 drives in two years thing, one was a seagate barracuda that bricked from some faulty firmware. that was on a past motherboard.

    I bought a new motherboard around March and had no problems until June. How do you know its a bunk motherboard?
  29. Nevermind..... i replaced the SATA cable and changed the power cable to my hard drive and everything worked out fine.
  30. What's the voltages now?
  31. Nevermind...... everything is back the way it was. This problem is the most annoying. It jumps back and forth from working excellently to freezing every 5 seconds.

    heres the new voltages: http://img532.imageshack.us/i/newvoltage.jpg/

    By the way safe mode boots faster than normal xp. any reasons for that?
  32. The voltages look pretty good.

    I think it's time you back up your data, and do a full format and reinstall. I believe you have some sort of profile corruption, windows corruption, or malware.
  33. well that sucks. This happened before. I reformatted and i still got the same problem.
  34. You may be fighting a bad motherboard, I am starting to suspect that. Can you plug the drive into another computer and test it?
    Reminds me of a bad chipset, first it works fine, then suddenly it does not.
  35. thoughtpolice said:
    well that sucks. This happened before. I reformatted and i still got the same problem.

    Well, I suppose you should check everything.

    Have you checked the BIOS settings to be absolutely sure your drive isn't stuck in PIO mode?
    Here is what your BIOS settings should look like for IDE hard drives: (you didn't specify IDE or SATA)


    You might want to make sure Windows is using DMA and not PIO also,

  36. I have a Sata drive
  37. thoughtpolice said:
    Nevermind..... i replaced the SATA cable and changed the power cable to my hard drive and everything worked out fine.


    Anonymous said:
    Have you checked the BIOS settings to be absolutely sure your drive isn't stuck in PIO mode?
    Here is what your BIOS settings should look like for IDE hard drives: (you didn't specify IDE or SATA)
  38. everything seems to check out. THe settings seem to be alright, but now so does my PC. It goes from either working really fast to really slow day by day.
  39. Any errors being logged in the event viewer?
  40. Wow! Actually yes. tons of errors. Starting from I think when i first reformatted. Tons of errors from the source: lots from cdrom, DCOM, one for setup, one for Dhcp, and loads from atapi, and a few from the service control manager


    these pics show the event viewer errors.
  41. Wow, I think that's the problem.

    You need to go to your motherboard manufacturer's website, and download all of the newest drivers. Then go to your video card manufacturer's website, and download their newest driver.

    Update all those drivers, and a lot of those errors should go away. I suspect you'll also need to flash your BIOS.
  42. the bios and drivers that i have are all up to date and i am still getting this slow startup and frequent freezing.
  43. Are you still getting the errors in the event viewer?
  44. Well, now i will never know. I got Windows 7 Enterprise on my hard drive thanks to work. When i get home I will install the drivers and see if i continue to have any problems. On my work computer everything is running smoothly. I completely reformatted.

    I attempted to run XP on my work computer by putting the hard drive inside, it started up relatively fast but the PC just restarted itself.
  45. Sounds good. Thanks for the update.
  46. I have had the slow startup issue with Win XP.....desktop up...curser moving...can get windows Task manager up and shut down via it...but waiting 15 minutes for the system to untangle itself and allow me to use the pc.

    I reformatted the drive, and it was fine for a week. Then when it came back...
    I removed Comodo anti-virus
    I uninstalled all programs except the ones I use daily.

    It still took 15 minutes to allow me to work.

    Now I have just uninstalled Mozilla Firefox, rebooted and VOILA! NO Delay. I am holding my breath.

    Cheers guys
  47. Nope. Next thing that happened was that PC just turned itself off. When I restarted it I got the message "keyboard error or no keyboard present, press F1 to continue" When I stopped laughing....I unplugged the power cable and left for 10 minutes before restarting...now I am back where I started...waiting 15 minutes for the desktop to work properly.

    I am going to see if I can update the BIOS. :whistle:
  48. I have a 2nd hardware profile for offline work - just 24 processes run.
    No Alerter, no DNS, no DHCP, etc.

    Windows XP load time was a very annoying 2 minutes - normal startup.

    No network - TWO SECONDS.

    Diagnosing exact reason will take time.
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