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Comp suddenly slow

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January 1, 2012 4:52:12 PM

My computer suddenly slowed WAY down.

Only change is the addition of an NIDIA GeForce GTX 550 TI (slowdown occurred two weeks after installation).

It's taking 6 minutes from power-up to usability and everything is painfully slow after that (when I try to load a second simultaneous program, the machine hangs for sometimes as long as a minute before it will begin to slowly load the other program).

One symptom might be the power-up beeps; here's a graphic representation of what happens when the power is activated

_ _ _ ' '' _/


these symbols equal the following:

_ = a normal post-up beep

spaces = a short time to the next sound

' = high-pitched chirp

_/ = a normal post-up beep and another beep 5 notes higher (forgive me, I'm a musician).

I've looked in the guides and nothing will help me translate that series.

Have done the following:

-- chkdsk /f
-- chkdsk /r
-- defrag
-- switched memory bars in and out
-- seagate diagnosis of the drive

Machine is marginally faster, but not anywhere near it's former standard.

Could I have a bad CPU or UPS? How do I tell which?

Please help.

maestrogn

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January 1, 2012 7:59:07 PM

Did you install any tools/utilities that came with the graphics card? If so try if unstalling them helps. Have you installed a new antivirus at the same time? Again - try uninstalling or at least disable real time protection temporarily.

Oh, and disconnect the CD/DVD drive temporarily and see if that does the trick.

If all that doesn't help, I'd strongly recommend to back up your hard disk. Then check all wiring for it (SATA cable, power cable) and also the BIOS settings for the disk access (AHCI/IDE/RAID/NATIVE) and if you'd say anything has changed since your initial setup.

Still no joy? Clone your hard disk to another one and try if that changes anything. Borrow one from a friend if possible or use a spare if you have one. Mind you, you'll lose any data on the spare (target) drive during the cloning process.
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January 2, 2012 5:14:38 PM

Thanks, Andy:

The Nvidia stuff is definitely part of the problem. I deinstalled all of the drivers for the GTX 550 TI and the machine ran twice as fast. I re-installed drivers that I downloaded from Nvidia and the machine crawled again (no NVidia drivers, boot up was 2:30, with Nvidia drivers 8:30).

Now, could power be a part of the problem. When I'm back from work later this afternoon, I'll remove my PS to see its wattage (it may be 350) and the guides tell me that I should have 450.

Could it be that, with the NVidia drivers, the video card is calling for so much power that it drops that available for the CPU and MOBO?

Thanks, and Happy New Year.

maestrogn
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a b à CPUs
January 2, 2012 5:47:05 PM

maestrogn said:
Thanks, Andy:

The Nvidia stuff is definitely part of the problem. I deinstalled all of the drivers for the GTX 550 TI and the machine ran twice as fast. I re-installed drivers that I downloaded from Nvidia and the machine crawled again (no NVidia drivers, boot up was 2:30, with Nvidia drivers 8:30).

Now, could power be a part of the problem. When I'm back from work later this afternoon, I'll remove my PS to see its wattage (it may be 350) and the guides tell me that I should have 450.

Could it be that, with the NVidia drivers, the video card is calling for so much power that it drops that available for the CPU and MOBO?

Thanks, and Happy New Year.

maestrogn


A underpower power supply being the problem? Never hear such a scenario that the computer boots much slower with one... Normally it's either 1 of 3 things:

1.computer works just fine no matter what load it has
2. computer work somewhat fine with the PSU cutting out under high load (underpowered psu)
3. computer not working at.


But then again, i cant rule out such an event. We've seen on tom's very very strange problems with other computers where the last place you would of thought the problem would be at is the PSU. (gpu/cpu overheating, freezing, studdering, ect)

Although i would definitly check what the PSU wattage and Amps are. (according to EVGA for there stock 550 Ti cards, there a requirement of 24A on the 12+V line)
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January 2, 2012 6:05:17 PM

I can say when I first bought my GTX 295 SLI a while back, my power supply could not support my whole system. My computer would be sluggish and have longer response times. During video games it would actually just lag extremely bad for about 5 minutes then turn black screen.

Turns out that my PSU at the time could not support one gtx 295 and my motherboard and I had two running.

I think maybe the recommendations of power warmon said could cause problems for sure.
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January 2, 2012 7:20:43 PM

I am not fully ready to blame it on the power supply (especially since it took two weeks to happen after installation). Based on what he is saying I'm not sure if when he says slow on boot he means boot to post and cmos, or operating system load into window (most likely what he's using) or some unix/linux build. If he is posting at normal speed and his pc speaker boot sounds are normal then it could very easily be problems with his system registry/os disliking the video card drivers or even something like conflicting i/o ports.

We need a bit more information.

First is it loading slow to post and CMOS
or is it taking for ever to get your operating system up or both.

Second, What is the operating system and and power supply would also be nice to know processor amount of ram and the number of drives attached.

Third what happens when you remove the video card physically (don't pull the drivers or go back to a system restore) and go back to onboard Graphics completely back up to speed. (in that case I'd say you have a power supply that was borderline to handle the system with the graphics card that failed and is sending out low amps or volts on some leads.)

If you remove it and it partially goes back to speed I would take a second power supply and jumper the leads to run only your video card if this solves the issue you just need a new/ larger power supply. ($35 to $60 depending on size and quality)

If after jumpering the power supply and you still have slowness then the issue is with the OS go in and ensure no conflicts on ports if you have them correct the issue. If this doesn't solve the issue please back-up important infor and reinstall your OS.
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a c 185 à CPUs
January 2, 2012 7:23:14 PM

Full system specs please.
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January 2, 2012 9:14:59 PM

Thank you so much, everybody:

I removed the Nvidia and the load up was a total of 10 mins before the computer was usable.

The log-on events were (times at which they happened)
Power on 0:00
Logon screen 3:00
Microsoft music - 4:20
Kaspersky operational - 6:20
Computer usable (programs would load, etc.) 10:30

The computer specs are:
CPU - AMD Phenom x4 9850 (quad core)
MOBO - MicroStar 785 GT”M-E45
BIOS – American Megatrends v 8.7
Memory – 4 gb DDR2
Graphics card – Nvida GeForce GTX 550 TI
HD - 500 gb SATA
Windows XP, SP3 with all updates
Power – Powerup LT 400W 270-210

Once the computer was fully operational at the 10 minute mark, it seemed to be running at the speed I remembered. I also tried running Flight Simulator X (with all kinds of add-ons) and it would not load -- it hung and Win Task Manager said it was not responding (with CPU at 26%).

So that is as much as I can offer now -- guests coming over tonight so I cannot play with this until tomorrow morning.

Should I just buy a new mobo and chip? The present AMD/MSI combo was installed on 11/25/10 so it's only a little over 1 year old.

Later...

maestrogn
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January 2, 2012 9:16:52 PM

One more thing ... the power-up beeps were back to their old pattern of _ _ _-
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January 2, 2012 11:37:49 PM

If it all happens with the installation of your GPU, I would say to erase all your old drivers and uninstall the current one and try again.

But with it being 10 minutes after you took it out...that doesn't seem very reliable. Especially when you said it was much lower before that. It was much more efficient before apparently.

I could recommend the following:


1. Find the latest chipset drivers for your mobo (flashing bios also)
2. Try erasing all your old drivers and reinstalling fresh for your GPU
3. test the RAM and CPU with memtest
4. maybe even running a registry cleaner (only because your computer is still running extremely slow after you took out the video card)
5, try the old video card again?

I would certainly go with maxor and warmon and look into your PSU which could cause problems. But if your still getting 10 minutes without the card and earlier you got 2:30 seconds load time with the same setup?

Also, I'm reading other places about the same problems. Some recommend with any major hardware change a fresh OS install might be necessary.

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January 3, 2012 7:24:02 AM

Two more things coming to my mind:

- How well-ventilated is your box? I'm wondering whether your CPU might be throtteling drastically due to excessive heat inside the case caused by the graphics card? Especially during system boot it *can* run rather hot...

- I could very well imagine the PSU to be the problem source. If the 12V rail becomes unstable (maybe not dramatically, but enough for the hard disk to not run properly) it would explain the excessive boot times due to disk access problems. Those disk controllers are extremely stubborn if it comes to retries for disk accesses... I've had several occasions in data recovery scenarios (I'm working as a hardware tech in Kenya) where defective/unreliable HDDs caused really bad delays in machine response and disk access.

Also, considering the two-weeks gap before the problems started, this sounds somewhat logical to me. If the PSU was operating at its edge all the time due to an actual overload caused by the graphics card, it could have taken that long to finally cook itself.
So I'd recommend to borrow a well powered PSU from somebody and try with that, especially if yours really turns out to be only 350 or 400 Watts.
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January 3, 2012 9:15:40 AM

Andy, et al.:

PSU

That is an intriguing idea about the PSU giving up the stability ghost in the last 2 weeks. Being off from work for the holiday, I was really pushing the system with FSX fully loaded, so, with that NVidia board in, there have been theoretically large demands placed on that PSU. Let's also state the fact that the one in there is rated at 400W but was very inexpensive ($29 -- part of a TigerDirect DYI kit a year ago).

I'm going to check my wife's computer to see if the specs on her PSU are adequate (even just 400W). If so, I'll switch that out into my machine to see what happens. If hers doesn't have the wattage, I'll hope that my University techs are in their office today (we're on Jan. break) and borrow a powerful PSU from them (400-450W).

HEAT

As to the heat question -- the case is very well ventilated (extra fans) and nothing that I can get my hand near after it has been running for a while seems overly hot (except an old secondary hard drive that has always run very warm -- that drive contains secondary and tertiary data storage and is the storage place for cd/dvd work etc ... again, highly partitioned).

HOWEVER, the CPU is running at 70 C ... which, for that chip I think is on the very warm side.

HD to another XP machine

Also there was the idea of putting my main HD that contains the OS and prime data (on separate partitions) into her machine to see what happens on boot and run. Would that tell us anything?



Maxo1's excellent idea of using a second PSU (I have a 350 in storage) jumpered just to run the Nvidia card is a great one, but, because the machine runs just as slow without the card (and all of it's attendant drivers), I suspect that reinstalling the card, powering it alone and restating all of the drivers would do nothing. Right now, the machine is running the graphics off the mobo.

Clean install of the OS

Regarding rebuilding the OS in a clean installation -- believe that reinstalling XP is the LAST thing I want to do -- I'll purchase`a new mobo and chip (faster) + PSU before I will do that. Our University techs tell me that I get the prize for the most software on a faculty machine and all of that software is totally necessary in my work. The only toy is a huge FSX installation (again, on its own partition) that would take a day to reinstall between the program and all the add-on scenery, etc.). It would take 4-5 days to reinstate this machine after formatting the C partition and reinstalling the OS

WIN 7?

If the OS reinstall become necessary, I may jump up to WIN 7 and bite the bullet -- it is becoming so difficult to keep XP with the SPs and all of the myriad updates going given M$'s stance on aggressively making XP so hard to go on maintaining that, if I'm going to have to reinstall every program, I might just as well move up to a more stable platform. What do you guys think?

Sorry for the long reply, everybody -- just wanted to clarify some issues and to thank all of your for the help. It is more valuable than you can imagine!

maestrogn (aka Garyth)

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January 3, 2012 11:56:32 AM

First off I'd say 70 degrees for a CPU is warm. but then again, it should be just fine. Is that the black edition? I think the threshold is 115C.

I would recommend looking into a new PSU, I had the same problem about a year ago. It lasted sometime and then eventually dropped.
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January 3, 2012 12:14:25 PM

To: Andy, Maxor1, italianmonti and warmon6

Guys:

I'll try:
1. Switching the PSU from my wife's machine (if it is 400W or higher)
2. Moving my SATA drive with the OS, programs and primary data over to my wife's machine to see how it boots up there.

As for individual suggestions -- see my remarks (indented) under your name below --

Maxor1:

"ensure no conflicts on ports if you have them correct the issue."

I'll check into this.


italianmonti

I would say to erase all your old drivers and uninstall the current one and try again.
Do you mean all the drivers on the drive, or just those for the GPU?

1. Find the latest chipset drivers for your mobo (flashing bios also)
As far as I can determine, my BIOS (American Megatrends v 8.7) is the latest.
I'll check on the chipset drivers (I'll have to figure out how first)

2. Try erasing all your old drivers and reinstalling fresh for your GPU
That's been done using Revo to try to get all traces -- makes no difference.

3. test the RAM and CPU with memtest
Will do this morning

4. maybe even running a registry cleaner (only because your computer is still running extremely slow after you took out the video card)
did that already

5, try the old video card again?
new card is presently our -- have the monitor in the port on the mobo.

warmon6

i would definitly check what the PSU wattage and Amps are. (according to EVGA for there stock 550 Ti cards, there a requirement of 24A on the 12+V line)
Do you mean amps checked with my multitestor or rated amp output?

If it is the later, I cannot find out anything about the PSU other than
the fact that it is suppossed to be 400W -- nothing on the Internet about
other specs for it and no label on the box.


First is it loading slow to post and CMOS
or is it taking for ever to get your operating system up or both.

It seems to post normally; there is a brief display of the mobo flash screen,
the beeps and then it takes the long time to get past that to the load up of the system.


number of drives attached.
SATA HD
Older HD
DVD





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January 3, 2012 12:39:31 PM

That last long post was actually posted accidentally -- here is one formatted a little more to make it easier to navigate ...

To: Andy, Maxor1,italianmonti and warmon6

Guys:

I'll try:
  • 1. Switching the PSU from my wife's machine (if it is 400W or higher)
  • 2. Moving my SATA drive with the OS, programs and primary data over to my wife's machine to see how it boots up there.

    As for individual suggestions -- see my remarks (purple) under your name below --

    Maxor1:

    "ensure no conflicts on ports if you have them correct the issue."

    I'll check into this.



    italianmonti

    I would say to erase all your old drivers and uninstall the current one and try again.
    Do you mean all the drivers on the drive, or just tose for the GPU?

    1. Find the latest chipset drivers for your mobo (flashing bios also)
    As far as I can determine, my BIOS (American Megatrends v 8.7) is the latest.
    I'll check on the chipset drivers (I'll have to figure out how first)

    2. Try erasing all your old drivers and reinstalling fresh for your GPU
    That's been done using Revo to try to get all traces -- makes no difference.

    3. test the RAM and CPU with memtest
    Will do this morning

    4. maybe even running a registry cleaner (only because your computer is still running extremely slow after you took out the video card)
    did that already

    5, try the old video card again?
    new card is presently out -- have the monitor in the port on the mobo.


    warmon6

    i would definitly check what the PSU wattage and Amps are. (according to EVGA for there stock 550 Ti cards, there a requirement of 24A on the 12+V line)
    Do you mean amps checked with my multitestor or rated amp output?

    If it is the later, I cannot find out anything about the PSU other than
    the fact that it is supposed to be 400W -- nothing on the Internet about
    other specs for it and no label on the box.



    First is it loading slow to post and CMOS
    or is it taking for ever to get your operating system up or both.

    It seems to post normally; there is a brief display of the mobo flash screen, then beeps and then it takes the long time to get past that to the load up of the system.


    number of drives attached.
    SATA HD
    Older HD
    DVD


    It's a lot of work and not as frustrating now with you folks helping with your expertise.

    After the PSU question is resolved, if the problem still exists, should I:
  • Replace mobo and chip?

  • Move to Win 7 or reinstall Win XP?


  • G




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    a b à CPUs
    January 3, 2012 2:01:52 PM

    maestrogn said:
    One more thing ... the power-up beeps were back to their old pattern of _ _ _-


    Check your motherboard manual and find out what the beep pattern means; you should be getting ONE beep at post, otherwise there is a problem.
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    January 3, 2012 2:06:08 PM

    I would say you might have problems using your HD in her computer as the computer is different and might not boot like you except it to.

    1. While you're at it, I could certainly update all your drivers.

    2. The chipset drivers you can get some your motherboard manufactures website.

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    January 3, 2012 5:35:29 PM

    Midday report on the computer woes -- 14:30, 1.3.12

    1. Transferred the 450W PSU from the other computer in the office to my machine. With the video still being driven by the mobo, the load-up was still slow (6:30 as opposed to 10:00 earlier today) -- while improved, it is still slower than the machine at its best.

    So, we are not apparently dealing with a PSU problem.

    2. 'Was able to run MemTest on the two memory sticks (only 1 pass each -- will do more later) and they had no errors.

    3. Reran the Seagate diagnositic for the Seagate SATA drive and it passed.

    4. Reran the Kaspersky complete scan and my two malware hunters and the system was declared clean (again).

    I'm now downloading MSI's latest drivers and BIOS for the mobo (it is taking forevvvvvver!), will install those and test again.

    I'll report in later after the driver install.

    Garyth
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    a b à CPUs
    January 3, 2012 6:32:40 PM

    Quote:
    1. Transferred the 450W PSU from the other computer in the office to my machine. With the video still being driven by the mobo, the load-up was still slow (6:30 as opposed to 10:00 earlier today) -- while improved, it is still slower than the machine at its best.

    So, we are not apparently dealing with a PSU problem.


    Unless the PSU is still underpowered...

    Also, I strongly recommend looking at the motherboard manual and looking up the POST beep pattern you are getting; you should be getting only one beep. Anything indicates a problem during POST.
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    a c 112 à CPUs
    January 3, 2012 6:53:48 PM

    slow boot times are often because of to many startup items... often cause by the likes of nokia suite or itunes. some of these have compatibility issues with some hardware configs. clean out your startup with something like ccleaner. uninstall the nvidia drivers, run ccleaners reg cleaner a couple of times to get everything. then reboot and reinstall the gfx... if your still getting slowdown then go into the control panel/admin tools/event viewer and see which application is timing out and causing the slow boot.
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    January 3, 2012 11:57:15 PM

    Status, 20:45 1.3.12

    I've now upgraded the BIOS to the latest.
    Updated all chip drivers

    Machine is running with the original 400W PSU and video is via the mobo (no NVidia)
    The boot-up was still c. 6:30.
    CPU is running cooler -- now between 54 and 60 C instead of 70.

    Once up, the machine seems much faster except when I go to install a program -- then it is an agonizingly long time from the initiating of the install exe until the computer is actually ready to install ... is that a symptom that gives any of you ideas?

    For HEXiT - what is gfx? I've run ccleaner and reg cleaners ... I'll try the ccleaner reg cleaner tomorrow. Thanks for the great idea about the event viewer. I'll look into it.

    To everybody -- is there any merit to the idea of doing an XP repair (not with the consol, but via the original install disk)?

    I'm right now repairing the FSX installation -- running that program is the ultimate test of the machine!

    All ideas welcome.

    At this point, I'm contemplating:

    1. New mobo, chip and memory (much faster). I may even go for a much deeper PSU.
    2. If I have to reinstall XP, I may move to Win 7 -- any ideas about that move?

    Too tired to go on ... have spent the day staring into the box or at the screen. Overload!

    Thanks to all.

    Garyth
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    January 4, 2012 12:01:20 AM

    One other thing that may provide a usable symptom ...

    Is it usual that one core (in this case the 4th) is doing the lion's share of the work?... The first 3 are hovering below 20%, but the 4th thread is way up there.

    G
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    January 4, 2012 12:28:01 AM

    I would have just formatted by now. Backed what i needed and reinstalled it, just to limit variables.
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    January 4, 2012 1:05:26 AM

    Good point, italianmonti. My hesitation is simply that the computer is loaded with large programs that take forever to install -- like Garritan Personal Orchestra that is 6 dvds of files -- I use these programs constantly.

    It will take days (like the ones I've now devoted trying to avoid those days ... lol) to reconstitute this drive to working order.

    However, I also have noticed that the machine will no longer multi task ... when I try to run large programs simultaneously (like in the past) the machine spends extended periods frozen. So, by tomorrow morning I may be formatting that partition.

    That leads me to restate my questions about switching to Win 7 and/or a faster chip and mobo. Any ideas?

    G
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    January 4, 2012 1:35:49 AM

    I would just limit the problems to see where you stand. If your computer runs fine after a format then You might not need anything new. and if you format and you still run into issues, then we all can look somewhere else for troubleshooting.

    If your using heavy loading programs for music and such, you may want to look into a better motherboard/cpu/psu/ram.

    But first format if you want, I just feel formatting would save you a lot of time.
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    January 4, 2012 7:30:12 AM

    Italianmonti -- thanks for the good advice. Because you talk of formatting, I assume you are talking about a clean install and not a repair procedure?

    G
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    a b à CPUs
    January 4, 2012 10:55:43 AM

    Ok, I STILL advise you to check what the beeping pattern at POST means...I suspect its telling you have a HW problem somewhere...
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    January 4, 2012 11:21:17 AM

    gamerk316

    Thanks. I did check the beeps. They are now back to normal. I have learned that this board also generates beeps for attached USB devices (now, only a power hub and my USB keyboard), so, I get two additional beeps because of that in the pattern
    _ _ _/


    these symbols equal the following:

    _ = a normal post-up beep

    spaces = a short time to the next sound

    _/ = a normal post-up beep and another beep 5 notes higher (forgive me, I'm a musician).

    NOTE: there is nothing in the mobo manual about beeps! This USB thing was something I learned from the net.

    So, I think we are OK on the hardware side.

    I'm still looking for advice on clean install versus repair install.

    Happy New Year!

    G
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    January 4, 2012 1:11:30 PM

    1.4.12 10:00 STATUS


    Slightly modifying ItalianMonti's advice, I'm right now backing up the C partition getting ready to do an XP repair (not with the recovery console). I'll be doing that repair this afternoon and will post the results then.

    If that fails, I'll then do a clean install of the C partition.

    Thanks for all your help.

    G
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    January 4, 2012 7:14:01 PM

    maestrogn said:
    1.4.12 10:00 STATUS


    Slightly modifying ItalianMonti's advice, I'm right now backing up the C partition getting ready to do an XP repair (not with the recovery console). I'll be doing that repair this afternoon and will post the results then.

    If that fails, I'll then do a clean install of the C partition.

    Thanks for all your help.

    G


    Let me know how that goes, I might agree with everyone if this doesn't change the boot times, its certainly a HW problem.
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    January 4, 2012 8:56:46 PM

    This is taking very long to set up -- backing up things, creating slipstream for sp2, etc. But, as soon as the slipstream is done, I should be ready to start the repair. Wish me luck.

    G
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    January 5, 2012 1:20:56 PM

    Update 1.4.12 10:20

    Having trouble creating slipstream disk. Autostreamer cannot find XP (it's running on the machine and the original M$ disc is in the CD drive). I've now wasted hours on this trying to get it to work.

    Have downloaded nLite to see if I can get that to create the install plus sp.

    Later,

    G
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    January 5, 2012 7:02:19 PM

    Success!

    Using nLite, I was able to create an SP3 slipstream of XP Pro (took a while to realize that it would not work on a W/R CD but had to be burned and finalized). I did a repair (update) install to the machine and it is now running as it should.

    I'm now going to do the following:

    1. Make sure all critical drivers are up to date
    2. Reinstall the new nVidia GPU
    3. Reinstall the nVidia drivers
    2. Reinstall Flight Sim (that'll be the real test!).

    Thank you very much for all of your help in seeing me through this siege.

    I'll let you know the final story in the next update.

    G
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    January 5, 2012 9:33:57 PM

    So the repair worked without even formatting? I suppose thats a start.

    Let me know how the boot times work after you work with your drivers.
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    January 6, 2012 1:56:57 AM

    Everything seems to be OK. Boot-up is running at about 2:15 to use most programs with Kaspersky finally lumbering in at about 3:35. So that's within the old norms.

    The speed of the machine is actually a little faster now that I have the latest BIOS and chip drivers. Because of all that upgrading, I reloaded FSX and all of the add-on scenery. Because of that, I had to reinstate the controls for the aircraft.

    A few minutes ago, I had DreamWeaver, Illustrator, Firefox and Word all chugging at the same time while I corrected the html for one of my webpages and all went fine.

    The trick was to tun XP Pro and then call up the slipstreamed disc (XP Pro + sp3) -- when that loaded, I chose repair (not the recovery console) and XP was reinstated with all the registry connections to installed programs intact. I don't even want to think of the time it would have taken to do a clean install ... perhaps later this year if I move to a faster mobo and chip, that will be the time to bite that bullet.

    Thank to you for the guidance and hints ... it helped a lot.

    G
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    January 6, 2012 2:00:12 AM

    One addendum -- the chip is running cooler too ... 55-65 C instead of the 70-80 of before. Also, the work is being handled by all 4 cores instead of the lions share happening in the 4th and the %cpu rarely goes above 35. So, all-in-all, things are just fine now.
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    January 6, 2012 3:10:42 AM

    Good, I'm glad to hear that
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    January 15, 2012 11:13:24 PM

    Yes, dear moderator ... you can close this thread. My computer is now running to spec. Thank you so much for the forum and all the help from the contributors. Happy New Year!

    maestrogn
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