Got a BIG problem (please help!)

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Thread Starter
Aug 22, 2003
Hey guys.

I've lurked this forum for a good while now and just reading the topics helped me solve a lot of problems. Lots of good people make this a good place. This is my first post because I've run into something pretty serious...

My computer is taking a really long time (like 6 minutes sometimes) booting up. It usually takes about 20 seconds. When I'm in Windows there are random times where the computer just freezes and the mouse or Task Manager don't respond at all. It lasts about one minute each time. When the computer is booting up the CD-ROM RW drive's light goes crazy. It has turned RED a couple of times, and in the two years I've had this computer, that light has NEVER turned red. I think this has something to do with that drive. I'm hoping it is an OS problem that can be fixed and not some bad hardware.

Here is what I'm using:

HP Pavillion
1.3 ghz
40GB harddrive with about 11 gigs free
Stock DVD-ROM and CDRW drive
Windows XP pro

I've run Adaware and got rid of the 13 items it came up with. Ran Norton in safe mode and it came up with nothing. I've turned off the power, disconected all the power cords and reconnected. About a month ago I installed a new audio card (Audiophile2496). In the 15 minutes or so I've spend typing this post, my machine hasn't locked up once...which is pretty good compared to what's been going on for the past 2 days.

Anyone have any good advice?

Thank you very much!

- tim
Aug 15, 2003

128 MB is on the low side for Windows XP pro, Your machine may be using the swap file too much. More memory 256 MB minimum would help XP pro 512mb would be better.

You may have too many items starting up on boot.

Run MSCONFIG and then go to

and see what all the items are. Remove any you don't need on boot. Remember you are only stopping them being part of the boot sequence, not deleting them from the machine.

Download and install both SBYBOT and SPYBLASTER. They will sometimes find things AD Aware misses and vice versa.

Something my be trying to write to the CDRW.

Do the instructions / manual give any indication of what a red LED means, or does the manufacturers site give this.


Feb 24, 2002
Youre memory is very very low... try adding another stick of 256mb, at least. ($40) or even better 512mb ($75). Most likely PC-133 is all you need, and it may even be half price.

1 - Empty out your C:\temp
2 - Tell Internet Explorer to DUMP the cache (which it may only do a little bit) - and set it DOWN to 2-5mb, rather than 500mb and higher!
3 - turn OFF drive indexing
4 - dowload THE CLEANER ( -15 day trial to clean out worms and such.

I'm a bit new to XP itself, but I'm learning the ART of ripping out its junk.

5 - You didn't by chance convert your drives from FAT32 to NTFS?
6 - Lower your Recovery files...
7 - check for latest patches... there is a particular patch from M$ that ZONKS the life out of WindowXP....

Again, MEMORY... I've seen a slower PC with 512mb outrun a faster CPU XP box with 256... very noticable.
Sep 5, 2003
Ok, it's most likely a resource conflict of some sort. Try this, pull out the sound card and that new dvd drive, and then bootup
see if the same problem comes up. Worst comes to worst, pull almost everything out that you can .. even your mouse..


Retired Moderator
Dec 26, 2002
Start by unhooking the drive that the light comes on - I had on machine with exactly the same problem and it was the CD-ROM drive. Since the soundcard is a new addition try removing it too and uninstalling its drivers.

I too run XP with 128MB and it has a slow boot time, especially once I install antivirus and firewall software. I 've been saving for a new system but my patience is running out so i'll be getting a new 256Mb stick to add in. However its not in the 6 min range.


Thread Starter
Aug 22, 2003
Thanks a lot, this is a lot of excellent advice. I'll give them all a try and see what happens.
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