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XP Pro painfully slow for 15 minutes

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by johnni, Feb 28, 2009.

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  1. johnni

    johnni Thread Starter

    Dec 16, 2003
    My desktop is eight years old and has only 256mb memory. Until recently XP has worked fine but now it takes fifteen minutes before I can get work started and the hard drive amber light remains on. After this delay it returns to normal. I have noticed that when I manage to open a page (in any program) and then close it the page closes gradually from the top down. After that initial 15 minutes everything works OK. I have run defrag and right-clicking on the C: drive in My Computer, Properties, Tools, leads me to Error checking (which it does before Windows starts the next time, and finds no errors). Also I have not added any software or hardware lately so I cannot imagine what is going on).
    I know the memory is small but it normally is not a problem. Any ideas please on where else to look.

  2. Bichey


    Feb 11, 2009
    May be too many startup programs creating the problem. Have you tried msconfig ??
  3. rainforest123


    Dec 28, 2004
    If you have SP2, you need at least 512 MB ram. If you have SP3, consider going to 1024 MB.

    You can determine the amount of ram your PC can handle at www.crucial.com .

    Which version of XP? Which SP / service pack?
    RIGHT click "my computer"
    Left click "properties".

    Boot to safe mode by tapping the F8 key, once a second during the startup / boot process. When you reach the startup menu, use the up / down arrow keys to highlight / select "safe mode".
    Log in if so prompted.
    Acknowledge the notice that the PC is running in safe mode.
    Is the boot time the same or noticeably shorter?

    You could run diags on your ram, and HDD.
    Does your PC have a floppy disk drive?
    Do you know how to set your computer to boot to a floppy drive and an optical drive?
    Go to http://www.memtest86.com/ .
    On the left, left click on "free downloads".
    Down the floppy file or .iso file. You will need CD burning software other than the XP burning software, to create a bootable CD from an .iso file.

    Check with your computer manufacturer for a HDD diag. Alternatively, I have used Hitachi [ formerly IBM's ] HDD diag successfully on non Hitachi HDDs. The BEST, however, is to use a HDD diag made for your PC's HDD.

    Backup your data as soon as possible. I use Acronis True Image to clone my HDDs to other HDDs. ATI will also create an image to CDs / DVDs, depending upon the type of optical disk burner in your PC. It is unlikely, but possible that your problem is caused by a failing HDD.

  4. rka0

    rka0 Banned

    Oct 12, 2007
  5. perfume

    perfume Banned

    Sep 12, 2008
    Dear johnni,
    An eight year old pc, which ran well till recently and has now slowed down to a crawl! You have not loaded any hardware or software and the memory(?RAM) remains the same. Sherlock Holmes tells me that you have a failing hard disk and that You immediately take a complete back up and restore image of the drive.

    How to, at the least ,test the hard drive?

    If a failing hard drive is suspected, it can be tested by running the diagnostics from the hard drive manufacturer's web site.

    I gleaned this info' for you--(y)

    If you don't know what brand the drive is, you can download the limited-use free edition of OnTrack Data Advisor from this location:
    http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/data ... ataadvisor

    Click the download link on that page for Data Advisor Trial Edition in your language, to download the diskette creator file.

    The downloads are diskette creators. They are to be run once from a working Windows system and will guide you through the process of extracting the Data Advisor onto a 3.5" floppy disk.

    Download and Use Instructions:
    http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/hard ... nload.aspx

    An older version of SeaTools, for creating a bootable floppy disk or for creating a bootable CD if you don't have a floppy drive, is here:
    Sea Tools contains both a Seagate-specific diagnostic and a Generic test that will run on all brands of drives.

    Hard Drive Diagnostic Programs by Vendor:

    OnTrack Data Advisor:

    IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test:

    Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools:

    Quantum/Maxtor PowerMax:

    Seagate SeaTools for DOS:
    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/suppor ... s/seatools

    (Additional info on Chkdsk and Scandisk procedures will be added in a future edit...and suggestions are welcome)
  6. johnni

    johnni Thread Starter

    Dec 16, 2003
    Thank you for all the advice, some of which I found rather beyond my comprehension!
    But I started with Bichey's recommendation and used msconfig to reduce the number of startup programs and this seems to have reduced the fifteen minutes delay to about five minutes which I can live with.

    Belarc reports my hard drive as a 40GB Maxtor 6L040J2 with 27GB free space and states it is 'healthy'. That drive is 'only' six years old as it replaced a failed 20GB drive. I am using XP SP2.

    I do not think the hard drive is failing but of course it could at any time and I have already created a complete backup with Acronis TI.

    I will try one or two of the other suggestions but I am happy to leave things as they are for the present.

    Thank again for all the advice.

  7. Bichey


    Feb 11, 2009
    :D he he

    can u post a HJT log please. I just want to see it
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