XP problem - booting up

Discussion in 'Hardware - PCs, Consoles, Gadgets' started by Yokel, Apr 12, 2013.

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  1. Yes, I am still using XP.

    For the last couple of days when I have turned the PC on it has gone through the normal process of booting up, then it has seemed to stop, with little indication of hard disk activity, which is different to how things were until a few days ago. It has then been reluctant to do anything - trying to open a Word document, or run a program from the desk top, has resulted in getting the Windows hourglass figure, when then vanishes after a few moments.

    It carries on in this non co-operative state for a few minutes, then decides to start working and runs Word, Internet Explorer, or the ISP software.

    This is quite annoying. Any ideas about how to reduce this period of doing nothing?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Try having a look in the Task Manager and see what/if programs are trying to run at start up.
  3. Clear the temp files (not just temporary internet files) and give it a defrag. Run msconfig to see what you can take out of startup
  4. Zara

    I did try that - but it showed no programs being run.
  5. msr

    msr LE

    • Like Like x 1
  6. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    xp is fine as long as you keep your antivirus up to date but programs which hog the startup with slow it down. a lot of new versions expect to be able to suck up your memory and processor without a though of everything else. symantec stuff is good for this as are printer and phone software

    try startup.cpl and switch off all those tray applications and startups you don't need.

    ideally xp needs a fresh install at least once a year which gives you chance to leave out what you never use or switch to better products as its often easier than editing your services which will have multiplied.
  7. Thanks I'll have a look at that.

    Guess what? It's been so long since I did a defrag that I've forgotten where to find it. Opps!
  8. Yokel... I had something similar happen to mine recently. Eventually i found out that the external media player i had connected prior to opening up would not allow the system to fully boot up. The solution was to wait till the system had fully booted up then connect the external drive/ Media player. Not saying that is your problem, but may be something others have come across??
  9. Might also be worth updating your antivirus and then running a complete scan.

    Otherwise, like Grumblegrunt says, a clean install is always handy. My SOP is to backup everything to an external hard drive, low-level format the disk and re-install from scratch. I know you can just reinstall Windows, but am not sure that's quite as effective. Thoughts anyone?
  10. For this purpose, format c: /q is sufficient. A true low level format isn't user-feasible on the current crop of hard drives anyway. Low-level format is something from the MFM and RLL days. The correct terms are probably full format or quick format.

    To the OP : try sfc /scannow from an elevated command prompt. You may have some stuffed core files. This function on XP *may* require an XP disc to be present in the optical drive.

    just bashing another XP install over the existing one can be a VERY slow process, and probably won't fix your issue (might actually make the PC even slower, as you'll then have a massive Windows.old directory)
  11. Good to know.

    I'm a dinosaur from the Days of DOS.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I bloody love DOS.
  13. I notice that the OP states that the problem arose a couple of days ago. A cluttered registry and that kind of thing would suggest a more gradual deterioration over time to me.

    A sudden and recently noticed deterioration suggests that something might have been loaded up recently, or a configuration changed that has caused the problem. It may even hint a at a hardware problem like as the hard drive on its way out.

    If it was me, I'd start by going into System Properties and doing a system restore to a time before the problem became obvious. It's a lot less painful than a reformat and fresh install of windows to start with.
  14. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    I seem to remember you can do a repair install using command line switches - setup /u/s rings some bells. that tells the setup to overwrite windows files rather than just skipping them which used to leave bad files in place.

    refresh pc IIRC will strip out all the dirge accumulated as well.
  15. Well I downloaded and installed it, retarted the PC and watched it boot up, display a worryingly large number of programs and applications being run, but what now?

    Do I leave the PC running or what? What happens when I power it down and fire it up next time?