I have a Asrock K7VM2 Mobo, AMD 1800 XP processor, 256 MB ram, running XP pro. Suddenly boot up has been very slow, stalling on looking for boot from floppy, then stalling while looking for Hard drive boot. A blank screen (black) will be seen for a long time, though there is disk activity. Sometimes a series of bars (IIIIIIIII) across the bottom of the screen appears, which slowly beome solid. The Windows XP logo appears but 'fades in', it used to appear fast.
The PC then runs normally. Sometimes it boots normally, but since two days ago this 'slow boot' happnes almost all the time. I have run AVG, which is up-to-date, I have run Housecall, and I have defragged C drive.
I have swapped the IDE cables, and ensured they are fully inserted, changed the floppy drive to no avail. No new programs have been added, nor has BIOS been altered. I have used System restore to go back to before the problems started.
Hi stroller, i'm no expert but it may be worth downloading a beta version of something like norton utilities or some other utilities prog and run all the checks. another prog which helped me out recently when i had unexplained problems was Spybot "search and destroy"it's a free download and well worth a try. Of course if it is a software conflict problem try a selective start up and i would suggest disabling the most recently installed software for starters. good luck