Slow start for 5 mins, then OK

  chub_tor 19:23 10 Jan 2007

Can anyone throw some light on this niggly problem.

The PC is running Windows XP on a K7S5A motherboard and a 1Ghz Duron processor. 512Mb Ram and two hard drives 8oGb plus 20Gb slave, it has a Radeon 9000 Graphics card and is wirelessly networked via a USB dongle.

The problem is that about 50 seconds after startup, with all the icons on the screen etc, the CPU useage goes to 100% and stays thereabouts for the next 4 minutes and then drops back to a mormal 3-4%.

I have used Process Explorer to investigate why this happens and it is one of the svchost.exe files that is hogging the CPU. This particular file looks after a whole host of resources including Update, Audio, themes and a number of network associated processes.

If I further delve into this svchost via Threads there is one particular thread that may be the culprit. It is called ntdl.dll!ReAllocateHeap+0x18c and the CSwitch Delta (whatever that is) has numbers that vary from 60 to 115 while the CPU is running at high percentages. As this thread numbers go down so the CPU useage goes down.

After 5 minutes of switching on the PC runs pretty normally most of the time, so as I say it is a niggle, but I would be curious if anyone could throw light on it. Incidentally it also happened when the PC was wired to the router, so my recent change to wireless hasn't caused the slowdown.

I have run AdAware, SpBot, AVG Spyware, AVG Antivirus, CCleaner and RegScrubXP all without curing the problem. XP has all its updates and I have the latest ATI Radeon Catalyst Drivers.

Any suggestions welcomed.

  AndySD 19:30 10 Jan 2007

Sound and network card Drivers can also cause this but try using Bootvis click here choose Tools then Next Boot and Drivers

  chub_tor 16:08 12 Jan 2007

Checked the sound and network drivers by disabling them and also ensuring that they are the latest versions. Ran Bootvis and optimised from it but still no improvement. Does anyone have any further suggestions?

  Kingfisher 21:01 12 Jan 2007

Could it be your virus checker running a background check at start up, I had this problem with Norton till I ditched it

  squillary 22:08 12 Jan 2007

No certainty what it is, but it could be a check on Windows Update. Before I got broadband the automatic check at startup was exceedingly painful on dialup. It could also be Norton - it does a check of all common locations at startup to ensure nothing's got through the defences and installed itself on reboot. Contrary to what some people say, this is exactly what I'd want it to do and in any case the 2007 versions now complete the check in seconds rather than minutes.

Given that it's only the first few minutes, as long as it's a safety or security check, it's not anything to get worried about. If it isn't, that's another matter of course...

  AndySD 22:20 12 Jan 2007

Did you look at the Bootvis log

  chub_tor 19:41 13 Jan 2007


No it's definitely not the AVG Virus Checker running in the background, nor is it Norton - I have never liked their products and have never installed any.

AndySD - I don't think that Bootvis is actually running correctly as the Bootvis log file is blank. I have rebooted with Trace+Boot Delays but when I get a pop up box saying that the number of Physical drives in the trace file is 0 Trace file has invalid system configuration information. About the only part of Bootvis that seems to work is Optimize System and that didn't help.

  chub_tor 15:49 14 Jan 2007

I'm going to tick this as resolved as I seem to have fixed the problem by switching off Automatic Updates for XP. I did run sfc with no effect on the problem and I never did get Bootvis to work properly. But at least I don't have to wait 5 minutes before the PC is useable.

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