System resources and slow boot up

  jake2 14:31 11 Aug 2008

Home pc using xp home 1.5gb ram, 1 x 60GB (with os on it) and 1 x 80GB
Athlon 2400+ processor
It is very slow to boot up.
I have removed as much as I can from the start menu.
I have three user profiles set up on it, one of which I could easily delete. Would this make any difference to the time?
What is a realistic boot up time for a homw pc?
What would be worth trying next?
The broadband connection starts automaticaly at start up, would that slow it down?

  Pineman100 15:48 11 Aug 2008

My PC has a roughly similar spec to yours, and runs XP Home. Boot-up (including startup of wireless network and broadband connection) is around 1 min 30 secs.

Has this slowdown happened gradually over a long period, or suddenly/recently? If the latter, you could try using System Restore to roll back to a date before the problem started.

Things that can substantially extend your boot-up time are:

1. Having a lot of unnecessary stuff in your startup folder.

2. Some antivirus software, particularly if it scans a heavily laden startup folder every time you boot up.

Try using a utility such as Ccleaner to give your computer a good spring clean. click here

  jake2 22:23 11 Aug 2008

Thanks Pineman, I have removed almost everything from the start menu via msconfig, I have removed everything from the quick launch area, I have run bootvis (not that I saw much difference there) I also changed the setting on NOGUIBOOT in BOOTINI in system config aswell as the timeout from 30s to 10secs.
I am defreging at the moment but the last time I timed it it was something like 2 minutes from pressing the power button to all the icons being on the desktop!
Theres got to be something I can do to get it quicker than that surely? Microsoft say xp home should boot up in 30s ?!!!
I am going to try booting it up with zonealarm switched off just to see what that does.
Any other suggestions?

Oh one thing that may have some relevance is that the c drive is quite full (about 23% space left)
Would that slow the boot up by any great amount perhaps?

  jake2 07:58 12 Aug 2008

Ok so now c drive is 30% clear
F drive is 60% clear,
all programs have been removed from quick launch,
all uneccesary programs removed from the start menu, only avg, zonealarm, and the mouse left iirc,
bootvis has been run,
ccleaner has been run, and the registry cleaner part of it aswell,
both discs have been defragmented,
spyware scans have found nothing,
booting up with zonealarm switched off made no difference,

When it first boots the screens with the text flashes past quickly,
then the screen with the white lines along the bottom, the lines fill up pretty quickly then it will stay like that until the time from pressing the power button is about 1 minute 5 seconds.
(I apologise as I dont know the correct term for this screen).
Windows is loading will come on and then the desktop, icons first then the task bar. When I booted up this morning this took about 2 1/2 minutes! Thats ridiculous!
Can anyone tell me whats wrong or what to do next to speed this up please?

  Les28 12:46 12 Aug 2008

Maybe it's worth checking to see if your registry is badly fragmented and in need of a registry defrag, I think Ccleaner which you've used removes obsolete reg entries etc but does not defrag the registry.

click here


click here

more free or trial reg defraggers out there

also have you had a look to see if the master file table and page files are fragmented, windows own defrag utility doesn't defrag these, open windows defag utility, highlight your system drive and click the analyze button, not the defragment button and then click View Report button when the results show, then scroll down the volume information window and have a look at Total MFT fragments and Total Fragments under Pagefile fragmentation, these should be low numbers.

Also have you run windows Scandisk error checking utility at next boot time, by right clicking on system drive icon in My Computer, left click properties, select Tools tab and error checking button and ticking the two boxes in the error checking options.

  jake2 16:44 12 Aug 2008

Thanks Les28 I will try that tonight.
I dont think that the registry has ever been defragged and its 7 years old now!
I have also been told that the 30s boot up was not from power button to desktop but to windows welcome screen. Also that 21/2 minutes to desktop is not that unreasonable. Is it? What is reasonable?
I've seen some tweaks repeated on various forums:
Things like changing the registry values on things like start up delay, to decrease boot time.
and waittokillservicetime to increase shut down. I actually tried this one on a work pc and it does work, the pc shut down really quickly. Strangly had no effect on mine, so I changed them both back.
Also changing the bios settings for boot from: Mine was set to floppy as first destination, I have changed it to the c drive (where windows is)
Are these sort of things worth looking at or are they likely to cause some other problem later on?
I just get the feeling theres something holding it back, maybe a setting, maybe old hardware, maybe just registry needing defragged, LOL that would be good nice and simple!
But what time should I be aiming for? Whats realistic/normal?

  Les28 17:30 12 Aug 2008

Jake you got me so intrigued I just timed my startup and it was just one minute exactly to desktop, but I usually leave it running a few minutes after that in any case for it to settle down.
I have 2 X 80GB hard drives C and F with a 4 year old P4 3.0 Ghz Prescott cpu, so maybe a couple of minutes isn't all that slow with a 7 year old machine.
I don't know whether you reduced the default 12% size of system restore to increase your free space to 30% on your C drive, meant to ask do you have system restore monitoring your non system F drive, as I don't think there's any point in monitoring non system drives, whether this will help with boot times is another thing, also have you run windows Disk Cleanup in all user profiles.
Anything showing red or yellow in event viewer, that's Start, Run, type eventvwr and OK, have a look at the system and application tabs, double click on any you want more details on, Les.

  jake2 19:25 12 Aug 2008

Defragment analyse report.
Volume (C:)
Volume size = 55.90 GB
Cluster size = 512 bytes
Used space = 38.16 GB
Free space = 17.73 GB
Percent free space = 31 %

Volume fragmentation
Total fragmentation = 1 %
File fragmentation = 2 %
Free space fragmentation = 0 %

File fragmentation
Total files = 84,199
Average file size = 1 MB
Total fragmented files = 405
Total excess fragments = 31,915
Average fragments per file = 1.37

Pagefile fragmentation
Pagefile size = 768 MB
Total fragments = 1

Folder fragmentation
Total folders = 8,645
Fragmented folders = 5
Excess folder fragments = 65

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 128 MB
MFT record count = 98,337
Percent MFT in use = 74 %
Total MFT fragments = 3

  Les28 20:37 12 Aug 2008

Defrag analysis looks fine for C drive, just one thing though your pagefile size is only half of your 1.5 GB's of RAM, have you split your pagefile over your C and F drives, 768 MB's on each?
Otherwise think I'd be inclined to up my pagefile size to the same as the RAM, 1.5 GB's.

  jake2 21:02 12 Aug 2008

I haven't set the pagefile memory at all it must have been set as a default during the instalation of the second drive perhaps?
How do I change the pagefile size?
I ran the registry defragger and the check disc as you suggested. For some reason the automaticaly fix file system errors one got so far and then stopped. I remember a while back that zonealarm was causing problems with checkdisc and had to be switched off to get it to run.
The whole pc "seems" to be faster, we'll see I'll try a timed reboot to see if it's all in my head!

  Les28 22:26 12 Aug 2008

Have a look here at changing pagefile size

click here

I'm assuming all of your pagefile is on C drive as in the above web page, you could try setting as in the example at system managed size and windows will set the size it thinks best.

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