Very Slow Bootup and Poorly XP - HELP!

  Dazzledoc 23:11 03 Feb 2007

A challenge that I hope someone is up to. I have spent a frustrating week trying to get back to where I started. The problem is a very slow bootup time and a dysfunctional Windows XP. The details are as follows:

I have a Medion 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 with a 120 GB HDD. I have used partition Magic to set two boot partitions plus several other data ones. Boot partitions have Windows XP installed – P1 was NTFS and P2 was FAT32. P2 was my day to day system with all my programs on. P1 was a basic setup with minimal programs. My data was on a separate drive. I was also using Boot Magic (BM). Last week I (foolishly?) decided to convert the FAT32 boot partition to NTFS. All went well but Boot Magic did not work. I then found it will not work on NTFS so I followed instructions and split off a 50 KB partition and loaded Boot Magic. All seemed well but then the problems began. When I booted into either OS the Boot Magic partition was hidden so I could not access it or make any changes. This was after setting Partition Magic to ‘unhide’ it several times. I then decided to convert P2 back to FAT32 and merge it with the small Boot Magic partition (using Partition Magic).

At that point I could not boot into P2. It just stalled with the cursor showing but nothing happening. I could get to P1 (using a BM FD) but my everyday programs and current settings were on P2. Eventually, after reading this forum, I tried putting in the XP CD. It told me I could either ‘continue the upgrade’ or install a new OS. I opted for the former and it sort of worked. Mindful of security problems I put in the Windows SP2 CD to update it. This stalled saying it was unable to complete. It then failed to completely uninstall.

The situation I have now is that when the computer starts or restarts the Pentium 4 logo appears and then nothing happens for over 2 minutes (the HDD seems to be running but the keyboard does not respond). After this it starts to load Windows but it takes a further 1 min 20sec to get to the logon screen (either P1 or P2). P1 (NTFS) works reasonably OK but P2 has lost all the network connections (‘unable to retrieve the list of network adapters on your machine’).

Can anyone give me any ideas how to get the slow boot up fixed? Thank you.

  alltime 23:31 03 Feb 2007

Reading your last para, you say you can get to the logon screen but it takes a long time to load, Can you get to the desktop? Start, Run, Restore.

  alltime 23:40 03 Feb 2007

If you can get to control panel, Administrative Tools, Disk management, Properties, Error checking. worth a try?

  smokingbeagle 07:09 04 Feb 2007

Try Bootvis from MS to see what's taking so much time. You can use it to optimise your start up.

  smokingbeagle 07:11 04 Feb 2007
  Dazzledoc 00:06 05 Feb 2007

Apologies for the delay in getting back to this. This am my nt(hel)l connection has been playing up and I was out pm.

alltime - yes I can get to the desktop in each. P1 (NTFS) seems to work OK and has an internet connection. When I go to P2 (FAT32) I get the message “Load MSCASCui.exe – unable to load component. This application has failed to start because gdiplus.dll was not found.” I also have no network connection and the Network Connection Folder is empty. I have tried to create a connection but this failed. I did a system restore to the earliest date there – Feb 2nd and also reinstalled the Medion BIOS.

Further information – I have run sfc/scannow/r and CHKDSK/r and both completed OK with no errors.

Smokingbeagle – I have run Bootvis and it seems to show the delay in Windows startup. Driver Init. Time takes 18 sec, Registry and pagefile take 61 secs and Logon and service take 33 sec. I could email the file if that would help.

The slow start problems seemed to start after I tried to update WinXP on FAT32 partition to SP2. Is this a problem with boot.ini? or perhaps with the registry. I ran NT Reg Opt on both systems but no improvement showed.

Thank you for your suggestions and patience so far.

  brundle 00:10 05 Feb 2007

Check your add remove list for Windows Defender and uninstall it for the time being. ScanNow should have restored GDI but you can install it manually; click here

  Dazzledoc 23:16 09 Feb 2007

Came to use the card reader for the first time to view photos and nothing happened. I found the card reader installation files and reinstalled them. Eureka! - the problem of slow starting is resolved. It now boots up normally taking about 35 secs to get to the logon screen (in either OS) instead of the 3 min 30 sec it was taking. Presumably it was searching for the card reader although there was no error message to indicate that it had not been found. I hope this may help others who may have similar problems with slow booting machines.

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