WindowsXP very slow and slow boot up

  Halfbeat 14:11 19 Jul 2009

My wife’s computer takes around 15mins to boot up. It has the same hardware configuration as my own computer (although the software is obviously different) and mine boots very quickly even though I have more stuff loading at start up. I’ve scanned for viruses, spyware etc. and there are no problems.
I’ve run BootXP to find out what is loading and all programs are legitimate. I expected to find one particular program that was holding everything up, but no-everything just takes that bit longer than on my machine. The one big difference between the two is that at start up ntkrnlpa.exe loads then on my computer everything else immediately follows but on my wife’s machine there is a long delay when nothing seems to be happening before all the other progs load up.
I’ve improved things a little by using Winpatrol and binning anything that doesn’t need to load at start up and using.
When the computer does eventually start everything is very slow yet under processes in Task manager there is nothing running that is hogging the processor and system idle is around the 98/99% mark. There is plenty of memory available in RAM and the hard disc has about 190GB free.
I’ve checked previous answers to similar problems in the forum and I’ve checked that the pagefile is set to a suitable size, that the transfer mode is set to DMA, defragmented the drives, run Ccleaner (slight improvement), checked the following services are set as recommended
- "Remote Procedure Call" (RPCSS), Automatic
- "COM+ Event System" (EventSystem), Manual
- "System Event Notification Service" (SENS) , Automatic
- "Volume Shadow Copy" (VSS), Manual
- "Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider" (SWPRV), Manual.

Ran chkdsc and it did find some bad clusters which it fixed (it says).
Computer has an AMD Athlon 64 x2 dual core +3800 processor and 2GB RAM.

Does anybody have any other suggestions or is the only recourse to reset it back to the original factory set up?

  GaT7 14:25 19 Jul 2009

Hi Halfbeat, I would definitely go for the factory restore / fresh reinstall option after a thorough backup if necessary. G

  DieSse 17:28 19 Jul 2009

"Ran chkdsc and it did find some bad clusters which it fixed (it says)."

Might be a clue. A failing hard drive can slow a system down dramatically. If a drive frequently misreads clusters, it simply tries over and over again before flagging a read error. Makes a system very slow. It's a long time since I've seen a system like that - but I did have a couple a few years ago.

One way of checking the read error rate is to fir some SMART monitoring software. Free trial one here - click here and a freeware one here - click here

  Halfbeat 17:35 23 Jul 2009

Good advice DieSse- I tried both and they showed the hard disc to have problems. So is the sequence of events now to get a new hard disc-fit as slave, clone old disc to new, make new disc master and boot from that? Any pitfalls that you chaps know of?
I have driveimageXML will that do for the cloning?

  woodchip 17:38 23 Jul 2009

Is Anti Virus doing a disc check at start up?

  DieSse 19:27 23 Jul 2009

If the drive you have, or the new one, is a Seagate drive, then you can use the free Seagate Disk Wizard.

This will walk you through all the steps of cloning you old drive to a new one, and swapping over to the new one. Excellent program that is based on Acronis True Image.

Useful for backup images in the future too.

  Halfbeat 13:07 27 Jul 2009

Thanks for the tip DieSse I'll look into getting a Seagate drive.
woodchip- do you mean is AVG running a check of the whole hard disc at starup and thus slowing things down? if so the answer is no and the AVG associated progs that load at startup are the same as on my computer and take around the same length of time.

  Halfbeat 10:06 09 Aug 2009

Well, the issue is resolved but not quite in the method recommended. My own computer went down and I couldn't boot even into safe mode. It couldn't find a path/file similar to the error reported in the helproom of the latest issue of PCAdvisor. Conclusion-my hard disc was up the spout too (maybe the maker used cheap hardware at the time). So we went out and bought two new computers. It will be interesting to see if I can get anything off of my old hard disc. Thanks for all your help.

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