XP:Errors for 5 minutes after power on, then okay?

  Hipp.Stenoglepsi 10:08 24 Apr 2008

I have a Dell GX270 running XP Pro sp2. When I power it up, I get all kinds of errors for about 5 minutes, then it boots okay. If I power it up and leave it for 5 minutes & reboot, it boots okay.

What could cause that kind of time delay?

The errors are DLL load errors, blue screens of death and sometimes a plain hang. The files referred to in the errors vary. I've tried checking the boot disk, etc and it seems fine. The fan is running okay and not obstructed.

Once its booted, it runs fine but I've noticed a few bits of odd behaviour with USB devices. The mouse lags when the processor is loaded and sometimes it will suddenly 'recognise' an already connected device as a new one. That's pretty rare though.

  Hipp.Stenoglepsi 12:16 24 Apr 2008

To clarify.

I power on, boot multiple times, it eventually boots successfully after 5 minutes.

I power on and leave it 5 minutes, then reboot, then it works.

  UncleP 15:52 24 Apr 2008

What could cause that kind of time delay?
That sort of time constant is generally associated with a thermal effect, that is, your computer warming up. It also indicates that there is a fault present when the machine is cold but (largely) corrected when it has warmed up.

What could cause this? Unfortunately quite a wide range of effects; for example, a poor contact on a circuit board or within a connector might be closed (or opened) by differential expansion between the metal conductors and the plastic substrate. Some components show this sort of behaviour when a characteristic property varies significantly with temperature.

It's best not to worry too much about the cause, but to try to find the location of the problem. Computers are of modular construction, with cables and connectors between modules. First check that the interconnections are well made and stable. Exchange cables where an alternative but identical unit is available.

The standard solution then is to replace each major component in turn with an identical substitute, preferably one that is known to work in another computer. Unfortunately, unless you have a second computer of the same make and model, this is not usually a very practical option.

Have you spoken to Dell about this problem? I am told that their customer service is quite good, and they of course have substitute components they can use. It's a tedious procedure though, so they might levy a significant charge to do the work. I take it the machine is not a new one, and out of guarantee.

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