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Start up is a little slower

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Super Fast, I've got 1 gb of ram on my 6 year old pc. Back in the day, it was pretty slick. My dialup is disabled. Has been for a couple of years. I haven't tried pulling out the dialup card, but will give that a shot. I don't have my system booting from USB media. On my 150 gb hard drive, only 30 gb's are used. I keep everything else on my externals. The mystery is that I've run a lean, clean, mean machine for several years, and up until two weeks or so ago, it has been remarkably consistent at fully booting up in 50 seconds from a cold start and at being very stable. I'm simply at a loss to figure out what has caused the slower booting and the random screen blanks and system freezes. I'm super-careful to do everything sandboxed, from browsing to running all my portable apps.

 

It's definitely a head-scratcher.

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My Laptop had XP Home on a 30 GB Internal drive,

and tons of Portable Apps on an external drive.

 

It would start up MUCH faster if the external drive was disconnected,

but after connecting the drive DIR did not know what was on the external until it had trawled the drive with the activity LED flashing.

 

If I powered up with the external connected it took much longer before it allowed me to log on,

and even longer before the internal drive and settled down and made a few CPU cycles available for me to use,

BUT then DIR immediately knew what was on the external and the external activity LED barely flashed.

I deduced that XP explores everything accessible and commits to memory/pagefile before it responds to me.

 

Replaced the 30 GB Internal with 160 GB and restored a partition image of C:\ to the new drive.

Created a new partition on the internal and copied to this the Portable Apps on the external H:\

 

With the external still connected, but its letter H:\ removed to avoid conflict with the new Internal H:\,

start-up become much faster.

External H:\ used only 1 % of the total space used by other external partitions,

but it had more files and folders than the rest of them.

 

A separate but USB related possibility is that if XP knows the drive is there,

it might take as long as it needs to see what the drive holds,

and if connection is intermittent, or degraded to USB1 you could take a long coffee break :rolleyes:

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Have you tried checking your disk health?

 

Sure, there is defraggler health & a ton of other utilities have them, but the one that seems consistently most accurate in my use is this one:

http://hddlife.com/e...creenshots.html

 

All you need it for is the trial, then uninstall it after you see what health levels it shows. I am really curious as to the health level of your drive.

A drive will slow if it is going bad, but I don't know if that is your problem or not

__________

 

A second reason could be that Windows updates have trashed your startup time.

 

Best way to tell for sure would be a clean Windows install with no updates & no A/V installed to see what happens, but I wouldn't worry about doing it unless you have all your things backed up & nothing important is saved to it.

 

There may have been something one of us missed, but I am hoping you can run the drive check program & let us know the % health you have left on it.

__________

 

Edit: On a clean XPSP2 or SP3 installation with Office 2007 added + avg + IE9 + FF9 + CC + DF + Flash for both browsers, it only = about 5 or so GB, while Windows 7 can reach 9 or so GB.

 

So, with 30 out of 150 GB used, that still leaves 21 to 25 GB of other things NOT related to the OS installed. Somewhere... So it is possible that something you have installed is affecting it.

 

The only 2 possible choices, are software & hardware. And if your startups are clean, you are free of viruses, etc, & your hardware isn't failing, that only leaves -> installed software.

 

So, once you post back to verify your drive health is still good, I would have to say it is something within those 21 to 25 GB of software/files & folders that you have on the drive causing problems.

 

This could be accumulated system restore files/updates/various util or anviral etc. solutions you tried over the years...

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I spent several hours over the past weekend stubbornly testing my system and then I had to go out of town yesterday. Anyway, great and helpful suggestions from everyone. I appreciate them. Here's what I've discovered.

 

1) If I remove my dedicated video card that came with my Lenovo, and rely solely on the integrated card on the motherboard, I have no screen blanking out, no freeze ups, no rebooting. Everything is stable. When I reinsert the video card, the problems randomly resume. I'm no expert at this, but I think it's reasonable to assume the evidence points to my graphic card going bad. (All drivers are updated.) Do you agree?

 

2) If I unplug my printer's usb and my external drive's usb from my computer and start-up my computer, the start-up time quickens once again to around 53 seconds total. Like it used to be. What's confusing about this is that I've been leaving my printer and external drive plugged into my usb ports for a few years now, so I don't understand why the start-up slowdown with them being plugged in only began a couple of weeks ago.

 

Super Fast, I hope to check out my disk health sometime this week and will let you know.

 

Regarding the video card issue, as I said above I'm now using the integrated one on the motherboard. But the images and graphics are not as good. I tried googling a replacement for the dedicated card, but got no hits. I figured if I could get one that's not too expensive, I wouldn't mind spending a little money to keep this machine chugging a little longer. But I've never replaced a graphics card and if it's not a simple thing to do, then I may say the heck with it. Can anyone tell me how to go about figuring out if there's a replacement card available and how complicated it would be install it? The info on the card I pulled out is: Gigabyte RADEON X600 PRO GV-R38128.

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Thank you, kroozer. Your post was helpful and prompted me to do some checking around and I found a graphics card on ebay that was pretty cheap. The specs appear to be the same, but the image looks different. The price was low enough where I went ahead and ordered it; if it works out, then great. If not, then it's no big loss.Insofar as inserting it when it arrives, is there anything special I need to do or be mindful of?

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. . . is there anything special I need to do or be mindful of?

 

Yes, always observe the usual grounding precaution. :)

 

For other readers contemplating installing a video card, here's a tutorial.

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Thought I'd put closure on this thread by posting that it looks like I had a happy ending. The graphics adapter that I bought from ebay (allegedly brand new) works just fine. I plugged it in and let Windows find the driver. It's been running now for several days; I've had no blank-outs or freezes. Very stable. For $19.20, not a bad deal.

 

Once again, thanks to all for your suggestions and comments. They helped.

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Glad it got fixed :)

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