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Sluggish start ups


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#1 ErBie

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:04 PM

Hullo everyone.

Erbie here, a new old codger on the block. I discovered this site today while fishing around for clues to sluggish startups I have been experiencing lately.

Some probably relevant facts: OEM XP Home on e-Machine W4885 owned since new in '05; 1Gb RAM; 2-year-old WD 160GB hard drive (130G un, repeat, UNused space); frequently run McAfee, Malwarebytes, PCTools; typically: no problems.

Operator facts: 66; constant and widely varied computer experience since 1969; very long time no rookie

THE PROBLEM: Recently ran PC Tools' Registry Cleaner, and System Optimizer. Suddenly developed sluggish start up. "Loading Your Settings" part of boot process takes about 30 seconds (seems like a long time) then shows empty blue screen which takes 40 seconds to a minute for desktop to come up. Then the machine works normally for rest of session.

I SUSPECT: Too many items in start-up folder and I can't tell what most of them are (I'd really like to whittle this folder down but don't know how) --OR-- several folders that recently showed up under C: Drive when I "Explore." These folders have filenames that consist of 15-20 lower case letters mixed with numbers. I don't know what they are and have a hunch they may be boogering up the boots.

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#2 Broni

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:23 PM

Welcome aboard Posted Image

Recently ran PC Tools' Registry Cleaner, and System Optimizer. Suddenly developed sluggish start up.

Sluggish before using registry tool, or after?
Registry tools are not recommended and here is why: http://miekiemoes.blogspot.com/2008/02/reg...weaking_13.html


Download Autoruns for Windows: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb963902.aspx
No installation required.
Simply unzip Autoruns.zip file, and double click on autoruns.exe file to run the program.
Go File>Save, and save it as AutoRuns.txt file to know location.
You must select Text from drop-down menu as a file type:

Posted Image

Attach the file to your next reply.

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#3 hamluis

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:43 AM

<<...ran PC Tools' Registry Cleaner, and System Optimizer. Suddenly developed sluggish start up...>>

There's your problem, IMO.

Registry cleaners...remove files which that particular program developer deems unnecessary. Problem is...these files may actually be necessary to continued smooth functioning of the system.

I would suggest either a repair install of XP or running the sfc /scannow command. Both of these result in replacement of any missing or damaged system files.

How To Use Sfc.exe To Repair System Files - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43051/how-to-use-sfcexe-to-repair-system-files/

FWIW: Many of these "registry cleaners" add their own monitors to a system...which may result in the system having additional resources depleted unnecessarily.

Louis

#4 ErBie

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 05:08 PM

OK folks, thanks for the tips.

I tried some of them and here's what happened:

I easily found the i386 folder. It's in a folder named 58228dcc27e814d8e3. All the info I could get about the contents of i386 was this: it contains 7 (repeat, s-e-v-e-n) files and no folders. I wrote down the 7 filenames and can type them into the next post if that would help any of you help me.

I tried running the SFC.EXE /SCANNOW command and the machine told me it could not find the file SFE.EXE. I ran a search for the file and it came up not found.

I put each of the Restore CDs that came with the machine. (Never done that before.) All the first disc did was tell me that Device Drivers for this model are on Disc #3. Disc #3 just has a bunch of folders on it and I didn't mess with any of them. I tried Disc #2 and, frankly, I forget what it showed -- nothing useful. Bottom line, I could not get beyond the "Device Drivers..." advisory on Disc #1.

I ran the Autoruns that I already had and found 19 "Page Down"s of startup items. I couldn't figure out a way to get an actual file count. Most of the S/Up items are Microsoft; very few third party items and I recognized most of them. In the overall 19-page list there were around a half-dozen "file not found"s -- I did not record them. While in Autoruns I disabled all the third-party items I dared and then restarted. No change in boot behavior, so I went back in and turned all the disabled back on.

About the PCTools angle, I had run the registry cleaner a few times. The first time I ran it it cleaned up a LOT of problems that had amassed over the five years the machine has been in use. The big clean-up did NOT hurt the boot time. That happened when I ran the Optimize System option of PCTools. (I read the article in the link one of you provided warning that registry cleaning programs can delete things that ought not be deleted. Informative; thanks for that).

So right now I am right back where I was when I first posted -- 'cept now I know the PC can't find its SFC.EXE file.

Any thoughts?

Erbie

#5 Broni

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 05:15 PM

sfc.exe attached (zipped)
Unzip, place it into C:\Windows\System32 folder

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  • Attached File  sfc.zip   3.86KB   6 downloads

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#6 ErBie

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:35 PM

Thanks.

I tried to copy it into the C:WindowsSys32 folder and told me there is already one in there (dated 2003) and asked if I wanted to replace it with the one you sent (with a date of 2003).

I bailed out of the copy and opened the folder. It was hidden, with a warning that the user probably shouldn't get into it. I unhid the contents and eyeballed all the files in the folder. No folder, no file named SFC anything.

Saved yours on my desktop. Will take another look tomorrow.

Is it ok to leave the contents of that WinSys32 folder unhidden? Could not see how to re-hide it.

Daly City, huh? Small world. I'm a California native. Lived all over the state. Moved from LA to Tennessee in 2005. Having what they say is the hottest summer ever recorded hereabouts. The second hottest? (Drumroll ... 2005!) :-(

I appreciate your help.

Erbie

#7 ErBie

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:37 PM

Sorry, I mistyped the second 2003. The machine said your sfc file is from 2001 (earlier than my 2003 one that is "there" but can't be seen and can't be found. Don't know if the '03/'01 thing matters.

#8 abauw

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:38 PM

you couldnt just copy paste it like that...

:guitar: Take me to a place where time is frozen
You don't have to close your eyes to dream :busy:
You can find escape inside this moment :smash:
And I will follow  :whistle:


#9 Broni

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:48 PM

Is it ok to leave the contents of that WinSys32 folder unhidden?

It depends. I have hidden files (not system files) shown, but if you're afraid, you can delete something by mistake, you better hide them back.

The safe way to find out, if your file is bad, is to rename your sfc.exe to sfc.old and then paste my file into system32 folder.
You MAY need to do it in safe mode, but I doubt you have to, because the file shouldn't be in use.

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