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Slow Booting Up


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#1 james1000

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:52 PM

Hello,

I have a Sony VAIO laptop running XP with 1GB RAM.

During the last week I have noticed that it takes a lot longer to boot up than it has previously done. After the initial Windows loading bars screen it then hovers on black for about 5 minutes. After this, Windows loads normally. The computer seems to be fine otherwise but I am slightly worried as to what has caused this, as it never used to take anywhere near as long.

I have scanned with AVG, Spybot, Malwarebytes and Adaware but no infections have been found.
I have also tried unticking unneeded startup programs in the System Configuration Utility and restarting the computer; however this does not appear to have made a difference.
I also tried deleting files in the prefetch folder and then restarting twice.

The most recent change to the computer has been downloading AVG Free 2011 within the last week. I temporarily diabled this and restarted but there was no change. I also temporarily unticked it from the start up programs in the System Configuration Utility, but this made no difference.

If anyone has any feedback or ways of testing what might be causing this I would be very grateful. I read that slow start ups could be something to do with the registry. I am wary about using registry cleaners as I have heard a lot of bad stories about them. Is there any way of telling if there is something specific in the registry that might be causing this?

Thanks,
James

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#2 ThunderZ

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 02:04 PM

Not all AV programs play well with all system configurations.
I will assume you uninstalled any previous AV program you were running as well.
If AVG was the last change made then I would suggest uninstalling it using Add\remove. Follow up by running the AVG removal tool following the instructions provided on the linked page.

See if this eliminates the problem. If it does then I would suggest another AV. Avira or Avast are highly thought of.

You are correct in your caution of registry cleaners. BC in no way endorses their use.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 02:07 PM

<<After the initial Windows loading bars screen it then hovers on black for about 5 minutes.>>

Try using the Last Known Good Configuration and Safe Mode options to boot...see if there is a delay with these methods.

Louis

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 05:48 PM

Is it slow booting up in Safe Mode?

Hit F8 after the Sony Splash Screen.

#5 james1000

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 05:59 AM

Hi,

Thanks for the responses. I have rebooted in Safe Mode. As far as I can see it still hovers for about 5 minutes before loading Windows; however in Safe Mode instead of hovering on pure black it does so on a black screen with safe Mode written in all four corners.

Does the fact that it does this in Safe Mode suggest that it is definitely not AVG, or should I still try uninstalling AVG properly? Is there any need to uninstall the other anti virus programs? These are not new versions and don't appear to have caused any problems in the past.
Also, I am a bit confused about what booting to 'last known configuration' is. As the computer is still booting up correctly, would this be useful to do? Does this affect the contents of saved files or programs on the hard drive?

Thanks,
James

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:39 AM

Well since it is also happening in Safe Mode can you provide some system specs?

#7 james1000

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 11:21 AM

Sony VAIO VGN-BX Series
Windows XP Professional
Version 2002
Service Pack 3

Intel® Corel ™2 CPU
T5600 @ 1.83 GHz
900 MHz 1.00 GB RAM

C Drive
Free Space: 17.0 GB
Total Size: 55.8 GB

D Drive
Free Space: 17.3 GB
Total Size: 47.9 GB

#8 cryptodan

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 11:29 AM

Try running this: Temp File Cleaner

To help restore your free space.

#9 Eyesee

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 11:58 AM

Also try clearing out the system restore points

Click Start, point to All Programs | Accessories | System Tools and click Disk Cleanup.
Click OK.
From the Disk Cleanup dialog box, click the More Options tab.
Click Yes to confirm your actions.

Then defragment the hard drive, especially if it has not been done in a while.

Check the swap file to make sure it is set to system managed size
Right click My computer then go to properties
In system properties go to the advanced tab
Under performance click the settings button then go to the advanced tab
Click the change button under virtual memory
Make sure it is set to system managed size & click the set button
Restart
In the beginning there was the command line.

#10 james1000

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 03:53 PM

I have cleared the system restore points, defragmented, and changed the virtual memory/ swap point to system managed size. However, it is still hovering on the restart. Out of interest, does system managed size mean that it alternates based on the current needs. It was set to custom before, at, initial size 1536 MB and maximum size 3072 MB. Will the new setting make any noticeable difference to the performance in general?

Regarding the Temp File Cleaner, is that likely to have a large enough effect on the startup time. I'm slightly concerned about using it after reading some of the comments on the download page. There seem to be some instances of favourites being deleted as well as glitches when rebooting. One person also seemed to think that it wiped their desktop files and my documents folder.

#11 Eyesee

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 04:05 PM

The system uses hard drive space as virtual memory, as if it were ram.
Therefore, the size of the swap file will vary based on current system needs.
This is why sometimes you notice a flurry of hard drive activity when the system is basically idle.
The swap file size is being adjusted.

Personally, I always set it to system managed size. To me its best just to let it manage itself.
It does make a difference in performance.

Cryptodan will gladly share his infinite wisdom with you about Temp File Cleaner
In the beginning there was the command line.

#12 cryptodan

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 06:17 AM

I have used TFC on numerous occasions with successful results. I use it once every 3 to 4 months on all my computers that run Windows to help maintain my drive space.

#13 ThunderZ

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 08:00 AM

Ditto what Cryptodan said regarding TFC.

I read some of the reviews and will say I never experienced any of the problems mentioned.

Be sure all your work, browsers, etc. are closed prior to running TFC. TFC will force close all running applications so if any are open data may be lost when TFC shuts them down.

Regarding the complaints about hanging at shut-down. In some cases I believe this may be due to whatever security programs the the User had running. Many are protected from termination from outside programs.
I know in my case I had to add TFC to the exclusion list\trusted list with-in my HIPS program = Host Intervention Protection System. Otherwise it was blocked from not only shutting down that program but also interacting with Windows own shut-down, restart processes.

#14 james1000

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for that. I've just run it and it cleared about 2oo or so MB. However, when I rebooted, the screen was still hovering as before.

Is it worth fully uninstalling AVG 2011 to see if that makes a difference? Or, seen as it was still hovering on safe mode would that indicate that the cause wouldn't be a program, such as AVG?

#15 ThunderZ

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 12:13 PM

I have not used AVG in some years. I am not sure if it has any components that load in safe mode.

Should you decide to try it. Prior to uninstalling AVG I would recommend d\l`ing your next choice of AV. Then uninstalling AVG via Add\remove followed by running the proper tool listed here.

Then restart. See if the hang has been eliminated.

Install the new AV. Some offer a custom install. Offering different modules\features depending on how you use your machine. Chat, P2P, on board e mail, etc. What ever new AV you may decide to try, be aware of this possible option.

Done correctly, it will give you the full protection your PC and habits require without adding potential resource using processes.




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