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WinXPSP3 Near unusable.. drive light ON, Very Slow

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#1 Walking Through

Walking Through

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  • Location:Boston
  • Local time:05:59 PM

Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:33 PM

Hello -

First: equipment details.

HP Pavilion a1240n. Pentium 4 @ 3 GHz, hyperthreaded, 2 GB RAM, 180 GB disk. NVidia 6200 video interface. During one update cycle, Microsoft installed a video interface driver. No problems with the video.

Windows XP SP3 plus all patches from Microsoft (I had it visiting the update side at least once a week).

Other than updates, no recent hardware or software additions.


This thing has gone from lightning fast (for my usage anyway) to dead slow/slower than dead.

Booting the computer... the "Welcome" screen appears. Then the hard disk access light goes SOLID on. No head movements, no whickering about. Just solid on.

The system is unresponsive to keyboard or mouse for easily five minutes. Even after that, the drive light is ON and response stutters terribly.

The system acts the same way in Safe Mode. However, response improves after a minute or so. But it's STILL far slower than I'd ever seen.


I thought the computer was infected with something. Dropped a note into the Malware forum where Orange Blossom and Tomk_ guided me through a scan of the system.

GMER running in normal boot would blue-screen crash right down to the BIOS in anywhere from 1 to maybe 30 minutes into the run (listening to the hard drive spin down like that can be a traumatic experience: blue flash on the displays, fast head retract and drive braking noises, fans in the box spinning down then zip into high speed).

GMER would complete in Safe Mode.

A scan with ComboFix, according to Tomk_, did not indicate an infection. He did make a comment that there are a number of services not starting or starting late.

Looking through the Event logs, there are notes of services not starting within some required timeout. I _can_ get into the Event logs... but would appreciate some direction as to what from there to post here.

This has been getting worse as time goes on. The system is barely usable in Normal mode and when it is usable, well, I can type faster than it can render text.

Your time is appreciated.

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