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Icons Taking Forever To Come Up, Very Frustrated!

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#1 connorsmom


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Posted 29 December 2006 - 11:08 AM

I have an INSPIRON 6000 laptop with a Windows XP Professional OS. The Icons take forever to appear after startup. I have been on the phone with Dell more times than I can say, to no avail. They keep telling me it's due to too many programs running in the background. When they put me into the System Configuration Utility, and stop all programs from running at startup, the Icons come up immediately as they should. So, yesterday the tech says I need to research every program that runs at startup, then disable the ones I can. I found this website on Google, and it has helped me a great deal already. I went through all of the startup files, and disabled all of the ones it was safe to do so. I did this under the Startup tab in the System Configuration Utility. I disabled 12 startup files, to no avail. This is just one of many problems I have had with this freakin' laptop. My next option is to throw it out the window when I'm driving down the highway going about 80 mph...yea I think maybe THAT will fix it!!!

I'm having another problem also, and the only reason I'm including it here is the tech doesn't know if they're related or not. Many times, when I sign off the internet, (I still have dial-up) I will get a blue screen telling me <a problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.> The problem has been detected as being the modem (I uninstalled it, then reinstalled it, then downloaded a driver for it last night...waiting to see if that will fix it or not). It sometimes says it's a kernel problem also. The tech also thought there might be a problem with the version of BIOS I was running (04), so it has been upgraded to the latest version (09). The message also states...<check to be sure you have adequate disk space. If a driver is identified in the stop message, disable the driver or check with the manufacturer for driver updates. Try changing video adapters. Check with your hardware vendor for any BIOS updates. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use safe mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, then select Safe Mode>.

I don't know a lot about computer technology, so I'm sorry if I have given you far too much information. Any assistance sure would be appreciated!!

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#2 jgweed


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Posted 29 December 2006 - 12:06 PM

Let's take the first problem first. How many icons do you have? Deleting unneeded applications is always a good thing, but you may still have some of these running that is causing the slowness. You may wish to provide a list in a reply so other members can take a look at it. When was the last time you defragmented your hard drive, and do you frequently scan it with anti-malware applications?

Edited by jgweed, 29 December 2006 - 12:06 PM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 Enthusiast


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Posted 29 December 2006 - 12:26 PM

I recommend a freeware ap named Startup Inspector to manage your startup menu.
It is easier than msconfig to use and provides much better explanation of what programs startup entries are for.

Disable all but those for essential aps like antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall.

Startup Inspector (manages startup menu – helps you identify aps in the startup menu so you can disable unnecessary programs from running in the background when they are not needed)


Startup Monitor (a small freeware ap available on the same page to notify you and require your permission for any program to add itself to your startup menu)


Edited by Enthusiast, 29 December 2006 - 12:28 PM.

#4 mommabear


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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:46 PM

Slow loading icons sounds like you need to rebuild your icon cache and/or enlarge it.

To rebuild your icon cache do this:

Just refresh the icon cache by deleting the IconCache.db file from your profile directory (usually /Documents and Settings/Username/Local Settings/Application Data). It will be automatically recreated. (Might need to restart your computer after doing this.)

You'll have to unhide XP's hidden files before searching for the IconCache.db. To play it safe, send a copy of the original to My Docs or make a system restore point first. This tip is usually for corrupted icons, but it may work and speed them up again.

If not, Kelly'sKorner has these to increase the size of your icon cache:

121. Increase Icon Cache
This is a script. You just click it to activate it. (Reboot)

166. to the right side: Add Icon Cache Size to Folder Options/View

This is a registry file. After you merge it, when you go into your folder options view, it will have added 4 size choices, from 1024 to 8192. Tick the size you want to try first. If they're still slow, try a larger size.


#5 connorsmom

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:54 PM

Hey everyone,
Thank you for your responses so far. I was on the phone again today with a Dell tech for roughly three hours, and still no success...:-( We know however, that the memory is good, the motherboard is good, the OS is good. It is apparently being narrowed down to a software problem. The tech assisted me in doing a VERY long test that involved scanning the entire computer, and repairing anything it found that was corrupt or damaged. Everything passed, and still the icons refuse to cooperate. I have now disabled 14 startup files from running, and only have 4 left running.

I have 6 icons on my desktop...Recycle Bin/Spyware Doctor/Unused Desktop Files/ My Computer/AOL and Internet Explorer. I attempted to do a defrag last night, but it says that it is not necessary at this time. I have 80 GB of hard drive with 58% of free space still available. I do a full system scan with Spyware Doctors Smart Update once per week, plus keep my Nortons up to date.

I just don't know what else to do. Even the techs can't figure this one out. I went out today and purchased a portable external hard drive. I'm going to backup my files, pic etc on there. Then I'm going to work with the Dell tech to do a full PC Restore. They tell me this will make it like new again, and should certainly take care of the problem.

It's just frustrating because I purchased this laptop in May of 05, and had them include a 2 year in home extended warranty. I had tons of stuff put on here so it would be good for 4-5 years before being totally obsolete. I've been dealing with this problem for over a year, and get absolutely nowhere with the techs. Although, the last two I have dealt with have gone above and beyond. A lot of good the in home warranty does me when they won't send anyone out. I won't waste my money on one of those again.

This laptop has the Intel Pentium M Processor Centrino, Windows XP Professional, 15.4" screen, 512MB Ram, Integrated Intel Media, Accelerator 9000 Graphics, Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem, 8X DVD+/-RW Drive, Intel PRO/Wireless 2915, Internal Wireless, External Floppy Drive, 80GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive, Image Restore, Dell Media Experience. And lots of other crap that doesn't really matter.

The problem with the blue screen warning me it had to shut down the computer to protect it from damage has stopped coming up. Maybe downloading the modem driver actually fixed that problem. Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. I'll try some of the suggestions before taking the big restore step.

Wish me luck...I sure think I'm gonna need it.


#6 usasma


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Posted 29 December 2006 - 11:03 PM

It's not the startups that are killing (I presume), but rather the running services are likely to be the culprit here. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to get to the Task Manager and click on the Processes tab. How many running processes are listed?

Also, click on the Performance tab and see how much of your CPU is being used (from the graph) and how much physical memory is being used and is free.

Also, do you have Service Pack 2 installed?

Also, the error will cite the area that the error occurred in, which is not necessarily what caused the error. Since you've updated your modem drivers, I'd start looking at the programs that access the web through your modem (not just Internet Explorer - but any internet "able" programs)

It's important to know which kernel error message that you're receiving - it will help to narrow down the possibilities for where the error is occurring.

Finally, I'd try uninstalling your video drivers (not the adaptor), then install the latest version available from the manufacturer's website.

It won't hurt to do another scan to double check your protection. I suggest this free, online scan: http://safety.live.com/

Edited by usasma, 29 December 2006 - 11:04 PM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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