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Programs take a very long time to open

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Old 05-18-2009, 06:52 AM   #1
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OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Service pack 2)



Hi,

I'm having a problem. A very frustrating one. Almost all of my programs take an incredibly long time to open. Startups are very slow too.

It all started less than a week ago. Pretty suddenly I've just noticed programs take simply too long to open, although I can do everything else along with it, without anything being interrupted. Metaphorically, it's like I've lit a fuse to open one program and then returned to my desk to continue with the rest of the work. The delay can sometimes be larger than 5 minutes. And, when opening programs, my hard disk almost always buzzes, but there's no unusual sounds like scratching; it sounds like there's a scan in progress or something*. Here's what I have done:

- Updated NOD32 and ran a scan, found nothing.
- Ad-Aware ran a scan too, found nothing
- Spybot Search & Destroy found some minor threats - "Microsoft.Windows.App.FirewallBypass" was the most 'serious' one of them
- Scanned my registry with Registry Mechanic and TuneUp Registry Cleaner
- Ran disk cleanup and CCleaner
- Defragmented (there's something quite interesting: Windows Defragmenter continuously recommends defragmentation after running the analysis, even when the defragmentation had been completed.)
- Ran a disk check of the C: drive and everything seemed alright (didn't touch D: though)
- Adjusted startup programs


PC specs:

Windows XP, Service Pack 2
Intel Pentium D 3.0 GHz
2 GB of RAM


C:
Total size: 10,3 GB
Free space: 1,55 GB

D:
Total size: 138 GB
Free space: 22,2 GB


Do you know what could be causing this? Because it is utterly unbearable.


*The hard drive makes a two-tone buzz that alternates, with the hard drive indicator light constantly on.

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Old 05-18-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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Sounds like a failing hard drive. Check the Event Viewer (Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Event Viewer) and see what errors Windows is logging.

If you know the brand of your HDD's, you can download the diagnostic tools from the manufacturers website for testing the drives.

You should also free up some space on your C: drive. By default, Windows is likely trying to use more space than that for your swap file (page file).

**EDIT: during bootup ensure all of your RAM is being recognized.

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Old 05-20-2009, 06:21 AM   #3
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Now it seems faster... But anyway, I've installed those diagnostic tools for my hard drive and all tests went fine.

Regarding that RAM usage, how can I exactly ensure so?
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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Typically during bootup, the first screen you see will be the hardware being detected (cpu, RAM, drives, etc.). You can view the amount of RAM detected by the BIOS there.

If you don't see that screen, you can check in Windows as well. Simply goto Control Panel / System and on the General tab will be the cpu and RAM information.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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your hard drive is becoming over full

do some disk cleanup on it you need to have 15% free space on it

if you overfill it you stand the chance of losing everything on it when you lose access to it

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