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XP SP2, Slow Start, Delayed Taskbar

This is a discussion on XP SP2, Slow Start, Delayed Taskbar within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a thread in the Linux section on this machine, but in case I can't get Linux working well,


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Old 07-12-2017, 03:39 AM   #1
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I have a thread in the Linux section on this machine, but in case I can't get Linux working well, I want to explore this problem also.

This is a Compaq 2596US that I used daily for quite a while. It was acting up and while trying to resolve issues, I found a better machine, so I simply shelved this one. It's been sitting unused for several years. In thought it was completely dead. At some point, I had tried to do some things that involved partial disassembly (something about cleaning the CPU fan as I recall) and when I put it back together, it wouldn't start at all. A couple of days ago, I got the idea of trying Linux on it and dug into it again, only to find the RAM not seated properly. Once done, it booted more or less normally into XP.

It has two sticks of RAM which I think are both 512MB which was probably all the machine would support. It worked well for years before problems started to appear.

The problems that were occurring before I shelved it and still are:

1. On boot, it will get to the desktop with the shortcut icons fairly quickly, then seems to get stuck. The taskbar does not appear. Mouse and KB are unresponsive, etc. It stays this way for several minutes ... probably 10 minutes or more. Eventually it will proceed, taskbar appears and everything works fine from that point. XP is fully functional, including networking.

I was never able to figure out this delay; even if it was hardware of software. It's almost as if some sort of scan is running, but I can't open anything like the Task Manager to find out. HDD activity light flickers during this delay, but not steadily.


2. Once running, it seems to run hot, fan running most of the time. This happens with either XP or Linux. This was one of the things I was trying to resolve years ago, thinking the CPU fan was clogged, or maybe an issue with heatsink grease.

I did get Speccy installed in the last day or so under XP and it shows 140F or better most of the time.


---------------

I know XP SP2 is old and unsupported, but I plan on using this machine in an outdoor yard equipment shop to view PDF service manuals, etc. It may never be on the web again once I get the problems resolved. This is not a place or task that would make me want to replace it or spend any money on it.

If I were sure the delay was a software issue that could be resolved by an upgrade or reinstall, I have XP Pro I could try to install. I believe there's a recovery partition also to try and reinstall XP Home. I may have the disks for it too. I don't want to go that route if there's little hope of solving the delayed startup since everything works once it does start.

It may even be a matter of uninstalling anything that might be doing a security scan, but I'm not sure how to find the culprit.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:48 AM   #2
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Hate to be the bearer of bad news but, a Compaq 2596US is never going to be 'fast'. It contains a s-l-o-w Celeron CPU, maxes out at 1GB of RAM (sweet spot for XP is 2GB) and, last but not least, it is running a dog-slow 4,200 RPM hard drive. In order to get it up to bearable speed would require replacing that HD with a SSD then installing a fresh copy of Windows on it.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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It runs fine once it runs. It's just the Taskbar delay issue.

I'm trying to clean up some programs I want to get rid of, but some refuse to go. AdAware and AVG for starters. Is there an uninstaller that will root them out?

I'm also finding now that the mouse and KB do work and that I can open some programs from the desktop icons even before the Taskbar decides to load. System utilities like Task Manager, Control Panel and 'My Computer > Properties' won't load though without a significant delay.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:09 AM   #4
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The worst of the delay is caused by that slow hard drive trying to catch up/keep up.

Try the free version of Revo Uninstaller to get rid of AdAware and AVG.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:32 AM   #5
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:51 AM   #6
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Revo seems to have taken care of those. Running Defrag now ... looks pretty messy. Will reboot, then maybe run ChkDsk.

Tried SFC but it wants an XP Pro SP2 disc for some reason even though the install is XP Home SP2. I have an XP Pro disc, but I don't think it's SP2. Guess I'll try it later ... maybe.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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Is there a reasonable (free) AV for XP? I don't plan on having it on the web, but I wouldn't mind having something, just in case. When I get done with this, it won't have anything as far as I know unless it has something built in. Is there a version of MSE for XP ?
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:20 PM   #8
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Most importantly, you must install XP SP3 Download Windows XP Service Pack 3 Final Build 5512 - FileHippo.com
MSE being a Microsoft product, is no longer supported for XP.
Here is a list of five of the best Free Anti-Virus products that still support XP Best 5 Antivirus for Windows XP, 7 | Free Download 2013 - Latest Technology Tips and Tricks
Do SFC /scannow, when it asks for the XP CD, put it in. If it keeps asking, press Enter. This means it is copying the files that are missing or corrupted, but will ask for a different CD if there are newer files installed on the HDD already, you can skip those files by pressing Enter, you may have to do this several times. Then It will only take the files it needs from the CD.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:27 PM   #9
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"Service Pack 3 cannot update a checked (debug) system with a free (retail) version of Service Pack 3, or vice versa."



????
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:44 PM   #10
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Think I got past that with a RegEdit of a CurrentType key.

It loaded now and is progressing.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:54 PM   #11
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I am extremely ticked off right now. It went through the whole process without any apparent errors. Finished and asked for a reboot.

Did that, loads the Compaq splash screen, runs a bunch of commands down the screen, loads the XP splash screen, then flashes a BSOD so quick, I can't read it. Loops endlessly until I pull the power plug.

I'm trying to get a picture or screegrab from a video, but I can't capture one clear enough to read.

I'm really effing hot right now.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:47 PM   #12
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I've tried three cameras and I just can't get a clean grab. The best I can make out is the last two sequences appear to contain B17C0F4 and 17B0F0
I wish I'd have left it at SP2. At least it worked well enough for what I needed. I can't even get to any kind of command prompt that I know of to try and roll this back. I don't know if putting the update on CD will allow a repair or not.

I'm so ticked off right now I can't see straight.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:47 PM   #13
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It will not boot into Last Known Good or Safe Mode. Same thing happens. I did manage to turn off auto-reboot on failure and I can now read the stop code:

Stop: 0x0000007E (0x8000003, 0x80AC0EDD, 0xF817C0F4, 0xF817BDF0)
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:07 PM   #14
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Also, I tried the Recovery Console, but it asks for an Admin PW. I bought the notebook new and I don't remember ever setting one. I never do, so if there's one in it, I have no idea what it is. I tried just hitting Enter to bypass it, but it goes to a prompt and does nothing else.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:34 PM   #15
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Boot into Setup (Bios) look for Hard Drive Mode or SATA. if it is set to AHCI, change it to IDE or Legacy, Save and Exit.
Boot off of the XP CD, In the Recovery Console, If there is no Admin Password, then leave it blank.
At the Prompt type Fixboot and press enter, try and boot normally.
If that fails, back in the Recovery Console, prompt type
Fixmbr press enter Agree to let Windows change it. Try to restart normally.
If this still fails then do an XP Repair Install
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:11 AM   #16
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Pulled the drive and connected via USB to the Gateway notebook. I can read the drive and see all of the SP3 files, so the drive is good. It's only a 40Gb drive, but Properties shows about half available, so there should be plenty of space.


Currently doing a backup with Acronis.

I found the original CD that came with the notebook that states XP Home, SP1, so I'll try the above suggestions from that instead of the XP Pro disk I have.

If I can't get anywhere with the FixBoot or FixMBR options, I may just try to replace it. The drive is close to 10 years old after all.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
Boot into Setup (Bios) look for Hard Drive Mode or SATA. if it is set to AHCI, change it to IDE or Legacy, Save and Exit.
Doesn't give me any options like that.

Quote:
At the Prompt type Fixboot and press enter, try and boot normally.
If that fails, back in the Recovery Console, prompt type
Fixmbr press enter Agree to let Windows change it. Try to restart normally.
No go.

Haven't tried the third option yet.

Will Scannow work the the Recovery console? I really don't get anything there but a C:\Windows prompt.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:30 PM   #18
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Scannow is a Windows 98 and older command, it is replaced in XP and later versions of Windows with the command chkdsk /R. Type that at the C:\Windows> prompt and press enter.
If you can't boot normally after that, then do an XP Repair Install.
Better yet, get a larger HDD and install Windows XP Pro from that CD.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:04 PM   #19
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I did a scan of the disk from the BIOS screen and it passed both the quick and the longer SMART tests. The disk appears to be fine. I really just want to roll back the SP3 attempt. I see the SP3Unistall file, but I don't know if there's anyway to use it if XP won't boot.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:14 PM   #20
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You are wasting time I would reinstall Windows using either disk and forget about Sp3, you don't need it for what you will be doing anyway what surprises me is you there are still drivers for this pc if you need them:
Compaq Presario 2596US Notebook PC Windows XP drivers | HP Notebook Drivers
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