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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Ever since I built my computer it has this annoying delay on startup. When I push the power button I see the normal Screen to let me into bios and then a black screen for about 60 sec. After that Xp boots quite fast. during the delay there is no noticable hard drive activity. I tried modifying msconfig/startup, my hard drive is first to boot in bios, I've optimzed with Bootvis.exe, and so on.
If anyone can help that would be great.
 

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Greetings Pistonhead76, and Welcome to TSF!

I noticed in your post that you mentioned that you have your Hard Drive as the first boot in BIOS.

The proper order of booting in BIOS should be: 1st: Floppy, 2nd: IDE/HDD, 3rd: CD-ROM. If you do not have a floppy disc; then the Boot order should be: 1st: CD-ROM, 2nd: IDE/HDD, 3rd: other.

Try this combination as see if there is any improvement. Post back with the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply. I arranged the drives as you said. Now immediatly as the black screen comes up it tries to boot from the floppy then the looong delay and again tries to boot from the floppy, next the hdd and windows starts to boot. Any more suggestions? Again thanks for the quick reply.
 

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Pistonhead76,

Can you please tell us how long ago you built your computer?
When you built it, did you use 'new' components or a mixture of "aged" and "new"?

It would also help if you detailed your system specs using the guidelines in my signature, so that we can further evaluate this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
New Sig

My signature/system specs as requsted.:grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Signature again

:grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh yeah, This system is only about a year old and has done tis since day 1.
 

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Hi there Pistonhead76...

Couple of things to try....

Go into BIOS and find the section to load default settings, then save the settings then reboot.

If there is no difference with boot speeds...try loading Optimized Settings in BIOS and try again.

If still no difference, the only thing I can suggest is checking for IDE drivers/MoBo drivers and any other hardware drivers which may need installing/updating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have loaded default settings in bios and no change. There no "optimized settings" in my bios to select. Is this uncommon? I have been trying to update my bios but the site is always busy. As for the IDE driver its the latest one.
 

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The proper order of booting in BIOS should be: 1st: Floppy, 2nd: IDE/HDD, 3rd: CD-ROM. If you do not have a floppy disc; then the Boot order should be: 1st: CD-ROM, 2nd: IDE/HDD, 3rd: other.
This is completely nonsensical. Now the user complaining of a slow startup has to wait for two additonal devices to time out at boot before beginning the actual boot process.

There is no purpose served in adjusting the boot order away from the actual boot device. It is easily customized when a different boot order is required, say to use a CD or floppy as a boot media.
 

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Bill_Castner said:
There is no purpose served in adjusting the boot order away from the actual boot device.
I fully agree. The first device is the booting sequence has to be the actual boot device.

Pistonhead76 said:
I've optimized with Bootvis.exe
I'm quoting from Microsoft's article on Fast Boot / Fast Resume Design:

Bootvis.exe is a performance tracing and visualization tool that Microsoft designed to help PC system designers and software developers identify performance issues for boot/resume timing while developing new PC products or supporting software.

Please note that Bootvis.exe is not a tool that will improve boot/resume performance for end users. Contrary to some published reports, Bootvis.exe cannot reduce or alter a system's boot or resume performance. The boot optimization routines invoked by Bootvis.exe are built into Windows XP. These routines run automatically at pre-determined times as part of the normal operation of the operating system.

As a matter of fact, I've seen users with messed-up Registries running Bootvis and ending up having much worse boot times...

One question regarding a cause that I've seen led some users to experience a similar issue with the one you're having: Do you have more than one antivirus programs installed?

Please post back, and then we can perform a thorough startup troubleshooting to streamline everything the way it's supposed to be...:sayyes:
 

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To add to Zazula's comment about Bootvis:

You can invoke the optomizaton routine of Bootvis, at least the part that is native to XP. Paste the following in the Start, Run box. Note -- nothing exciting will seem to happen. The process will take on average fifteen minutes to complete. You are given no status messages.

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

Does it make a difference. I think it does.

.
 

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How to troubleshoot & optimize a slow startup

(PREREQUISITES: A malware-free computer that has undergone the five-step process and its HJT log has been deemed clean, with only one anti-virus program installed and with only one firewall running.)

1. Press Windows Key + R, type eventvwr.msc, press OK. Look for Error Events (esp. if they can be linked to your startup) and report what you found. Close the Event Viewer. (NOTE: If you have a substantial number of Error Events, then I strongly recommend you to follow through with us until they get resolved, before moving on.)

2. Press Windows Key + R, type devmgmt.msc, press OK. Select View menu > Show hidden devices. Look for anything that has a yellow question or exclamation mark and report what you found. Close the Device Manager. (NOTE: If you see any problematic Devices, then I strongly recommend you to follow through with us until these get resolved, before moving on.)

3. Remove any USB devices that are connected during the startup (flash drives, external drives, keyboard, mouse, cameras, printers, scanners, etc), also remove any discs that might be inside your optical drives, and record your boot time to see if it is any faster than previously.

4. Is this computer connected to a local area network? If yes, please give me all the details. Press Windows key + R, type ipconfig /all, press OK and copy the resulting message in your reply.

5. Perform a Clean Start (see how to do this here) and record again your boot time. After that, return your computer to its previous state in order to move on with the ensuing steps and reboot.

6. This time you'll have booted normally. As soon as you get in Windows, press ALT+CTRL+DEL to launch the Windows Task Manager. On the bottom left corner, see and record the number of Processes running.

7. Force a verbose startup. To do so, press Windows key + R, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK. Expand Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, and then click System. In the right pane, double-click Verbose vs normal status messages. Click Enabled, and then click OK. Close the Group Policy Object Editor and reboot. Now monitor carefully the messages posted on the screen and find any steps of the booting procedure that make you think they take unreasonably long. Be vigilant particularly to messages starting with "Waiting for...".

8. (Applicable if the computer is part of a local network) Press Windows Key + R, type gpedit.msc, press OK. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Logon. Check out the value of "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon". If it is not configured, it's the same as being disabled (unless the computer is a server - which I believe is not). If it is enabled, your computer will be waiting for the network to be fully initialized before continuing with the logon.

9. Press Windows Key + R, type explorer, press OK. Go to Tools menu > Folder Options > View tab > Advanced Settings, and uncheck the box "Automatically search for network folders and printers".

10. There is always a small possibility that there is a corrupted file in the C:\Windows\Prefetch folder that causes this issue (this has reportedly caused startup times of 10 minutes or more). To eliminate this, delete the contents of the C:\Windows\Prefetch folder and restart the computer. Beware, though: you'll have to be patient until the Prefetch folder and the layout.ini file get populated again, until you re-gain in full the optimization provided by the prefetch function.

11. If you are familiar with backing up, editing and restoring the Registry (if you're not, then post back for further instructions), then press Windows Key + R, type regedit, press OK. Find the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\MemoryManagement\PrefetchParameters, locate the EnablePrefetcher value, and modify its setting from 3 to 5 (decimal). Close the Registry Editor and reboot. (Don't expect miracles, but 10-15 seconds are a typical result of this tweak.)

12. Again in the Registry Editor, find the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction and verify that the Enable value has a setting of Y. If not, modify it, exit the editor and reboot.

13. (Applicable if the computer is part of a local network) You can save some startup time by setting the IP address manually. (If you share an Internet Connection, do not follow this step as is, and post back for further instructions.) From the Properties of your NIC, on the General tab, double-click TCP/IP and set the IP address manually. You have to be careful not to use an IP address already existing in your LAN. If you bump into any negative implications from this step, post back.

14. In case you do not need/use the Remote Assistance and the Remote Desktop Sharing in your computer, right-click My Computer, choose Properties, click the Remote Tab, and clear both check boxes to disable Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop.

15. If you are using Outlook Express 6, you might opt not to launch the Messenger at boot time. Open OE6, select Tools > Windows Messenger > Options, click the Preferences tab, clear the "Allow this program to run in the background" check box and click OK.

16. Press Windows Key + R, type devmgmt.msc, press OK. Go to the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers and double-click on all IDE Channels (Primary/Secondary) - one at a time, of course. Go to the Advanced Settings tab, select the devices that are not grayed-out, and change their type from Auto Detection to None. You'll only need to revisit this setting and change it back to Auto Detection if you intend to add a device on the IDE bus.


17. I assume that you have optimized (that is, you've eliminated anything not necessary) in the Startup Programs (via msconfig) and Services area (via services.msc). However, if you have any questions there for some further optimization, do not hesitate to ask. I also assume that the amount of loaded fonts in your computer is not anything beyond normal, and that you do not have any active devices that are not actually needed/used. Finally, I assume that you have defragmented your system hard disc and you normally keep doing this every 10-15 days. If any of these assumptions are not true, please rectify accordingly or ask for assistance.

18. A trivial optimization (2-4 seconds) in the startup time is achieved by selecting the /NOGUIBOOT switch for the boot.ini in the msconfig; but you won't been seeing any messages in case something goes wrong during the startup, so I doubt it's worth it.

19. Significant time optimizations are achieved through the BIOS settings, namely: Floppy seek (->No), Quick POST (->Yes), Boot sequence (->C or HardDisc0), IDE peripherals auto-detection (->No), Boot virus detection (->No), AGP/PCI video card (->as applicable). If any of the above do not make sense to you, please post back for further instructions.

20. A cluttered Registry will always lead to unacceptably long boot times (among other things), but I generally do not endorse Registry Cleaners, and I leave this step here as part of this mini-guide, only for reference and advanced users. If a typical user follows these recommendations on a self-help basis and has not alleviated his slow-startup issues until this step, then he/she can attempt an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP, which will rebuild the Registry. Here is a Windows XP Repair Installation tutorial. (See posts #2-4; be advised there is an extra step after figure 4 if your Windows XP reside on a SATA, RAID or SCSI controlled hard disk.)

21. The very last resort (apart from a clean installation, of course) is described in Microsoft's white paper Fast System Startup for PCs Running Windows XP, which again I cite here as an additional resource only. I believe the scope of an end-user resorting to Bootvis has been adequately covered in posts #11-12 above.
 
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