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Very Slow boot up

by peterwill / July 31, 2009 6:51 PM PDT

I have a main WIN XP Home Edition based computer with an Intel 3118 chip, 2GB RAM,190GB Hard drive with 126GB free, additional drive via USB with 470 GB and 399GB free and networked with a laptop and Dell computer all able to read each other. On the main computer I have 60+ icons on the desktop and have Zone Alarm Security Suite and Forcefield running and updated. I have cleaned all computers with Crap Cleaner and Esaycleaner have defragged and deleted all unwanted files but still it takes some 9-10 minutes to boot from hot or cold and the close down of programs also takes between 1-2 minutes. All the sites I have looked at recommend REGCURE which I believe does the same as Easycleaner/Crap Cleaaner. This is driving me mad can you suggest any remedy to the slow speeds? Many thanks, Peter

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NOT - RegCure.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 31, 2009 8:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Very Slow boot up

Please, no more "Registry Cleaners" or "Registry Optimizers". They can do untold damage.

You mention Crap Cleaner and Easycleaner. If by Crap Cleaner you mean CCleaner from, then that is OK as long as you be wary of it's registry checking option. I don't know Easycleaner. Never heard of it, but in Windows, nothing is just "easy". There is no 'one-button-push = fixed' solution.

So, lets get back to basics.

1] 60 icons on your Desktop. I hope these are just shortcut icons to applications installed elsewhere on the hard drive, and not actual applications installed on the Desktop. Installing software onto the Desktop is never recommended.

Do you need 60 icons on your Desktop? All of that has to be loaded on startup, and while they wouldn't take long, the object of this is to reduce load up times.

2] How fast does your system load up if it is disconnected from all the networks and with the external USB drive disconnected?

3] How many Startup files do you have, and do you want them all to load on startup? I remove such things as Real Player, Quicktime, Instant Messengers, Browsers, etc, anything that I can just simply call up when I need it.

A check of the System Configuration Editor will help there. Goto Start > Run, type in msconfig and click OK. In the editor window, click the Startup tab and investigate the list. Anything that is not needed for security, or by the system could be de-selected. Google will help you identify those you are not sure of.

4] Once that is done and the system rebooted, look at the Task Manager, (right click the Taskbar, select Task Manager). When it opens, ensure the Processes tab is displayed. The number of processes XP needs is different for each computer, but in general terms, any number from 25 to 40 is reasonable. Any more and you need to investigate what they are. The link below will help identify most of them;

5] Check whether all the services that the system loads on startup are required. Some may not be. The Services Console can be opened by Start > run, type in services.msc and click OK. TheElderGeek page on Services is an excellent guide.

6] Despite having ZA Internet Security and it's Forcefield, I would also seek second opinions on spyware. I recommend the free version of Malwarebyte's Antimalware. Not as a permanent scanner, but as a double check scan, once or twice a week.

I hope that helps.


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Very Slow boot up
by peterwill / August 1, 2009 1:54 AM PDT
In reply to: NOT - RegCure.

Hi Mark and many thanks for your informative reply. It will take me a couple of days to go through your checklist but I will get back as soon as I can. Many thanks again

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Very slow boot up.
by peterwill / August 2, 2009 1:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Very Slow boot up

Have already started on your suggestions and have reduced DESKTOP ICONS FROM 65 TO 39. All of them are to start up programs and files that are located elsewhere on the drive. There is no software loaded to the Desktop.

Yes the system loads up marginally faster ithout the USB drive and network disconnected but only by about i1 minute.

Startup files have already been reduced via msconfig.

Taskmanager shows 52 processes and I have to check all these. However there are several duplicates. What should I do with these:

iexplore.exe 52,080k Owner
iexplore.exe 6,032k Owner
rundll.exe 5788k Owner
rundll.exe 4568k Owner
svchost 4812k System
svchost 32,908k System
svchost 4732k System
svchost 6504k System
svchost 6400k System

Still to check services and Malwarebyte

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Those two iexplore.exe's look strange.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 2, 2009 4:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up.

I would normally only expect one. iexplore.exe is Internet Explorer, and as I understand it, you may get more than one iexplore.exe displayed in the Task Manager if you have more than one Internet Explorer window open at the same time.

Was that the case when you listed the Task Manager entries? If you only had one IE window open then we may have to look further. Some viruses can disguise themselves as valid files, so as soon as you can install, update, and run Malwarebyte's Antimalware the better. However, there may be a genuine reason for the two entries, so I don't want to alarm you unnecessarily.

Can you tell me more about this XP Home computer? How old is it, and is it a Dual-Core processor? I have a quad-core Vista system, and I get duplicate entries in the Task Manager which is related to the multi cores.

The svchost.exe multiple entries can be normal. Svchost.exe is a process that is used by multiple services, and so will appear more than once in the list. However, (and as always it seems), malware will try and hide itself by naming itself with similar names, or with the same name, but located in a different folder.

There should only be one svchost.exe stored on the computer, in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. You can check this by doing a search of the whole disk, (Start > Search), for svchost.exe. You should only find one in the location above. If you find more than one, then that needs careful checking.

The spelling of svchost.exe is important. As malware may try and trick us with similar names, eg, scvhost.exe. If anything in the list is spelt differently to svchost.exe, then that could be malware.

The two rundll.exe's is a little worrying. As I understand it, rundll.exe does not appear in Windows XP, but does in earlier versions, eg Win 95/98/ME.

XP has a rundll32.exe, so please can you confirm that what you have is rundll.exe or is it rundll32.exe?

Whichever they are, can you do a search of your files for either rundll.exe or rundll32.exe. There should only be one instance, in C:\Windows\System32.


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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 2, 2009 6:30 AM PDT

OK Mark thanks again I now have more than enough to be going on with. Will get back to you asap.

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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 2, 2009 6:25 PM PDT

It might help for you to see msconfig start files, these are:


Task Manager files are:

mDNSResponder . exe
ScanningProcess .exe
ScanningProcess . exe

These were without any prgrams being openend.
If I start IExplore I immediately get two iexplore
files one of 21,884k and one of 66,680k

The computer is not dual core and is about 3 years old.

About 18 months ago I had to re-install windows due to a vrus problem. Might this have something to do with the current situation.

Hope these help

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Lexmark Slows startup considerable
by jughead131 / August 7, 2009 1:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up

I have found that the printer drivers for Lexmark printers slow startup considerably. The processes are typically named lx***coms.exe or lx**serv.exe. Mine personally adds at least 4 minutes to the whole startup process. What basically happens is that my desktop opens but most things are unusable for a long period of time. (I usually can complete a game of Spider Solitaire waiting for things to work) Internet, My Computer, and most other programs wont run for a long time, even if I double-click my heart out. The Lexmark drivers (as I understand them) need to establish a link not only to the printer but also to their ink monitoring and replacement website. It basically hijacks alot of your computer until that link has been established.

What I have done is drastic. I uninstalled all the printer software and drivers. When I need to print, I reinstall them then promply wipe them again. I will not buy another Lexmark due to this very reason, even though the printer is actually very capable.

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Hmm. That might be a good catch.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 7, 2009 8:14 PM PDT

I had seen similar about Lexmark printers before.


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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 7, 2009 10:05 PM PDT

Mark and Bob,

Many thanks for all the help and suggestions. I have tried all the ideas and even uninstalled the Lexmark printer but I am drawn to the inevitable conclusion that the problem lies with a tired hard drive! I give below the results from the Roadkill speed test and would be interested to have your views. One point I should make is that I tend to leave all computers on overnight primarily to do tasks associated with my hobby and also of course to do housekeeping. Do you think this may have contributed to the failing drive?

Best wishes,

Results From Computers With Same CPU

Your Results Lowest Average Fastest
Read Speed 2.91 MB/sec 2.90 MB/sec 57.46 MB/sec 131.11 MB/sec
Cache Speed 3.63 MB/sec 3.63 MB/sec 154.12 MB/sec 1.56 GB/sec
Access Time 20.12 ms 0.06 ms 14.57 ms 30.94 ms
Score 25.39 25.39 12846.74 590699.39

Results From Same Model Drives

Your Results Lowest Average Fastest
Read Speed 2.91 MB/sec 317.16 KB/sec 97.25 MB/sec 4.67 GB/sec
Cache Speed 3.63 MB/sec 19.19 KB/sec 227.03 MB/sec 6.52 GB/sec
Access Time 20.12 ms 0.01 ms 16.06 ms 2992.93 ms
Score 25.39 25.39 165607.48 104942541.24

Results From Similar Sized Drives

Your Results Lowest Average Fastest
Read Speed 2.91 MB/sec 642.35 KB/sec 63.05 MB/sec 551.78 MB/sec
Cache Speed 3.63 MB/sec 1.15 MB/sec 185.90 MB/sec 1.43 GB/sec
Access Time 20.12 ms 4.82 ms 14.89 ms 59.12 ms
Score 25.39 25.39 649.54 5461.78

Overall Standings

Your Results Lowest Average Fastest
Read Speed 2.91 MB/sec 317.16 KB/sec 100.69 MB/sec 4.67 GB/sec
Cache Speed 3.63 MB/sec 19.19 KB/sec 225.48 MB/sec 6.97 GB/sec
Access Time 20.12 ms 0.01 ms 16 ms 2992.93 ms
Score 25.39 25.39 155253.38 104942541.24

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Access Time 20.12 ms 0.01 ms 16.06 ms 2992.93 ms
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 7, 2009 10:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up

"Access Time 20.12 ms 0.01 ms 16.06 ms 2992.93 ms "

No hard drive made today has a 3 second seek time. You've found a problem.

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Noticed something else
by golfr.2 / August 7, 2009 10:40 PM PDT

I noticed you had Registry Booster running. I also tried that app and noticed a big slowdown in boot-up. When I un-installed it, my boot up time shortened considerably.

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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 7, 2009 10:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Noticed something else

Registry Booster since uninstalled - thanks

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Lexmark causes slow start up process confirmed
by gmannhtown / February 14, 2012 9:05 AM PST

I also experience the same extremely slow start up process with the Lexmark driver and software installed. It takes over 5 minutes to get my xp system to fully boot because of this situation and I can also use none of the desktop icons. I already know to turn my computer on 10 minutes before I intend to use anything. I really like the Lexmark printer, and have 2 cartridges to burn, but once done, will get rid of it.

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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 2, 2009 6:28 PM PDT

Have started to look at the older geek site and have downloaded the Registry Booster. I haven't run it yet. Should I ?

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What I see, immediately, from those lists
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 2, 2009 8:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up

Is GoogleDesktop.

Personally I wouldn't, and I have to be honest, I don't know why users need such an intrusive application installed. I have never used it, so I can't condemn out of hand, but I don't understand why it should be installed.

Google is leaning towards a computer where the Desktop is the whole experience. Instead of opening application "windows" like browsers, word processors, image editing, etc, the Desktop becomes the application. For instance, the Desktop becomes the browser, or the Search bar on the Desktop will search everywhere for whatever we want, (our computer files and/or the internet). Applications are not installed on the computer, but are "accessed" from the Cloud, (internet servers).

But while I can see that this is may be the obvious way forward, we are not there yet, and our machines are still setup to call up individual components as and when needed, and display them, one at a time, on the Desktop.

These are some of the features of GoogleDesktop;

1] File indexing

After initially installing Google Desktop, the software completes an indexing of all the files in the computer. And after the initial indexing is completed, the software continues to index files as needed. Users can start searching for files immediately after installing the program. After performing searches, results can also be returned in an Internet browser on the Google Desktop Home Page much like the results for Google Web searches.

But Windows also does File Indexing, and it does this silently in the background, then once the catalog is complete, it doesn't interfere with performance. We often find that Windows file indexing is a performance hog, at least while it sets up its catalog which can take many days and weeks, and so many users turn this off. I suspect GoogleDesktop is always using resources.

2] Sidebar

A prominent feature of Google Desktop is the Sidebar, which holds several common Gadgets and resides off to one side of the desktop. The Sidebar is available with the Microsoft Windows version of Google Desktop only.

I suspect that this sidebar takes time to load up at each startup.

There's more here;

The three processes, GoogleDesktop.exe, GoogleDesktopCrawl.exe, and GoogleDesktopIndex.exe, just tells me how much GoogleDesktop uses system resources.

ScanningProcess.exe -

ISWMGR.exe is also a ZoneAlarm process.

I just wonder if the amount of time your system takes to load up is related to this GoogleDesktop.

I was not aware that the ElderGeek recommended Registry Booster. I would not have recommended it, but if you want to see what it offers, and are very careful what you do, then that is up to you. You say you haven't run it yet, but it is showing up in your Task Manager list. I said before, however, there is never any easy, one-button solution to these problems.


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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 3, 2009 7:22 AM PDT

Thanks Mark - I have removed all Googledesktop items. Have also worked my way through your other points but have some queries re the Processes List:
1. ati2evxx.exe are I tink non essential can I remove these?

2.explorer.exe is listed although it has not been started?

3. Why are there two ISWMGR.exe entries? Can one be deleted?

4.mantispm.exe is shown but not opened - why is it shown?

5.rundll32.exe is shown in My documents, C:\windows\servicepackfile\i386 as well as c:\windows\system32 and is shown twice in the processes list. Should I delete any of these entries?

6.ScanningProcess.exe is also shown twice should I delete one?

Would appreciate your further help.
Best wishes,

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Those other items.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 3, 2009 8:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up

Hi Peter.

I hope removing the GoogleDesktop has improved performance for the system. I would be embarrassed if it made no difference whatsoever.

1] ati2evxx.exe is a process related to your ATI display adapter, (video/graphics card). If your video card is not an ATI, (eg if it is a Nvidia card), then we would look again, but if it is, then it does no harm and I would not try and disable it.

If you want a full inventory of the hardware and software installed on your system, Belarc Advisor is a good utility, from

2] explorer.exe is not Internet Explorer. It is "Explorer", your Desktop and the interface you see when you use the system. I wonder if that "not started" refers to iexplore.exe, the Internet Explorer?

3] ISWMGR.exe and ScanningProcesses are both ZoneAlarm processes. I can't say why there has to be two instances of both, but they seem to be mentioned often at the Zonelabs forums. I'm not sure there is much that can be done about those.

4] mantispm.exe seems to be another ZoneAlarm product, used for filtering junk email, (spam). It can be turned off by opening ZoneAlarm's Control Panel, (double click the ZA icon in the system tray, near the clock). There's more about it here;

But if it is working OK for you, then it may be better to leave t be.

5] rundll32.exe

I'm not sure what you mean by "is shown in My Documents". Are you saying you have a file called rundll32.exe in your My Documents folder?

The other entries, in the i386 and the System32 folders are normal. I am still not sure why it shows up twice in your processes list and we may have to look into that a little further.


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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 5, 2009 12:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Those other items.

Mark thanks again for your help and advice but I am still puzzled. I have followed all the points you have raised as best possible but the onr that won't go away is rundll32.exe.

I had got down to the one file in c:\windows\system32 and 14 similar files in Prefetch all

I then started check boot up and shut down times with and without External drive and network, then checked processes and lo and behold I now have two copies of rundll32.exe and the prefetch file also has an additional file making 15 inall!

Boot up and shut down times are:

At the start of the excercise with network and USB external drive connected:(times in minutes and seconds)
Hot reboot 10.00 minutes
Shutdown 1.03 minutes
Cold start 8.50 minutes

End of excercise with network and USB external drive connected:
Hot reboot 9.34 minutes
Shutdown 1.09 minutes
Cold start 8.31 minutes

End of excercise without network and USB extrenal drive:
Hot reboot 7.28 minutes
Shutdown 2 minutes
Cold start 6.45 minutes

Where do we go now reinstall windows?
Best wishes,

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 5, 2009 5:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up

Hi Peter.

I've gone back to your post #7 and I missed the two rundll32 entries you listed,

Do you have a Soundblaster MP3 external (USB) sound card? I don't know what that is, but the first in the list, RunDLL32sbusbdll is shown in Google as belonging to this audio device.

Similarly, RunDll32cmicnfg seems to refer to "System tray control panel for C-Media based soundcards - often included on popular motherboards with in-built audio. Available via Start -> Settings -> Control Panel"

I remember you saying you had a USB hard drive connected. Do you, or did you, have any USB MP3 player connected? If so, my betting is that these rundll entries are related to them.

If you do or did, check in the Control Panel to see if there is an applet for C-Media sound cards, or similar, and check to see if you can disable anything from loading at startup. If you cannot find anything, then return to MSCONFIG and disable those two entries.

I forgot to mention, sorry. Rundll32.exe will also appear in Prefetch, and possibly the i386 folder on your hard disk. They are normal. The Prefetch folder is a type of shortcut folder for the OS to call up often used application executable files, or other files. The i386 folder is a backup folder containing all the compressed files the OS might need if any files become corrupted.

My main worry with the rundll32.exe was the one you said was in My Documents. I would not have expected that.

Lets see if those rundll32's are connected to audio components as above, and if so, whether you can now lose those rundll32.exe files in the Task Manager Processes list.

I just wonder if they are the cause of your slow bootup and shutdown times. Being USB device files, they may be searching for USB connected devices, and not finding any, recycle through the checks a set number of times until they finally cease checking.

If I am missing the point with these RunDLL32sbusbdll and RunDll32cmicnfg entries, then we will consider a HiJackThis log. I would not be thinking of a Windows re-install at this stage.


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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 5, 2009 5:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Rundll32.exe

Hi Mark,
You may have something here! I had a Soundblaster external Card but this was not satisfactory so I went back to the standard C Media device. Although I disconnected the Soundblaster Device the Creative Software is still in the Program Files but I cannot remove it via Control Panel or CCleaner as the program dosen't appear in the lists. So I could just delete it - what is your advice? Also I unchecked the RunDLL32sbusbdll in msconfig, rebooted and the file had disappeared.
I have also searched the C:\ drive for "soundblaster" and found the following entries:


Re CMedia there is an applet in the control panel which allows settings for different combinations of speakers, sound mixing etc. As I am now using CMedia presumably I should not delete RunDLL32cmicnfg for the processes list?

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We're getting into the realms of,
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 5, 2009 9:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up

I don't know, or am unsure.

That Soundblaster external card is/was a device, so it should be listed in the Device Manager, (Control Panel > System > Hardware tab, then Device Manager).

If it is not listed there as a separate device, expand and look under the "Sound, video and game controllers". If found, right click the entry and select Disable, then again and Uninstall. If the system does not ask you to reboot, then do a manual reboot/restart.

The Soundblaster entries you listed on the C drive don't matter, and they can be left alone.

I am not at all sure about the CMedia device. If it is part of your internal hardware devices then I agree you should not disable either the device in the Device Manager, nor the RunDLL32cmicnfg entry in MSCONFIG.

But then again, may be you 'should' disable that MSCONFIG entry? I think perhaps you need to do some more research for that RunDLL32cmicnfg in Google or your preferred search engine, and see what others say. Maybe if you disable that MSCONFIG entry your startup times will improve, and the device will just start itself whenever required.

Just to explain that. The MSCONFIG Startup tab is a startup list. It loads application files, processes, etc, into memory for faster access as and when needed. But if those applications etc are not loaded at startup, that does not make them available later on. They are just called up as and when needed. For example, a notorious Startup application is Real Player. Anyone who installs Real Player will also install a bunch of other Real related components, and they all want to be loaded at startup. De-selecting any "Load at startup" options during the install process makes no difference. They all get loaded at startup. So, we de-select in msconfig and that stops them. But if we need Real Player, we just open the application and it is there.

Did removing that RunDLL32sbusbdll improve startup times?


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more than one svchost.exe
by smbolt / October 28, 2009 12:40 AM PDT

When I searched for svchost.exe I found the following

svchost C:I386
svchost.exe-2D5fbd18 C:/windoes/prefetch
svchost C:/windows/system32
svchost C:/windows/servicepackfiles/i386
svchost C:/windows/softwaredistribution/download/cf8ec753e88561d2ddb53e183dc05c3e
smsvchost C:/windows/ communication foundation
smsvchost.exe.conf C:/windows/ communication foundation

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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 6, 2009 10:22 PM PDT
In reply to: NOT - RegCure.

Hi Mark hope this goes through cos I've started the thread again!
The Soundbaster card is not mentioned in Device Manager but I will leave the software in place for now.

The Cmedia device is the standard card for this machine and as far as I know is working fine.

I have in fact disabled both rundll32cmicnfg and rundll32sbusdll from MSConfig without any apparent change to the machine.

Start up times are still around 10mins.

Where else can I look?
Best wishes,

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A new place to look. But read this first.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 6, 2009 11:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Very slow boot up
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slow start-up after formatting
by vivienne.benton / August 8, 2009 12:26 AM PDT
In reply to: NOT - RegCure.

Personally I have found that Windows formatting is ineffective when You have had a blue screen. My personal opinion is a virus ... etc, that has perhaps made a small partition on the hard drive, and windows formatting doesn't take care of everything. I use a disk wipe first to insure that nothing will be left on my hard drive. Then reformat using Your XP disk. This works for me, being very security minded I have never had a problem unless I hadn't wiped the drive first. I repair pc's that have virus's, malware, spyware, trojans and other kinds of pests.... Happy

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Very Slow Boot Up
by atjsimpson2 / August 8, 2009 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Very Slow boot up

The problem could be many issues or a few.

Have you tried limiting what you put on your startup menu to basically security. That's probably the easy fix.

Or it could possibly be that your Processor is older and slower. You might want to upgrade your processor if it a real problem. But you would need to back up your files first on a separate disk or memory stick.

Crap/Cleaner CCcleaner and Easycleaner are the same as REGCURE. CCcleaner doesn't cost though whereas REGCURE you have to pay for the subscription. Still be wary of the Registry feature if you choose to use it. But its good to use.

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Look up a few post to see a 3 SECOND SEEK TIME.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 8, 2009 1:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Very Slow Boot Up

A hard disk with nearly 3 seconds on a seek is likely to be the reason here.

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very slow xp bootup
by dileep_ktm / August 8, 2009 12:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Very Slow boot up

run task manager, watch cpu usage, available free memory and processes.
if every thing is ok, look for conflicts in device manager.

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slow startup
by dileep_ktm / August 8, 2009 12:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Very Slow boot up

if no problums found there, check for bios updates. if any patches for your BIOS available in the site, download and install it.

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Very slow boot up
by peterwill / August 8, 2009 4:56 PM PDT
In reply to: slow startup

First of all thanks to all who replied to this thread. The last two posts re bios and device manager have all been done and still the problem persists. I am drawn to the conclusion that it must be a hard disk failure and will pursue that route either with replacement disk or a new computer. Either way I will report back. I will therefore consider this thread closed for now but thanks again to all respondees.

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