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General discussion

Slightly different hang up

by willtheconk / July 11, 2005 1:14 AM PDT

switching on the computer I get the screen which shows the Main Processor is Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz (133x20.0) the rest of the screen is blank with press F1 or DEL to enter setup right at the bottom. In other words it does not show the IDE drives etc. This screen stays for a long time ( approx 2mins 10 secs) and then I get the found iDE drives followed by the windows XP home which is my OS. and it goes through this, and then the screen goes blank once again but after a further 1min 20 secs it comes up with the Users details which on my computer is 4 people. On clicking on my user detail I get the MS music and up comes the desktop with icons. Over all this has taken 4.5 mins.
Has anyone any ideas as to what has happened to cause this? I am a 72 year old brit, so not the quickest on the planet,but any help will be more than appreciated.
Pressing F1 or DEL on the opening screen do NOTHING.
Also the computer takes a long time to close down.
Your help and/or advice will be appreciated, particularly if it is simple ( Like me)

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It sounds like...
by Adi / July 11, 2005 7:43 AM PDT

It could be hard disk trouble. Make sure you back up all important data in case your hard disk fails.

It's really only a guess, but since it takes so long for your computer to detect the IDE hard disks and then so long for the computer to load, that would suggest that the hard disk is slowly failing, and performance will gradually deteriorate until the hard disk fails completely. I suggest getting the data off before that happens Happy

As for the F1 screen, just press F1 repeatedly until the BIOS screen appears. If you can't open BIOS, that could be a bigger problem.

Hope this helps,
Adi

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Slightly different hangup
by willtheconk / July 11, 2005 7:54 AM PDT
In reply to: It sounds like...

Thanks Adi,

If I get into the BIOS will that help me, and if so how? What do I then do? I have an extra hard disc (through USB ) would you suggest putting everything ( and I do mean everything ) over onto it? Any particular program best for Backup please. I really do appreciate your taking the time to write. Many thanks

Bill (Willthe conk)

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Well
by Adi / July 11, 2005 9:11 AM PDT

The only thing you could really do in BIOS is to disable auto-detection of the IDE hard disk and manually configure it, which may save some bootup time, but I wouldn't really recommend doing it, especially if you're not confident about using the BIOS (I don't know how confident you are about using computers, but since you asked to keep things simple, I will, so I advise to stay away from BIOS :))

The auto-detection should work fine, but if your hard disk is starting to fail, it is the hard disks fault, not BIOS, so I don't think you will gain much.

If you have space, I would advise you copy everything, or at least everything important that you definately need to keep, to your USB drive or DVDs etc. You should, as good computing practice, do regular backups.

Then, AFTER you've made the backup, you could try running CHKDSK to see if it finds any problems on your hard disk. I advise doing this after the backup as it is fairly intensive, and if your hard disk is on the way out, it may prove the final straw.

You can run CHKDSK by typing CHKDSK at a command prompt, or by going to My Computer, right clicking on the hard disk in question, then clicking on "Properties", then going to the "Tools" tab, and then under "Error-checking" click "Check now..." You will most likely have to reboot to run the error check, but Windows will tell you.

See what the CHKDSK utility tells you. If you don't catch the results, you can see the log in Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Event Viewer, then in Applications with the source as "Autochk". If there is any evidence of bad sectors, then you should start getting worried. This is bad news for a hard disk.

You could also try www.pcpitstop.com which runs performance checks on your hardware, and may give more information on your hard disks performance.

However, before you do anything, I advise you first make a backup of important data. I've been stung by this before, so that's why I keep re-emphasising the point Happy


Good luck, and I hope this babble helps in some way Happy

Adi

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hang up
by willtheconk / July 13, 2005 2:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Well

Thanks Adi,
I'm going to back everytjing up and then start from there.My sincere thanks .I'm staying away from bios (as far as I can). My son says father's should not have computers, which I think is a little hard,but I do see why he would say that !!

Many thanks

Wiltheconk

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This may help.
by seafox13 / July 11, 2005 8:07 AM PDT

I am your age, and will begin with a possible fix, though elementary.
Perhaps a defrag would help. High levels of fragmentation are known to cause such problems and, if not looked into, lead to very sluggish system performance. I recommend that you boot into safe mode, and run defrag from there. I am thinking that with four users, such may be the case.

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Slightly different hang up
by willtheconk / July 11, 2005 8:25 AM PDT
In reply to: This may help.

Thanks for reply Seafox. I don't think it will be defrag as I run Diskeeper quite regularly. However I will do it again tonight. There may be 4 user, but really it is only me who uses the computer. My eldest son does sometimes but not often.My wife NEVER does and my youngest son ( works for HP) lives so far away its only high days and holidays that he uses it. (When he comes its with laptop etc and he uses that)

Many thanks though, will give it a try.

Willtheconk

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very slow startup SOLVED AT LAST
by willtheconk / August 14, 2005 9:25 PM PDT

I'm glad to say at last the slow start up has been solved.My youngest son ( who works for HP) came down this weekend, and after trying to help me over the phone was able to get hands on the computer. After a great deal of trial and error ETC, it appears that the slow take up was caused by the USB output which was an "on board" one on my motherboard, had gone completely. The fitting of a PCI board with USB outlets has solved it.
Many thanks for all who tried to help. I only write now so that another string to our bow is added if someone should have this problem in the future.
Thanks everyone.

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