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Windows 98 taking _really_ long time at boot.

Hey everyone....

This issue has me really stumped.  Here is the situation:

On one of my computers, I had a 98 install running on a PII 233 chip with an 440LX motherboard.  I finally became tired of the speed of the processor and the limitations of the motherboard chipset, so I went out and bought a new mainboard and cpu.   I purchased a Soyo VBA133+ board, a PPGA Celeron 400a chip and a Slotket adapter.

Everything installed fine and now the computer is up and running on a much faster system.

The problem here is, windows takes a LONG time to load at boot.   When I mean long, I am talking like.... 7 minutes.   It just sits there for 5 minutes, no HD activity, no network pings, no drives spinning up... nothing.  After 6 or 7 minutes of just sitting there, the HD starts thrashing about again and windows loads.  Then it runs like a perfect machine.

I have tried almost everything to fix this problem.  I have changed the AGP setting, the apature size... almost every option I can think of in the BIOS.  

I have deleted the windows folder and subsequent system files and then reinstalled w98.  

I have used DEFRAG and then Norton Speeddisk (a great program btw), both of them do not effect the loading speed of windows... just the general i/o.

I have run a scandisk and a SFC, those are cool.

I have run an MSCONFIG and disabled everything that does not need to be loaded (i.e. rundll32 of the power profile), made sure that double space and drive space isn't loading.   Cleaned out my registry.

I have checked my autoexec.bat and config.sys files for any errant driver loads or corrupt exe loads.

I have booted to dos and checked my mem /c /p for any rampant TSR's that might be hogging memory (even though 98 uses extended to load rather than conventinal).

The swap file has been changed from auto to manual then back to auto... all to no avail.

I have also scanned for viruses, nothing showed up.

The system specs are this:

Soyo VBA-133+ mobo running the VIA chipset.  The FSB is clocked at 66/100 (from 133) and the slotket adapter is set the same.   The FSB is running a 66 because the ram is PC66.
Intel Celeron 400a PPGA processor, not overclocked.
Creative Labs Ultra TNT 32mb AGP video card.
10/100 Kingston NIC
Diamond Monster 300 sound card
Internal 56k Modem
Adaptec SCCI controller card
USB Quickcam
USB Microsoft Digital Speakers
C: is a 3.2gb Seagate EIDE
D: is a 2.1gb Quantum EIDE
E: is a 40x CD-Rom Drive
F: is a 2gb Jaz drive (on the scsi)
ADSL modem connected to the 10/100

Help anyone? =)

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1 Solution
check in bootlog.txt (c:\) for any errors and post them
Have you stepped through the boot process? This will let you know what command is being executed that is taking so long...

You can do this be hitting the F8 key while you're booting... You may have to hit it several times but eventually you will get the Windows 98 Startup menu...

When this menu comes up, hit SHIFT-F8 to turn on "Step-by-step with confirmation". then select Normal boot.

The system will then show you everything thats going on and ask you to confirm it...

Hope this helps!

BloodAuthor Commented:
comp >  thats why I post stuff here =)  There is always something that you might forget to look at in the diagnostic process.

I opened the file, and I didn't notice anything that "failed" that isn't somewhat normal for windows.  I will post it below.

I did find the font errors weird, but the rest of the failed start attempts to be somewhat normal.

[000CF1CD] Loading Vxd = ndis2sup.vxd
[000CF1CE] LoadFailed = ndis2sup.vxd



LoadStart = C:\WINDOWS\fonts\ANTQUAB.TTF
LoadFail = C:\WINDOWS\fonts\ANTQUAB.TTF Failure code is 0016

LoadFail = C:\WINDOWS\fonts\ANTQUABI.TTF Failure code is 0016

LoadStart = C:\WINDOWS\fonts\ANTQUAI.TTF
LoadFail = C:\WINDOWS\fonts\ANTQUAI.TTF Failure code is 0016

Thanks for your help.

p.s. mc> the error is occouring after the step boot.  I would assume it is a registry problem, except the registry is brand new with almost no other 3rd party software loaded.  Thanks though.

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Go into Safe Mode. Open Control panel/System/System Devices. Remove each and every device you find in there. Reboot. Windows will start finding hardware. After a few reboots, all your hardware will have been found. Notice that keyboard,direct memory access controller and vga will have a yellow mark on them. To resolve this, go back into safe mode, Control Panel/System/System devices and remove BOTH keyboards, DMA controllers and VGA drivers. Reboot normally, do as the computer asks and you 'll be up and running.
Run regedit to "clean" out your registry, it will take out the unused keys and might make it boot faster:

(it says W95 but don't pay any attention to it, if something goes wrong it automaticly makes a fix)
sorry regclean
BloodAuthor Commented:
Comp > Already ran RegClean... didn't help.  I, like you, assumed that it was a registry problem, but this was happening when the registry was from a brand new 98 install... so there were no 3rd party drivers or programs in the registry.    So RegClean didn't find any reg problems.

alex> That seems a bit extreme... and time consuming, especially since this is a new install.   I can see, though, where a problem like the one I am experiencing might occur in the area that you specified.  Perhaps an invalid ISA > PCI Bridge is in the setup somewhere or an invalid chipset configuration.   I will attempt what you have described... and let you know if it worked.   At this point, I have my doubts though... mainly because I am leaning towards a FSB problem instead.  

Thanks much,
OK you said it takes a long time to bootup at first, do you have the same problem if you reboot for some reason, or does it reboot at a more normal speed?
Take your network card out and boot up, see if that makes a difference. It does on my laptop (mine is a 2 min wait). Sadly I have no idea on fixing it. This is just to try and narrow down the problem.
Just a thought, have you checked your bios for a boot delay setting??

Some bios allow you to delay boot up
I would suggest taking out all of the cards, restoring the BIOS to its original factory settings, and attempting to boot the computer.  If the computer's boot time normalizes at that point, I would put the cards back one at a time and see which card causes the problem.  If the computer still boots very slowly with only the video card, hard drive(s) and floppy in it, I would take your ram and have it tested- I have seen many systems that have checksum memory errors and will not boot or boot very slowly.
One other thing to consider, have you made sure that your SCSI Id's are set correctly and that the scsi is terminated properly?
Hope that helps...

Maybe it's a Windows 98 internal hardware detection problem. When I had a Fujitsu 3.2 GB hard drive and Windows 98 installed on it, it delayed 1 minute(no disk activity), and when I installed a new hard drive, it's a lot faster(up to 40 seconds of the delay are now gone!)
Maybe it's a Windows 98 internal hardware detection problem. When I had a Fujitsu 3.2 GB hard drive and Windows 98 installed on it, it delayed 1 minute(no disk activity), and when I installed a new hard drive, it's a lot faster(up to 40 seconds of the delay are now gone!)
Sorry for the second comment...
have the same problem on a comp right now    , takes 10 or so min to boot sometimes 30 , will boot to safe mode ok ,shows same errors in the boot log strange font errors and ndis errors and when you boot to C: and then cd windows and type win it shows vmm32.vxd errors you might try the boot to c: \cd windows  then win and see if you get those vmm32 errors and go from there
suggest switching the two hard drives and installing windows on the smaller drive
You've been "shotgunning" in hopes of stumblinging into "the big `it'." It's time to get methodical ...

STEP ZERO is to reset all your BIOS settings to "setup" (not BIOS) defaults.

STEP ONE is to separate hardware from software: Which one is it? You do this by booting to a diskette (with nothing on it, INCLUDING no mouse or CD driver). Is booting to a plain diskette obviously faster than booting to disk? ... If so, the problem might be in IDE or PCI hardware (or at least part of the problem) ... Next, add mouse, then CD, DOS drivers to your bootable diskette (in two separate tests) ... If bootup is still obviously faster with real-mode CD and mouse drivers, then Win98 software is the problem (you've vindicated motherboard IDE and block-mode hardware: If still slow when booting from a diskette, hardware is definitely the problem.

(The hardest part here is defining "fast" and "slow," since both terms are relative)

A quickie test is to boot W9x into Safe Mode. If this boot is super slow, you likely have hardware problems (IRQ/DMA conflicts, etc.) ... If booting into Safe Mode is obviously faster, then you've positively identified this to be a device driver and/or PCI bus [-oriented] problem.

You can email me if you like as soon as you've proven the hardware/software split, then we'll get back to here to start nailing it.

D.B. Lewis
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