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XP slow to start up

Posted on 2004-03-21
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
Hello everyone,

Okay, for starters PLEASE don't post the generic spyware/adware links, they're useless to me.  Also, I am virus/trojan/any-other-ilk free.  Now:

When I start/restart my PC, after XP (pro SP1 _All Patches and updates) it loads fine, through the standard xp screen and the welcome.  After that, my desktop pic shows, but it takes about 30 seconds for my actualy explorer to load.  In this time, my PC seems to be doing nothing, no HDD activity, no removable storage searching, just sitting there.  It's not that big of a deal, but it didn't always do this.  It's no dumping physical memory either.  Anyone that solves this for me would be greatly appreciated.

j
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Question by:zenlion420
57 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:anupnellip
ID: 10643356
go to start > run > msconfig

in that you have startup files try disabeling some of them you feel could be delaying the startup .

You will have to experiment with a few setting there to c waht is actualy causing the delay .
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by:anupnellip
ID: 10643361
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by:zenlion420
ID: 10643368
>> go to start > run > msconfig

in that you have startup files try disabeling some of them you feel could be delaying the startup .

I'm sorry, I should have mentioned that I'm well aware of that also.  I actually only have my firewall and AV load on start up.

Keep 'em coming :)

j
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Accepted Solution

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LeeTutor earned 250 total points
ID: 10644709
Take a look at this page.  I downloaded the .pdf file available there summarizing the web page's contents and printed it out using Adobe Acrobat Reader, then ended up disabling 37 of the services that are started by default in most XP Pro systems.  My startup time decreased greatly.

http://www.blkviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

After you work out which services to disable, here is how you do it:  Click on Start, then type services.msc in the Run dialog box.  For each service listed in the window which opens up that you want to disable at the next boot, right click on it, select Properties from the context menu that scrolls out, then click on the downward pointing arrow at the end of the list box for Startup Type on the General tab, choose Disable, then click OK. After you've done all your disabling, reboot.
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by:zenlion420
ID: 10644835
LeeTutor,

Thanks.  I'll try this today when I get home from work.  I'll let you know what happens.  The thing that boggles me about this situation is that my system doesn't seem to be loading any apps or anything in this hangtime.  It's like it's just on idle, but I can't access anything because explorer hasn't even loaded yet.  Simply zero HDD activity for about 25-30 seconds after the desktop pic appears.  Anyway, I'll post back tonight with the outcome.

j
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 10644850
My computer is the same way; I think it is just a quirk of XP.  After the Desktop loads, I cannot start programs for maybe 30 or 40 seconds (used to be longer when I didn't have all the unnecessary services disabled.)  Usually there will be seconds of apparent no activity, then the hard drive will spin for a while, then no activity again.  Then I can start up programs.
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Expert Comment

by:rdavidc
ID: 10645964
Just a thought here.  Have you checked your drivers?  Especially your video drivers, they are the worse for this type of activity.
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by:zenlion420
ID: 10651835
Thanks Lee,

It's still hanging for a bit, but seems to be about 5 seconds less of a hang.  I didn't know about this app to tweak settings.  I only knew about msconfig.  Thanks to everyone that tried to help.

j
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Expert Comment

by:realitycomputers
ID: 10792786
I recently fixed a machine doing as u describe, though for probably over a minute!
I found after doing all the usual (above) that it was Norton AV. Disabling it in msconfig did not resolve the prob. Only doing a un/re install did the trick.
I can only assume it was a NAV update, or something of that type. It never reoccurred anyway :o)
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Expert Comment

by:Gamerdude
ID: 10792961
If "msconfig" doesn't seem to work, another solution, which is similar, would be a free program called "WinPatrol".  The program can be found at PC World.com..(http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,22728,00.asp)  If the link doesn't work, go to pcworld.com, then to "downloads", then in the search box type in "WinPatrol".  Also, if your running Windows 2000, this program works great in replacement using msconfig, cause in W2K, you can't use MSCONFIG.  Good luck.  At a last resort, upgrade your memory.  Win. XP works HORRIBLY on 128MB; you should have 256 or more.
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Expert Comment

by:Samhughes
ID: 10804695
HI,

I have had exacly the same problem as decribed here!! The solution to me was to unplug all the USB Devices.  This made my computer boot up alot quicker. I dont know why, but now if my joystick is plugged  in on boot up (USB) the computer takes an extra 3 mins to boot.

Hope this Helps
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Expert Comment

by:wm1228
ID: 10809705
Some programs that I use and certainly help performance are as follows.
Reg Supreme at www.macecraft.com
Registry Defragmentation at www.elcor.net
Both are shareware.
Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:ArtemisConsultants
ID: 10817843
I have also seen NAV as a contributor and did the deinstall/reinstall thing...no real success.

In my case, the user had multiple Network adapters setup. Some weren't even the one that the user was connecting with (ie. Wireless, Bluetooth).

So,

I disabled the unused Network Resources and the problem was fixed.

Essentially I ended up with the net card as the solution by going troubleshooting all items within the systray.

-Artemis
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by:mrfixit22
ID: 10819419
I would suggest to uncheck anything in msconfig that you do not need to start on boot up and start it after it gets up.  There are a couple of other things that will cause these slow start up problems.  Not cleaning out all of those cache files, letting XP talk to Microsoft, Spyware, cookies, large tmp files and log files.  Usually if software are a driver is slowing your system down it is installed wrong or the driver is incorrect for you system. Those cute little smilimg faces are spyware, Weather bug and many more.
Download spybot, adaware, Pest Patrol any one of these are good and free.  Norton and McAfee are both resouce hogs.  Go for AVG AV it is free and uses very few resources. Another good way to find out if XP is sending stuff out is run a firewall.  It will alert you if it is going out to the net.
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Expert Comment

by:DEBTECHGURL
ID: 10824291
Everyone has agreed about the spyware and the antivirus (Norton).  Resource hogs, all of them.
Office tool bar, Quicken, ICQ, ... will also have services running at startup even HP for driver updates.  Look in the Control Panel;  review scheduled tasks, scanners, cameras, USB ...see what you have installed or setup.  You may have more that what you need installed or running.  Look at the event viewer to check in problems with applications, services, etc.  That is found under Admin Tools in the control panel.  And lastly, simply, right click on My Computer, Advance tab and adjust the performace options to fit what you need.  The more fancy features... the slower.  Spybot and other software like it good as long as you uninstall it after you do a scan.  They too eat up resources.
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by:redfordb
ID: 10831473
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by:dungsusu
ID: 10833202
Try to CMOS setup, set Error Report to No Error (Not all error) then every things will be nice. If you still have trouble, try to change another keyboard. Just my opinion.

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by:canong5
ID: 10833377
I, too am having slow start up times w/ Windows XP Pro.  The system acts like it will start but then stops doing anything for about 3 minutes. I've defragged, run Spybot, Pest Patrol and have done a Norton Antivirus system scan.  On Event Log I am getting a Warning; EventSystem, Category 52, Event 4354.  Can that be causing my problem?  If so, please help me fix it.  

I'm running Zone Alarm Pro for my firewall.  

I suspect Norton may be causing my problems. Are there more system friendly virus packages?    

Thanks!!
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by:redfordb
ID: 10833608
Try disabling the Background Intelligent Transfer service.
Do you have 2 drives on each IDE channel ?
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by:redfordb
ID: 10833704
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by:canong5
ID: 10834316
intelligent transfer is already disabled.  The Tweak ref is good but I don't have a "disable" choice.  My only choice is "none".

Thanks!
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by:twister416
ID: 10835864
start/run/services.msc

disbale Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)

restart computer
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Expert Comment

by:canong5
ID: 10836166
Thanks for the WIA tip.  I diabled and restarted.  Still slow.

I also emptied the pre-fetch file this am from an earlier comment.  Also disabled Norton AV and that didn't help.

It has to be some setting like the WIA.

Thanks to all for the ideas so far!
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Expert Comment

by:twister416
ID: 10836558
go to:

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com

they have alot of tweaks and tips that may help.
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Expert Comment

by:ghostses
ID: 10837184
Log in to the machine under another profile to se if the machine loads faster. If so, there is a problem with the profile you use. Try looking at the size of your user profile. (under c:\documents and settings\YOUR USER NAME) If it is very large in size, this can cause explorer to delay its load while your profile is being loaded. Alot of people use MY DOCUMENTS to save exe's, mp3S, etc. Be sure to remove ALL tempory internet files, cookies, ant temp files. Make sure that your desktop also only has shortcuts, no other files. Move them to a location folder under the root of C. And if you have a pst file saved in the profile mentioned above (Which is the default location when setting up mail), close mail, move Pst and pab files to a new location, then open mail and point the application to the new location. This is NOT FOR Outlook Express mail users.
If cleaning up your profile does not correct the issue, rebuild a new profile to use, set up all your setttings and adhear to what has been listed above....

Hope this helps...
 
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Expert Comment

by:klop52804
ID: 10838384
ALso you can use bootvis do a google search for it
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 10838423
Here's a place where you can download it, furnished by one of our own top Xperts, sramesh2k:

http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/utils/BootVis.exe
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Expert Comment

by:canong5
ID: 10845312

I logged on with another profile.  Still very slow boot up.

Bootivs shows a brief (+/-25 second) start then nothing for about 3 minutes and then the normal boot process.  

I've also run Ad-aware.  It found two items.

Thanks to all for the ideas so far.  Still looking for the magic answer.

 
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Expert Comment

by:sidpaul
ID: 10851086
also run ad-aware or spybot..they help greatly too
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by:Regeneration
ID: 10851372
When XP is loading slow is because much of your Hard Disk is full.Defragging your computer might help.
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by:rlwidman
ID: 10852841
I've got the same problem described on two machines:  One Toshiba Tecra 9100 with 1 gb ram, 2 gb processorand a half ful 60 gb drive.  Ran fine for about a year then started stalling at the "personal settings" screen for 90 to 270 seconds.
The other machine ( 1.2 gb processor, 512 ram, 40 gb drive)from day one 2 years ago takes the same time from my login but is instant for other logins with the same setup.  I have my setup on all six of these machines and only one stalls, and only on my use.
I have Norton internet security on all, regularly run spybot and ad-aware daily manually, have cleaned up everything that Toni-arts Easyclean can find, degfrag weekly.
I set up a new username and it works fine, but don't really want to go through the hasel of setting up email and transferring all the other settings like personalized word and excel toolbars and macros, or the misteriously hidden Microsoft auto-correct file that has 100's of my auto correct words.
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Expert Comment

by:mkeegan
ID: 10855058
I also had a similar problem with XP taking an age to boot.  I have a Dell Notebook and after updating the Bios it now loads much quicker.  Just a thought....
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Expert Comment

by:lethaltouch69
ID: 10866539
The 2 best aleternatives to this problem would be : Perform MSCONFIG in the following steps
1. Select selective start ups.
2. Uncheck Process System.INI, Win.INI and load startup options...
3. Click Services TAB,
4. Check Hide all microsoft services... and click disable all.
5.Click OK and restart  the computer.

If This doesn't work...
Then Go to System setup OR BIOS, and disable any USB emulation options... it helps a lot .

CIO,
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Expert Comment

by:rlwidman
ID: 10867720
I seem to have put enough alternative words into the Microsoft base to come up with the answer.
"STATUS
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. "
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;816873
It seems that Windows can't handle, at least on my notebook, that I use it with different network connections, so it is always looking for at least one not connected computer (different cities), but the startup screen covers the error message.   The workaround is to eliminate the windows startup screen.  I still haven't seen the error message, but in the 24 hours or so since I found this I've gotten it to start up without the delay.

thanks everyone
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Expert Comment

by:music2myear
ID: 10871677
before you call it quits...

I have this exact issue, and no, extra programs running on start-up will not cause the absence of activity. Extraneous programs will cause you HD to churn, not sit silent.
Do you have a network card and a home network? or possibly a high-speed internet connection? or maybe just a network card that is still enabled but nothing is plugged into it?

If any of these cases is true, the issue is networking, not extra programs. I'm currently looking for a solution for the same thing. I know that the issue is caused by XP looking for scheduled tasks on other systems on the network (and the logic behind that is?) as well as shared printers and other settings of the other computer on the network, whether or not there are other computers on the network, or even if there is not a network at all. Try searching on Google for "slow XP start up network" and read some of the articles you find there.

I'm sorry that I got to this discussion this late, and without a solution, but at least you should have a good idea what the problem is now, and that is half-way to the solution...
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Expert Comment

by:vamsee_konda
ID: 10872948
I you have Norton firewall/ personal firewall iam sure that it is causing the problems.
I had the same thing happend to me, compuer goes thru the boot and after i log in it just sits there for a long time.
even though i unistalled NPF, the problem was not resolved.
i tried everything nothing worked, best thing to do is back up imp. stuff and format.

Vamsee Konda
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Expert Comment

by:binu5123
ID: 10877574

Hello
Now here is the solution
IT may Help You

Go to Start >> Run >>Type msconfig

Remove the unused services
its OVer
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Expert Comment

by:music2myear
ID: 10877858
...really need to read the entire list before answering. Msconfig has been tried already.

also, as a tech support person who does this kind of thing for a living, DON'T USE MSCONFIG TO REMOVE SERVICES. One other person has very wisely explained why earlier in this list, so read the whole thing, then when you have the right answer, it's even better, 'cuz you might just get the credits!
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by:allinb
ID: 10878421
I think you are on it with the network connections (Hence the no Disk Activity). When you start XP it looks at the cached Network Places links that you have visited to determine if they are currently connected. If the connection is in the cache but not listed it could be delaying your launch as it sits there until predefined timeout values get exceeded for a response to a connection that is not physically possible. Right mouse click on any of the connections directly under My Network Places that you can not physically get to during the current session, Delete them then see if you get any gains in speed of boot time.
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Expert Comment

by:canong5
ID: 10878942


I have some slow startup entries in this string and currently have an open XP question but I'm getting no responses.  The activity here is encouraging!  The discussion has taken a network turn and I'm not on a network. and, my situation is that the machine just sits there for about 3 minutes with the bars running across the "slot" on the Microsoft screen and then boots.  Once it boots everything is fine.  I've started using "hibernate" to avoid rebooting.  Nice way to get back up quickly.

I ran a program called Startuplist that sure looks like a nice diagnostic tool to me. Any way, I'm hoping for help in finding and replacing missing files shown in the report....which I hope is where my problem lies  Here is the area of the Startuplist report that looks promising, to me, for my machine:

************************************************************************************************
Shell & screensaver key from C:\WINNT\SYSTEM.INI:

Shell=*INI section not found*
SCRNSAVE.EXE=*INI section not found*
drivers=*INI section not found*

Shell & screensaver key from Registry:

Shell=Explorer.exe
SCRNSAVE.EXE=C:\WINNT\System32\ssflwbox.scr
drivers=*Registry value not found*

Policies Shell key:

HKCU\..\Policies: Shell=*Registry key not found*
HKLM\..\Policies: Shell=*Registry value not found*

*********************************************************************************************

The rest of the report looks pretty logical.  

Sure hope one of you can help me resolve this problem once and for all!!!  
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Expert Comment

by:bczingo
ID: 10883986
I use this in all our pcs on startup - it automates your disk cleanup - windows caches a lot of files on startup :)

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315246

also check out

 http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBL/tip5900/rh5920.htm

the above will give further instructions how to stop compress files in disk cleanup not to run

This will ad a little time to startup if you put in startup but Ive seen cases like yours that its well worth it
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Expert Comment

by:canong5
ID: 10884445

Thanks for the links, bczingo!  Will disk cleanup solve my missing files problems or am I on the wrong track?  
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by:titan203
ID: 10885437
hi ! i also had this kind of problem before. my solution is to search for the folder.htt file than delete all of it. so do one file call deskstop.ini. try it..
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Expert Comment

by:canong5
ID: 10890753

Thanks for the response, titan203.   Bear with me. I don't understand what you want me to do.  The only *.htt files I have are from '99 and '01 and are pretty small. How will working with them restore my lost startup files?

Guess I need you to expand on what you are saying.

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:music2myear
ID: 10892645
As far as programs that show a comprehensive listing of programs starting with Windows, try Spybot Search & Destroy. It's only drawback is that it is not updated very often.

Get it here: http:\\www.safer-networking.org

The program is one of the best rated spyware and adware scanners and removers around, but in Advanced mode, under the Tools menu, you'll find System Startup and it will show you the program name, where it is found, and a recommendation as to whether it is necessary or not.
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Expert Comment

by:canong5
ID: 10892976

Thanks for the post, "music".  I agree, Spybot is very good and wish it were updated more frequently.

Did you see the missing programs and registry values I listed above?

My theory is that those missing items are the cause of my startup delay. I'm hoping for for confirmation of my theory and, if it's accurate, help with finding the missing items and resoring them to wherever they belong.  If I'm on the wrong trail would appreciate spceifics on what else I can do to kill this.

Hope you, or someone else out there, can help me!  

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by:bczingo
ID: 10893911
canong5 -

the disk cleanup won't solve your missing files didn't want to imply it would- :)
but I do know that when your *.tmp files number get large it will slow bootup times
(i've seen machines with literally hundreds of useless tmp files just taking up space)
'specially if you have indexing on (which we turn off on most machines anyway-overhead of index doesn't seem worth it unless you search for files A LOT)
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Expert Comment

by:titan203
ID: 10895964
hi canong5,

what i mean not all the .htt file only the folder.htt it size is small but it can duplicate each time u restart your PC. you must also set the view folder option to view all the file if one left not delete it will duplicate again must clear all in one time.
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Expert Comment

by:robqx
ID: 11049714
i also had this problem. Under Network i give a fix IP Adress (TCP-IP) and then the PC starts so much faster....
Try it, if you dont have given a fix IP Adress!
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Expert Comment

by:Josh683
ID: 11242779
I also have this problem.  I have done trial and error a lot and i found the problem core... If you disable your network connection and restart computer, it boots up fast and fine even if the other remote pc is switched off.  therefore it is the network which tries to look for something on the remote pc when your computer starts up which explains why you get a faster boot up when both networked computers are on.
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Expert Comment

by:rlwidman
ID: 11243567
I did a temporary fix by turning off the welcome screen and then hitting enter to the invisible message.  That worked fine, but I wanted the regular xp login screen back, so I eventually eliminated all of my mapped drives rebooted, and then re-mapped the ones I needed.  One of the mapped drives gave me lots of error messages when I was eliminating it, so I'm guessing that that was the drive windows was looking for.
Now I'm back to fast boot just as it was originally, regular xp login, and have my mapped drives back without problems.
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Expert Comment

by:chuckperry01
ID: 11280243
don't know if this was a fluke or not, but, having the same problem as you"zen" I went into my BIOS at startup and noticed by boot sequence was cdrom/a-drive/harddrive.  I moved the hard drive to the top position and finally got the fast startup again.  You sound smart so I'm sure you've checked this, but just in case...

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Expert Comment

by:sabecs
ID: 11300261
I too had the same problem where the pc hangs for about a minute doing nothing and then Norton Antivirus finally starts up. This worked for me, taken from http://www.tweakxp.com/tweak1801.aspx

This tweak works also if your Using Zone Alarm or Zone Alarm Pro V.3.7. I found out by applying this tweak for Nortons with my Zone Alarm program.

If you are using Norton Internet Security 2002, and are experiencing slow start-up of XP.

i.e. you can see the desktop with icons etc. but it takes 30-60sec before you can start using the computer.

1. Click on start buttom.
2. Select control panel
3. Open “Network Connections”
4. Under “LAN and High-Speed Internet”, right-click on your “Local Area Connection” and select “Properties”
5. Under “General” tab, select “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)” and select “Properties.
6. Select “Use the following IP address:”
7. Under “IP address” enter following : 192.168.0.X (Replace X with a value between 1 and 254.  If you have multiple computers, pick differnt numbers for each computer on your network)
8. Under “Subnet Mask:” enter following : 255.255.255.0
9. Click “Ok”

Note:  This tweak will only work if your computer is on a private network.  Such as a few computer networked in your home using ICS or a router that has a firewall and DHCP server
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Expert Comment

by:Josh683
ID: 11311314
ya but then u cant get on the internet if a remote computer connects to the internet
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Expert Comment

by:pratik_jhanb
ID: 12600458
I am also having a similar problem. There is a 2 min delay after loggin in before I can use my PC. Since I need to use dynamic IP's, I cannot fix the problem How can I reduce the lag time without specifying a dynamic IP?
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Expert Comment

by:ky67
ID: 13062600
i got tired of my pc being slow and found using startup inspector for windows helped
its simple to use and suitable for pc users from beginners to advanced
http://www.windowsstartup.com
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