HD works slowly (sometimes!)

Posted on 2006-06-11
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I'm using WinXP SP2 with all updates.
In the past few months when I restart my computer it boot up slowly (very slowly, about 15 times slower then usuall).

I noticed that it happen only when I re-start my computer. Therefor in order to restart it I have to shutdown the computer compleatly, disconnect the electricity cable from the wall, wait a min or 2 and then connect the cable and start the computer.

I re-installed WinXP all over again but same thing happed. Notice that it happen ONLY when restarting the computer and not on the first time I'm opening the computer.

Any idea how to solv this problem ?

Question by:eliavm
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Expert Comment

ID: 16883137
does this happen when the splash screen is up?  and the HD sounds like it's doing a machine gun impression with accompanying LED flashing?
I don't have a solution but I noticed the above on my PC a few times.  I have a couple of OS's installed (multi boot) and used Acronis OS manager to switch between them.  I got rid of Acronis but I still see the symptom occassionally.  LAst time was when Vista hibernated and blue screen, which corrupted the partition and boot sector.

I have wondered if its XP doing its 're-ordering of boot files' to speed the boot process up or not.
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 70 total points
ID: 16883528
things to look into or try :
- boot from a knoppix cd, and test the issue; if it works ok, your hard is fine, if not, it is bad
- you can try boot vis to ananlyse the starting of the PC :
- you can try swapping devices, like the disk to test the issue
- any chance your PC is underpowered, or has a dying power supply?

Author Comment

ID: 16883657
It's quiet like a dead dog. the slow boot starts after the splash screen is up. right before the login screen (It says windows is starting and from there it takes ages...)

* I'll try knoppix and report.
* I used boot vis but don't know how to read the results...
* I don't have any other drive to swap.
* I don't think it's a dying power supply because it doesn't matter how long the computer is working. For example: I can shutdown the computer for few days, then start it, then immidiatly restart it and it restarted slowly. On the other hand, it can work a week (if i'm not restarting it...) without showing any problems.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 16883701
troubleshooting without parts is nearly impossible
bootvis will rearrange the boot processes - did you tets if the problem remains or not?
>>   I don't think it's a dying power supply   <<  you should not think; replace it for testing, (same for disk drive) only way to know . .
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 70 total points
ID: 16883959
Maybe your PC is running some windowsupdates or antivirus updates? I don't think this is a disk problem, but more likely a problem with some software on your system. The best way to make sure is to reinstall XP on your HD alone, with no other software which could be intruding. But as that is a radical test,l you could first follow these instructions:

Download the latest version of HijackThis

(Click on the „Directdownload“ link).

run it and save the log. Paste the log to the following website

Follow the following exactly:

At the bottom of the page you'll see a "ANALYZE" button. Click it and you will have an analysis of your log. Now a new button, "SAVE ANALYSIS" will show up at the bottom. Your analyzed log will be saved to a page on that homepage, of which you can post the URL here. I should then be able to see if there is any software causing problems.

Author Comment

ID: 16894602
Knoppix live CD is working slow.
BUT, always when I run winXP in safe mode it works fast.

I installed XP all over and it's still slow.


Author Comment

ID: 16894751
I uninstalled my antivirus (AVG) and it seems to solve the problem. Before I reinstalled winXP, I had Norton Antivirus 2005 and it was also slow.

How can I use antivirus without making my boot so slow? Is there some option I should disable ?

LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 16895536
first about knoppix, as it is running from a CD it will be slower than if it were running from HD, but usually it is also set to use conservative settings so it'll work with more hardware. When you open the special knoppix menu, look for a setting you can change to enable DMA mode for the HD and CD, that should improve the speed.

usually AV software will try to go online for updates when booting, so many AV software programs will make the bootup procedure slower than without having AV software. This software also runs some scans of the RAM and the system, which will also slowdown the system a little. But in general I's trade off boot time with a secure system. You can try other AV software though, I use Avast! which is free, but another good software should be trendmicro. I think you will just have to try different versions. Avast also tends to slow the system somewhat while booting, although the boot process usually is pretty fast, but once windows has started things sometimes startup slower. One thing you could try is to disconnect the PC from the LAN while booting.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 16895886
maybe it is time for some testing :
ram :  memtest86+ from      
disk : do a scan disk for errors, and if it comes back ok, do a defrag

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