Resume from Standby Mode sometimes is very slow

I am using an IBM ThinkPad running XP Pro.
I used to have the same issue on a Toshiba laptop years ago.

Everything used to work just fine, but recently (I think after installing a PCMCIA wireless internet card from Verizon, but I'm not sure) it started randomly taking a lot more time to resume out of standby mode, and sometimes it works right away.

To resume, I hit the FN key. I notice a sound right away that tells me that the laptop received my "request". It sounds like the cd drive receiving power (not spinning up, but a little twang sound). Then the power light is supposed to come on which sometimes doesn't happen for 1-3 minutes, then the hard drive should be doing stuff, somewhere in between the pcmcia card is receiving power and starting to blink, then the monitor comes up.
That used to happen within 5-10 seconds, now it can take 5 minutes.

Since it started happening I have updated all my drivers without success. Windows is always updated. The hard drive seems to be OK, no errors in the Event Log, and the only thing that now is starting to act up (months after the standby issue started, so it may not be related) is that sometimes my networking control panels freeze or the built-in wireless-b card does not see any access points. These are issues I can deal with separately and not part of this question, but maybe someone thinks they are related and helpful to know of.

Any ideas where I can start to search for the cause of this?

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Well, just an idea: if a harddrive is on the edge of dying, you sometimes have to endure a long P.O.S.T, the initialization of the harddrive takes a lot of time. If that could be your problem? Normally I would expect disk errors in the system eventlog accompanying this. Another time my laptop nearly drove  me nuts with his lags was when my two batteries had discharged completely over the weekend. To come up again, I had to unplug the second battery (and plug it it later, after the first had recovered), otherwise the laptop would get stuck at the dell bios logo.

So maybe it's something completely hardware related.
semmelbroeselAuthor Commented:
Most of the time, a dying HD will show in the Event Log, but I have also seen times where it doesn't...
The weird thing is that sometimes it works just fine, and I have never experienced a lot P.O.S.T. with it, either.
My laptop has one battery which is holding a charge for maybe an hour if I'm lucky.

Come to think of it, the longer I leave the laptop in Standby, the longer it seems to take to get it to resume, but I'm not positive that this is actually the case... Yesterday I put it into Standby and immediately resumed because I had forgotten something, and it came back just fine.
Could the Standby info in the memory deteriorate over time?
Hmm, do some sleep - wake up - sleep - excercises then.
If you use standby, the memory is indeed used, whereas hibernation does not use the memory. But if it loses information (and memory could do that after a longer time, the memory test program memtest for example really does a "bitfade test" to make sure the ram does not do that) - why should it be slower? it would not work at all, I suppose.
Have you ever tried hibernation?
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semmelbroeselAuthor Commented:
I never trusted hibernation - too much trouble with previous laptops, and it takes quite a while to save 512MB to HD...
I'll run memtest when I get a chance.
Note: OK, you'll have to select bitfade test with "c" for configuration, it is not in the default procedure of memtest.
semmelbroeselAuthor Commented:
I was wondering why I didn't remember seeing this test before ;-)
Thanks for the tip!
semmelbroeselAuthor Commented:
I ran memtest 1.86 (I think) over night, over 30 passes, no error.

I couldn't find the bitfade option though - is that new in version 2 that someone mentioned to me?
The bitfade test is part of version 3.2 and 3.1
It can be reached by typing c (for config) - 1 (for test selection) and 4

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semmelbroeselAuthor Commented:
Oi, my version is way too old... gotta update my boot CD...
Thanks for pointing that out!
semmelbroeselAuthor Commented:
Haven't had a chance to try memtest yet, but during my work I found a little utility from Microsoft called BootVis. It was designed to help hardware/software manufacturers to tune their startup process before shipping it. Windows supposedly does the same every 3 days (a mini defrag and re-arranging a few drivers and files).
But what it also does is analyze your boot process and how long certain driver files take to load and initialize. So now I have a list of a few drivers that could be the source of the problem.
One is psched.sys which is related to networking, one is gearaspiwdm.sys which comes with a bunch of CD and DVD related software - the latter seems to point to UpperFilter and LowerFilter - Registry keys that I have seen before when it comes to CD/DVD related crashes. By deleting these keys you're supposed to be able to fix certain crashes.
I tried that, and now I have to go to sleep, but I'll keep experimenting with that direction.
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Windows XP

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