Takes forever to open my computer.

I have a newer dell laptop with xp installed, i am also attaching a usb external harddrive. When i go to start- my computer, the window opens and i get a searching flashlight, it takes about 3-5mins for the window to display the harddrive and cd drive, i thought it was the external harddrive, so removing it does not prevent the problem from occuring, any suggestion, would this be a case to run defrag? I would like to prevent myself from running such a time consuming application.
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Have you got any network drives mapped - that might be inaccessible?
Have you got anything in My Network Places - if you have - delete them.

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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
does the problem happen in safe mode?
Peter HartCommented:
sounds like a hard disc about to crash.....
open windows explorer  or my computer - right click on c:  select properties - select tools - select "check now..." - tick the "automatically fix file system errors" and also tick the scan for bad blocks"
ad see how it now behaves.
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check your CD and DVD drives for blank recordable disks in them.  remove them.  Check any CD/DVD burning software, to see if you installed any packet writing software, which tries to make a CD/DVD like a hard drive.  Remove ALL USB devices, and all printers.  Open windows explorer and remove all mapped network drives, and go into this directory --
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\NetHood  (substitute Admin here for your login name)

and delete everything there.  Also, check in device manager for any devices with ?? next to them, remove.
after the disk scan for errors comes back without errors (might take 2 runs) i recommend also a defragmentation.
Check also if you have enough free space on the disk - 15 % at least...
Shanmuga SundaramDirector of Software EngineeringCommented:
First try cleaning your registry with good registry cleaner. For eg. Microsoft Regclean or free Eusing Free Registry Cleaner.(http://www.download.com/RegClean/3000-2094_4-10007196.html?legacy=cnet)
Next run chkdsk /f to find cross link files and fix
Next run scandisk .

Then check for any temporary files in your temp folder. remove those temporatay files.

Now Click on programs. go to run and tpye "msconfig" in the space to the right of run and hit enter. Remove the files from startup which you find that you doesnt need and think that it takes more time to load.For example, You don't need MS word, you don't need some kind of media player. or winamp. So what you want to do is to keep only the necessary programs to be on the start up.  The less startup programs will make your computer load faster.The programs without the check are the ones that don't start up at power up. Just remove the check from program and it will not start. Just think the power you have. Ensure the items that you remove from startup twice before you remove.

Hope this should help.
jasonpiper01Author Commented:
I am unable to work on this computer, the CEO doesnt want to waste time on a problem like this, So i am awarding everyone points.
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Windows XP

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