Hard Drive Partitioning Corrupt?

Hi,
I am working on a client's laptop (OS XP) that takes about 5 minutes to boot. But works fine once it has boot. I am trying to fix the slow boot issue.
RAM 3 Gigs (the task manager says 3.3 gigs?), lots of HDD space, deframentation ok.  

I could not create a boot log and verbose didn't run either.
I uninstalled Avast and installed MSE. I checked what is programs are booting with Hijack this and it seems normal (in turns of number of programs booting, viruses, etc)

While I was working on the PC I noticed that it was trying but not able to some unknown partition.
The message read something like "unable to read" then it had something like /?/? and what looked like registry entry.
Upon further investigation:
1) There are 2 partitions. Starting from left to right a 71 MB Fat EISA healthy partition (no drive letter) and then the normal partition C NTFS 232GB NTFS partition. There is no service partition.
2) The Boot.ini reads "default=multi(0)Disk(0)Disk(0)partition(2)\Windows
I believe the pc is trying, first,  to boot, from the unknown partition.
Shouldn't the C partition be furthest to the left?
I have partition magic.
3) The pc has a E: drive called SD Card O2Micro MMC  that freezes when touch it and and keeps coming back even after I uninstall it with Safely remove hardware.
Thanks for your help
vlogg5Asked:
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nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
try soluto -it will list your boot program times : http://www.soluto.com/
slow boot can indicate disk problems also, so i suggest to run a disk diag on it; find all here :   http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287      
or download UBCD to run it  :  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

if this comes back OK - run a chkdsk on both partitions - if possible
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jrgcomputingConnect With a Mentor Commented:
No, I see a lot of Win 2k8 installations where they have a similar partition table. Have you tried msconfig and disabling different services from boot up?
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vlogg5Author Commented:
I have. I have looked at event viewer and that is ok also.
It is only the boot process that is slow. The computer, once it starts, is fine.
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gamesaregoodConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I don't think the partitions are affecting the boot speed.

Which part of the boot is slow?

- Is it when the XP splash screen is displayed?

If so have you checked the file system for corruption, after backing up any important files run a check disk on the drive to see if its improves things.

- After the splash screen but before the user logs on?

Could be trying to locate and old domain controller or have DNS issues.

- After the user has logged on?

Large or corrupt user profile maybe? Test as another user to see if you experience the issue.
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vlogg5Author Commented:
It is when the splash screen is displayed and then the black screen comes up and is slow then too.
The progress bar frequently stops and then continues.
There is no log on the boots directly.
I will try your suggestions. Thanks.
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johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:
BootLogXP
http://www.greatis.com/utilities/bootlogxp/

This should give you a good detailed view of whats going on.

If you need to dig deeper, the Process Monitor can enable Boot Logging, but be prepared for several gigs worth of data....

http://live.sysinternals.com/procmon.exe

And add the Disk I/O/Reads/Writes categories, and see if anything stands out as excessive...
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vlogg5Author Commented:
All great suggestions and some tools I will use in the future but my suspicion were correct.
The E: drive called SD Card O2Micro MMC was the problem. I went to the Dell site, downloaded the driver, reinstalled it and voila.
Thanks people for your help.
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vlogg5Author Commented:
johnb6767
I have just tested BootLogXP and that program would have saved me tons of time.
It would have nailed the problem.
Is there an equivalent program or Sysinternals for for Vista and or W7?
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johnb6767Commented:
Sysinternals works in 7 if not mistaken.... Just be sure to launch it via "Run As Administrator"..... Both when enabling the option, as well as after reboot, to compile the data....
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vlogg5Author Commented:
Thanks people you have made it easier to diagnose this problem in the future.
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nobusCommented:
have fun
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vlogg5Author Commented:
Thanks nobus, I will.
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