Looooooong delay at power on..

When powering on my XP laptop, it reaches a point when it seems to hang up. Tis may last as long as twenty minutes. Then, all of a sudden, it breaks loose and everything is fine after that. It only happends when powering on. Any idea?
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Something is starting during the bootup which is taking looooong time to start. can you check in the msconfig and see what all applications are running.

Also view the eventviewer and check what can be delaying the system to slow startup
It is probably looking for network drives that you want mapped all the time.

After it's booted up, go into my computer and see what's shown for drives you have mapped.  You can create
shortcuts to mapped drives for use when you need them, or release all the drives and/or computers you've mapped
so the system can boot quicker.

Given that it's a laptop, you may have mapped drives when you were somewhere else with the laptop, and of
course it probably won't find those resources unless they're on the same LAN.

Hope this helps. Looking for resources during boot up can be a problem. Also looking for software that has not been uninstalled complete can be another cause of delay.

Report back if this helps or not.  I just fixed a laptop of a friend who was about to buy a new laptop, thinking the system had a motherboard problem, when all it simply involved this kind of delay.

Also, if you click on my computer and see the "flashlight" waiving back and forth, this is a clear signal that a mapped drive might be missing.

Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor Commented:
Try booting the laptop without a network connection, switch off your WLAN and disconnect any network cable you have. Is there a difference?
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If you haven't installed new software for a while, why not use System Restore to check your computer's boot behavior from an earlier date, before this started happening?

Start/Run then type "MSCONFIG"  and look for the command button "System Restore"

Pick a date a week or two ago, or before the problems started. You might want to do a Save at this point so you can return to this current state if restoring to an earlier date doesn't fix the problems.  System Restore can fix such strange behavior if the registry is involved, or some partially deleted program is causing problems, or you added a link to a shared drive and forgot and now it's creating this delay.
run MSCONFIG from the run box
in startup tab, click disable all
in services tab, click Hide Ms services, then clcikck disable all
reboot and test
if it is faster, enable the programs and services in groups - or 1 by1 to find the "bad" guy

Does your computer normally stop at the Welcome Screen and force you to click on your user name, or does it just boot into your profile?
Has this changed since you started experiencing the hang at boot time?

Can you be more specific about what stage the hang is occurring in relation to seeing the Power On Self Test (POST) details in white on the black screen, then the Windows logo and the little animated progress bar, then the Welcome Screen (or traditional logon), and then your Desktop/Taskbar/Start Menu beginning to show.

Just wondering if this is way back at the POST, or whether it's a low-level driver issue, or whether it's a Windows User Profile issue.

Is your computer clock in the System Tray losing time by any chance?
Just wondering if the CMOS Battery is flat and it's having to reconfigure all the hardware settings in the CMOS memory all over again each time it boots.

When you choose a Restart rather than a cold boot does the same thing happen?

The next time you boot could you please do as follows:
Start Menu > Run > type the following command > Press Enter or click OK

notepad "c:\boot.ini"

Scroll over and copy the contents of the file when it opens in Notepad, then close it.  DO NOT save any changes if you accidentally modify it in any way.

Paste the contents here.

Try with a "Diagnostic Startup" and see what happens.
Open MSCONFIG as suggested by JT92677 above.
If you already have any entries ticked under the "Startup" tab, then in the General tab your startup options will probably be "Selective" with all the boxes ticked, but the "Startup" box will have a greyed-out tick.
Set it to the "Diagnostic Startup" option just above that, click he "Apply" button, then click "OK" to close the dialog.  When prompted to restart, decline this but shut the computer down instead.

Boot from cold and compare.  If it is significantly improved, then we can start looking at some of your Startup Processes.
A good tool for troubleshooting slow startups is something that is already built-in and is called Verbose startup, shutdown, logon, and logoff status Messages. Once enabled, it will display a small window as each app/dll is loaded. It will show if a drive is being connected, etc. The culprit is displayed while it is being processed, allowing you to identify it. It will remain on the screen for as long as that task takes to complete.

Enable it and reboot the pc. It can be done on a domain pc as well as a stand-alone system.


You already have a pile of good places to check from the answers above, but one I would add to the list is code being run on your machine by your Network Administrator (assuming you are on an Active Directory network at least part of the time).  The admins often set code to run at startup on your computer, and it's code that can run either at boot (so before you even have a chance to login) and / or upon login (after you've entered your credentials).  This is not code you can avoid without speaking to the admin who set it up (no msconfig entry or anything like that).  If you can remember when the issue started, it will help the admin focus on code added around that time.

As an example, it may look at a log on your system and try and write new entries back to a network share.  If your laptop is off the network, it can't find the share.  Add in a large retry count or timeout and now you're sitting there waiting with no indiciation that it's doing anything at all.

I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
So after about 1 month of NOTHING from the author, and a few of us trying to help but getting absolutely no feedback, this amounts to yet another author that has wasted our time.

Obviously, a system that appears hung on startup is trying to find or start something that can easily be found with MSCONFIG changes, as suggested, but we have no feedback from the author if he/she has even tried the suggestion.

To the Author: Its not fair to waste everyone's time if you don't come back to offer some results. I think you should issue points about using MSCONFIG, then use it to track down the startup problems.

Just a thought.

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cbuttonAuthor Commented:
JT92677: There's a good reason for my abscence. My reason wouldn't interest you, so I'll just say please award the points to JT92677 and I will try out various MSCONFIG to try to track down my problem.

I'm sorry for wasting the time of all the experts. I did not intend to do so but it became impossible for me to respond. I than all who tried to help.


Thanks for the explanation. And appreciate the points.

I've seen the slow boot-up myself and tracked down the culprit by unchecking things on the startup list in MSCONFIG.  

Hopefully you'll have time to track down the culprit.

Also, removing recently installed programs may help, or use MSCONFIG to select a different restore point, like a week before you remember the problems starting.

Without feedback from you, the asker, drilling down to a solution is very difficult.

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