"My Computer" in XP SP3 slow loading

I have a computer running XP SP3 and when I go to "My Computer" whether double clicking on it or simply via a "Save" dialog box then I have to wait about 30 seconds before anything shows up.

Generally the suggestions I've seen to solve this haven't worked or involve an SFC scan.

The problem is I can't get SFC to run because it keeps wanting a disk.  Someone else installed this computer a few years back but I guessed it used an OEM CD so I tried copying I386 to c: and changing the relevant registry setting but SFC now complains of the "wrong version".  So I then tried the retail version and SFC still complains.  Finally I tried the Volume Licence version and still SFC complains.

Can someone tell me how to get SFC to think the I386 files are correct, or an alternative way of solving this slow "My Computer" problem?

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nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
then i suggest a full backup, and fresh install as easiest, and fastest method
it's also the ONLY sure method to have a working system

if you suspect hardware problems : (also possible)

 i suggest to run some diags first - to be sure about the basics
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download
since the downloaded file is an ISO file, you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section - long diag !
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page
you can make the proper install cd from the installed system :

then you can run sfc
Do you have any network drives, or external drives that could be slow to loading up? That's generally when I've seen problems with My computer slow loading... when it has problems connecting up with a certain drive.
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Chris_PCSGAuthor Commented:
Nobus: you're solution won't work because it doesn't have an I386 directory.  I have various I386 directories on different CDs but having tried Pro OEM, Pro Retail and Pro Corporate and  I couldn't get any of them to work.

Tymetwister: Once "My Computer" (explorer) is open then I click on each drive and it loads fine (local and network).  What I could try is typing each letter into the "Run" box to see if they all come up right away.
you can see what version you need when booted.
then you can copy the i386 folder from the proper cd - or run the repair from it
Chris_PCSGAuthor Commented:
What do you mean "when booted"?

The Product ID starts: 55274-640, which implies XP Pro corporate.

Maybe repairing from the CD is going to be the way to go then.
you neeed to have the proper SP level too
you can see that when booted
Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
Open the notepad and paste the text below in it. Save the file on C: drive and name it  query.bat Note: Make sure "Save as Type" is All. Now go to C: drive and double click on query.bat which would produce info.txt on C: drive. Open this info.txt and paste all of its content here:

ver > info.txt
reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" /t REG_SZ >> info.txt

Open in new window

This would let us know the exact version of the OS you are running including the Service Pack.

note that the problem can arise from a corrupted OS too.
then it will be difficult to run sfc; maybe better do a kind of system restore like :

An easier way is to boot from a Bart PE CD (or UBCD4Win CD) and use the file manager for manipulating files. Here  the procedure :
1. rename c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM to c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM.bak
2. Navigate to the System Volume Information folder.
it contains some restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".
The restore points are in  folders starting with "RPx under this folder.
3. In such a folder, locate a Snapshot subfolder. This is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:  C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
4. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following file to the c:\windows\system32\config folder
6. Exit Bart PE, reboot and test

Use a fairly recent restore point from at least a day or two prior to problem occurring .

** you can add the other hives also with this procedure

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/       BARTPE
http://www.ubcd4win.com/            UBCD4WIN
Chris_PCSGAuthor Commented:
nobus, your solutions sounds a bit too involved.  I would perhaps try a repair install first.

I've managed to track down a CD and sfc works with that CD.  However, it didn't repair the problem of My Computer.

I did find that if I turned on "Automatically search for network folders and printers" and then turned it off again.  My Computer would open quickly for about 5 minutes, before becoming slow again.
there's no problem with the above solution; mostly it talks about making the live cd, so you can easily navigate to the folders mentioned, and copy them - that's all
Chris_PCSGAuthor Commented:
I'm also not sure when the problem started.
Chris_PCSGConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
So I reinstalled the whole computer and obviously it's fine now.
tx for feedback - i found that the best option if a system is running for more than 2 years
Chris_PCSGAuthor Commented:
I accepted my own answer also just to clarify what actually solved the problem.
tx for feedback
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