Slow Boot with USB drive connected. On a dell d620, difficulty accessing a western dig. usb 80 gig drive. Win xp.

I had no problems using this usb drive when it only had a few gigs on it.  Now it's got about half of its 80 gig capacity in use and it takes at least 5 additional  minutes for the laptop to boot when it's connected and there are other related delays occurring.   Obviously it's an older laptop and that must be the issue - but anyway to get around that while continuing to use this laptop?

Note I am not attempting to boot from the usb drive.

Thanks.
lewisoAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
A USB drive connected is probably leading the laptop to believe it has to look through it. Some older machines won't even boot if a USB drive is connected. I have seen that some time back.

The solution is obvious while you are using an older machine. Remove the USB key at turn off. When you start up, leave the drive out until the machine is fully started.

Also look to see if your Anti Virus application is doing a full scan of the USB drive at start up.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Some additional information will be useful to us, namely:

At what stage does the delay occur?  Does it occur during the power-on self-test where the BIOS is checking the system over and deciding what device to boot, or does it occur after the "Starting XP" text display but before the XP flag display, or does it occur after the XP flag display but before the login screen, or does it occur after the login but before the desktop is usable?

Speculations:

An 80 GB USB drive is going to be an older hard drive, and at this stage in its lifetime it may be starting to throw correctable errors or seek failures.  

I suggest downloading a copy of the freeware Passmark Disk Checkup.  See what it reports about the drive's status and expected reliability.  The program supports both direct connect and USB drives.  See the image below of a USB drive on an XP system:

new-1.gif
As drives get older they do develop issues.  Note in the image above that the drive is reporting it has a temperature problem which caused it to fail two years ago.  So take everything in the report with a grain of salt.

Check the system's event logs to see if any issues are reported related to the drive.  These would be found in the System area of the log.

Check fragmentation on the drive.  If it has been in use for 10 years and has never been defragmented, there may be some severe issues there.

Is the system running CHKDSK at startup against the drive?  If so, this would indicate an ongoing problem with the drive.

Run CHKDSK manually on the drive to see if the structure is clean.
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nobusCommented:
i would run a diag on the usb disk also, it may have problems
i use the manufacturer's diagnostics for this - most can be found on the uBCD :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

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, eg ubcd527.iso - so 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 or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@lewiso  - Thank you and I was happy to help.
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