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Old 01-15-2008, 03:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up


Last night, I booted up my computer but it wouldn't start up. I tried several times. Each time I got to the black screen with the Windows name and scrolling bar, it continued doing that, so after about 5 minutes, I'd stop it.

The next time I booted, it gave me options to start my pc. I first tried "Last Best Known Configuration" but it didn't work. I then told it to "Start Normally," but that didn't work either.

I tried to do a repair. I inserted my Windows disk and chose to do a repair. It got to the point when it asked me for my password in a DOS box. My password is my first name, either with a capital D or a d but I previously changed my log-on to not ask me for my password each time. When I entered my password, I typed it first with lower case d then D, but neither way worked.

Than I booted my pc and went upstairs, came back down about 20 minutes later and my desktop was on the screen. At that point, I tried several different restore points (waiting for the system to reboot in 15 mins each time), but none of them worked. I was very surprised and confused.

Ok, time to pull out the big guns. I did a format. I installed Windows, created a Restore Point, and rebooted. It still took 15 minutes to boot up. I scheduled a chkdsk for the next time I booted up. The results of the chkdsk shows that nothing is wrong with my hdd.

If there's nothing wrong with my software and nothing wrong with my hardware, what could it be? When I'm on my pc, it runs fine, no problems at all. It's just the 15 minute boot process that's abnormal and I don't know what to do about it.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Old 01-15-2008, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

dl hdtune and run that
HD Tune

password at a dos box?

what's your hardware and your os version?
assuming legit windows...if you installed again, did you do a full or quick format?

also dl and use these if you want:
auslogic disk defrag: Disk Defrag - Reclaim the Speed Of Your Disks
defraggler: Defraggler - Defragment your files!
power defragmenter: Power Defragmenter Download - Softpedia

use auslogic to see how fragmented your hd is
then run them in that order...I use multiple defraggers because of different companies view defragging:
power defragmenter

your hd could actually be "fine" but on the verge of dying. Do you hear a clicking sound like something is trying to "catch"?

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Old 01-15-2008, 06:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

Hi atomic tofu,

The black box that I named DOS box is because it's the same type of box that opens when I type cmd. I started using computers when all they had was the DOS Shell so, to me, it's still DOS. If it has another name, please let me know.

My pc has:

- Biostar TFORCE 6100-939 mobo which supports dual channel DDR
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 320Gb hard drive (RAID array not set up)
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Toledo 2.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor
- ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
- Corsair 620W PSU
- Ballistix 2x1G RAM, 184-pin DIMM, 128MX64 DDR PC3200, Unbuffered
- NORCO-4618 PCI-X / PCI eSATA / SATA II / SATA I Controller Card RAID 0/1/5/10/JBOD
- Windows XP X64, SP3

I built it myself along with a lot of great people in PC Forums on the net.

I not only have 1 legitimate Windows disk, I had to buy 2 because the first one cracked into about 8 to 10 pieces. My DVD drive had to be replaced because the disk broke when one of the nibs on the DVD tray was missing, or the nib was broken off when the disk did something. The result was the same though . . . $210.00.

I did a full format at first but it went back to "start with CD?" I said yes again and it started it from scratch. Hoping to save 15 minutes, I told it to do a quick format the second time.

I use GUI Power Deframenter and then Windows Defragmenter. Together, they keep everything straightened out. I also use programs like Disk Cleanup and Advanced WindowsCare V2 Personal. I run each of the programs at least twice a week.

Let me know if the programs that you mentioned are for 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. The last time I used a 32-bit program to clean my pc caused me to have to do a format because it found non-32-bit files and decided that my pc can do without them.

Yup, the build of this pc was hilarious . . . at one point, there was smoke and sparkes coming out of my case. It turned out that the connector to the floppy drive was upside down. Also, when I first connected one of the SATA ext hdds, it blew the first floppy drive and the psu. So, 3 floppies and new cables and a new psu that time around and a new cpu and hsf the second time around. No instructions in any guides or instruction booklet mentioned risers for the mobo.

There isn't any clicking sound when it runs for 15 minutes in the window that has the black background and the Windows XP X64 logo with the scroll bar beneath it. At the very end, though, I hear it catching but it doesn't sound like it's trying to catch a few times and then finally did catch. It catches the first time.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

Do all the usual things. - Memory Diagnostic

Download and burn MeMtest86. Run that for around 4 hours to make sure your RAM is alright. You already ran chkdsk and that turned up alright. From there your best bet is to start eliminating all hardware except essential components. Video Card, Mobo, RAM, and mouse keybord. Start it up and see if it continues. If it does then we know it is down to your mobo or CPU. If it doesnt start adding back teh components one by one till you find the faulty device that is causing this.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

I just ran HD Tune. To make the story short, it found it to be in good health.

Benchmark Test:
- Min 36.9Mb/s
- Max 74.3Mb/s
- Burst Rate 74.7Mb
- Access Time 13.3ms
- CPU Usage 4.7%

I did the Error Scan using the Quick method. If it had shown any sign at all of being damaged, I would've run the test again in regular mode.

The following boxes were checked
- Capacity 49999Mb, Usage 25.78%, Type NTFS, Bootable=No
- S.M.A.R.T.
- Read Look-Ahead
- Write Cache
- Host Protected Area
- Device Configuration Overlay
- Firmware Upgradable
- Power Management
- Security Command Queuing (NCA)

The following boxes weren't checked:
- Automatic Acoustic Management
- Advanced Powe Management
- Interface Power Management
- Power-up in Standby

HD Tune: ST3320620AS Health

ID Current Worst ThresholdData Status
(01) Raw Read Error Rate 94 91 6 14393640 Ok
(03) Spin Up Time 97 95 0 0 Ok
(04) Start/Stop Count 100 100 20 146 Ok
(05) Reallocated Sector Count 100 100 36 0 Ok
(07) Seek Error Rate 81 60 30 162026969 Ok
(09) Power On Hours Count 99 99 0 1221 Ok
(0A) Spin Retry Count 100 100 97 0 Ok
(0C) Power Cycle Count 100 100 20 349 Ok
(BB) (unknown attribute) 100 100 0 0 Ok
(BD) (unknown attribute) 100 100 0 0 Ok
(BE) Airflow Temperature 61 54 45 689831975 Ok
(C2) Temperature 39 46 0 39 Ok
(C3) Hardware ECC Recovered 68 61 0 206680238 Ok
(C5) Current Pending Sector 100 100 0 0 Ok
(C6) Offline Uncorrectable 100 100 0 0 Ok
(C7) Ultra DMA CRC Error Count 200 200 0 0 Ok
(C8) Write Error Rate 100 253 0 0 Ok
(CA) TA Counter Increased 100 253 0 0 Ok

Power On Time : 1221
Health Status : Ok

HD Tune: ST3320620AS Error Scan

Scanned data : 305123 MB
Damaged Blocks : 0.0 %
Elapsed Time : 0:34
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

wah! what a system! that's just crazy ;p
I thought you could have gotten a replacement of the OS for free, or about $10

anywho...I dl'd the manual for that norco, did you update anything for it yet?
Silicon Image - Support | Search Results
Silicon Image - Support | Search Results

the norco manual points to siliconimage

me and my 56k dialup, I looked at the biostar and notice it has onboard sata, and not sure if you updated it's bios yeet either
Biostar USA 6100-939

are you using or planning to use the onboard sata? not sure if your mobo can disable it, but if it can, do that. Saves a tick or 2 I believe.

some people don't believe in updating their bios...I always check up on bios updates when they come from the manufacturer.

And you can do as Mak suggests, I always disable things I know i don't use, like serial/parellel......and floppy

auslogics says it's 64bits
defraggler - working on it
then i'm going to guess your power defragmenter is the same as mine
and hdtune is xp 64bit

edit: my slow self I see you made a new comment before I finished mine, lol
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

The new Windows X64 disk cost about $154.00. Since the original disk was an OEM version and I was the sole and end user, I had no warrenty. I called Microsoft about it but they went by the book. The new BenQ cost about $54.00, then shipping/handling for both. I gave a rough estimate of the cost in the post and in this one too.

I first used GUI Defragmenter, then Windows Defragmenter, as I usually do. I then ran Auslogic to see how much more it would find and it found only 1 item, so GUI and Window defragmenters are doing ok.

I'm running MemTest86 (the free version) right now. I started it at around 11:45 pm and I'll let it run all night. Right now, it's completed about 365% coverage. According to the instructions, I'm to do it two times, so I'll stop the present scan and start the second one tomorrow morning, and let it run for about 4 hrs.

I haven't updated the drivers for the Norco because I didn't set up a RAID Array, and I don't want to. I read thru them and saw that some don't require RAID Arrays so I'll look into it more tomorrow (almost 1 am here). If you have a suggestion as to which ones are best for my pc, please let me know.

I flashed the BIOS when I formatted the drive, no overclocking. I also updated the drivers for Biostar TForce 6100-939 Chipset, Biostar TForce 6100-939 On-Board VGA, and Nvidia - 93.71_forceware_winxp64.

See you tomorrow
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

Would you tell me, why is everything geared toward Vista and very little toward XP Pro X64? Was X64 just a stepping stone to Vista?
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up

I believe it's only because not many people, companies and consumers wanted to fully embrace 64bits. Back on NT and hearing and knowing about 64bits, people didn't want to back then and still are hesitant.

Now with Vista being the next phase, it's just more likely to have people coding things for it than the older xp pro 64. So not really a stepping I am on 32bit Vista
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Computer Started to take 15 Minutes to Start Up


I just got up and took a look at the MemTest. It ran for over 12 hours and the count is over 4200 with 0 errors. I'll be stopping it now and start it again and let it run for 4 hours. It's encouraging to see that it found no errors the first time around.

After MemTest is finished, I'm going to start Sea Tools.

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