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Windows takes 20 minutes to boot..HELP

Old 08-24-04, 11:36 AM
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Windows takes 20 minutes to boot..HELP

While my sister was at school her computer began to boot extremely slow. I went through and ran Adaware, spybot, virus scan, and CWShredder. I cleaned alot of stuff out, but it still takes 20 minutes to boot. It begins to slow at the Windows 98 screen (with the clouds and the blue bar that moves across the bottom). The blue bar moves SO slow. Once in Windows 98 everything is fine, but I just don't understand why its taking so long. Here are her specs:

Windows 98 SE
512mb RAM
933mhz PIII
Geforce 2 MX 64mb
Connected to a Linksys Router for our DSL connection

Thank you for any advice ahead of time.
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Old 08-24-04, 11:43 AM
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Have you ran Scandisk yet?
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Old 08-24-04, 11:48 AM
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I bet the hard drive is dying. I would figure out the drive manufacturer and get their specific diagnostic for the drive.
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Old 08-24-04, 12:32 PM
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I believe it is a Western Digital, so it may still be under warranty. I'll try scandisk this evening to see if that helps or identifies any problems.

When the Windows screen initially comes up, it progresses normally and I can hear the hard drive working, but when the slow down occurs I don't hear the hard drive any more.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:07 PM
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When you see the Windows Boot Screen (the clouds with the progress bar), hit the ESC (you may have to hit ESC 2 times in about 3 seconds)key to see what is going on in the background. If you need to read something , hit the "Pause/Break key and when you want to continue, press any key on the keyboard
Usually when you see the blinking Curser in the upper left for about 10 seconds in Wind 98, it is "looking" for an IP address.

You may want to post the contents of your config.sys and autoexec.bat files to see if there is an invalid entry in one of those 2 files causing the slowdown.
These files are located in the C: (root)> You may need to have Windows Explorer to "View Alll Files" to see them.
Right click on each file
The config.sys file open with Notepad(make sure the check mark for always on the file type with this application is NOT checked. Once opened, select edit>Select all>copy and paste the contents here.

The autoexec.bat file, right click and select edit>Select all>copy and paste the contents here.



Try to boot to Safe Mode, It should take a little more time to load to the Windows Desktop than it does typically(before your problem).
Give an estimate time to Boot:

Booting to Safe Mode:
1. Restart the computer.
2. As the computer restarts, press and hold down the F8 key until the Windows 98 startup menu appears.
3. Choose Safe mode from the startup menu, and then press Enter. Windows starts in Safe mode.

To restart in normal mode, reboot via Start>re-start
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Old 08-24-04, 08:18 PM
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This may help you, I found it when my friend had a problem with booting up his computer. It checks to see if there are any bad sectors on your harddrive.

Restart your computer.
When the computer restarts you will see "Starting Windows 98..."
As soon (or even a little before) as you see that appear on you computer screen.
Press and hold the F8 function key on your keyboard.
This will bring up a special diagnostic start up menu with the following items

1. Normal
2. Logged (\BOOTLOG.TXT)
3. Safe Mode
4. Safe mode with network support (optional)
5. Step-by-step conformation
* 6. Command prompt only
* 7. Safe mode command prompt only

Choose either of the last two options; "Command prompt only" or "Safe mode
command prompt only".

3. Next, from the DOS (command line prompt), run Scandisk with the "surface"
switch. Example: C:> SCANDISK /SURFACE (Note: Don't try to use "surface" option
when the PC is running OK because this option is only available from a command
line prompt when
troubleshooting in safe mode).

4. When prompted to fix any bad surface areas it finds, click OK.

5. When its is finished, and you restart your computer, the "registry" checker
program will probably report that it has found an error and is going to restore
a good copy for you. The problem should now be solved.


Good Luck!
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Old 08-24-04, 11:30 PM
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68ShelbyGT500KR: The config.sys is empty and the autoexec.bat just launches Virus Scan. The hang-up occurs with the IP search. The flashing "_" is there for 20 minutes. It seems like I had a similar problem (not as bad) when I would come home from school, but I don't recall how I got around it.

Mok: I tried scandisk but it didn't help.

So it looks like the issue lies in the IP search. Thank you all so much for the VERY helpful ideas. Now I just have to figure out this new issue. Should I just remove the network card from the device profile and then reinstall?
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Old 08-25-04, 12:15 AM
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Is the computer set up as a DHCP client where no DHCP server exists? I've experienced tremendously long boot times in the past (not sure how long) due to this.
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Old 08-25-04, 09:33 AM
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I changed the DHCP setting, but its still doing the same thing. I'm going to try taking the network card out. My sister is going to use wireless this year when she goes to school so there is no need for her to have the network card anyway. I just hope this works.
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Old 08-25-04, 10:02 AM
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I removed the Network Card from the Device Profile and the computer still does the same thing.
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Old 08-25-04, 10:29 AM
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I know it's a last resort, but is there a lot of data to backup? It may be easier to just backup everything necessary, then format. A little drastic, but sometimes easier than trying to figure out every problem
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Old 08-25-04, 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Lampei
I know it's a last resort, but is there a lot of data to backup? It may be easier to just backup everything necessary, then format. A little drastic, but sometimes easier than trying to figure out every problem
That is my last resort...and it looks like thats what I should have done in the first place. Oh well. If there are any more peices of advice I'd be happy to hear them.

Otherwise, I'll be formatting the drive this evening.
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Old 08-25-04, 02:19 PM
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check to see if you have any static dns ips set
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Old 08-25-04, 02:22 PM
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How might I do that? Through the Network settings in the control panel?
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Old 08-25-04, 02:23 PM
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If possible, while you are at it, upgrade to XP (or even Win2k). Win9x is very outdated and not very good as compared to Win2k or XP.
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Old 08-25-04, 03:43 PM
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if you don't mind all the unpatched security flaws in XP. at least 9x has been out long enough that pretty much all of them are patched
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Old 08-25-04, 03:44 PM
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I use XP Pro myself and am very happy with it. How much are we talking about spending on XP or 2000 (OEM most likely)? This is my sister we're talking about who is the "poor college student", so she'll probably scoff at the idea of buying a new OS.
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Old 08-25-04, 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by mikehunt
if you don't mind all the unpatched security flaws in XP. at least 9x has been out long enough that pretty much all of them are patched
Not true. Windows 9x still has security flaws; and since Microsoft no longer supports it with hotfixes/patches, you are at a greater risk than you are running Win2K or XP. See http://channelzone.ziffdavis.com/art...1410129,00.asp for more info. XP SP2 has taken care of all of the known big exploits and should prove to be fairly secure down the road. Yes, exploits will be found (and a couple already have) but they will probably be largely of the non-critical variety. The ones found in SP2 so far (that I've seen) are no big deal and require user interaction. If you keep XP up to date (turn on Automatic Updates), run a good antivirus program (Eset NOD32 is best IMO), and use a software and/or hardware firewall, your PC will be plenty safe unless people have reason to believe that it is used to store the secret forumula for Coca-Cola etc.

At some point, the only way to protect against some of these "exploits" that depend on the naivety of the user is to basically ask "Are you sure you want to do this?," "Are you really sure?," etc. There is already a fair amount of this in SP2. If they add much more, it will start to be annoying IMO.

BTW, there are exploits/problem in Linux and other OSes. You just don't hear about them as much because a) a relatively small number of people use these OSes and b) by the nature of Linux its users are generally more experienced/knowledgable than the average Windows user. Moreover, those who seek exploits, write viruses, etc. generally focus on Windows because a) it gives them BY FAR the largest audience and/or b) they are anti-Microsoft.
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Old 08-25-04, 08:38 PM
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Bring up the Boot Menu during startup via the F8 key, select Option 2 (to create a boot log), then let Windows continue its startup. The file BOOTLOG.TXT is created in the root folder of the C: partition


Post the contents here;
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Old 08-26-04, 05:10 AM
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Originally posted by Absolute Zero
I use XP Pro myself and am very happy with it. How much are we talking about spending on XP or 2000 (OEM most likely)? This is my sister we're talking about who is the "poor college student", so she'll probably scoff at the idea of buying a new OS.

You can always check prices on a site like http://www.pricegrabber.com/ . You might also check eBay.

Note that there is a discounted "academic" license available for XP, and maybe 2000, that might save her some money if she qualifies (from the very little bit I've read about it, "college student" qualifies). Actually, I noticed that some of the XP auctions on eBay are for the academic version, although this fact is sometimes "hidden" in the fine print of the auction description.

James
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Old 08-26-04, 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by 68ShelbyGT500KR
Bring up the Boot Menu during startup via the F8 key, select Option 2 (to create a boot log), then let Windows continue its startup. The file BOOTLOG.TXT is created in the root folder of the C: partition


Post the contents here;
Tried a half a dozen times and it won't create the bootlog.txt file...anywhere on the PC.
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Old 08-26-04, 07:32 PM
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Try what MS says:

Troubleshooting Windows 98 Startup Problems
http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;EN-US;188867
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Old 08-26-04, 10:51 PM
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68ShelbyGT500KR: Disabling the autoexec.bat fixed the problem. It must have been something to do with Virus Scan. I really appreciate your help. Do you have a gmail account? If not, would you like one? I'd be happy to send you an invitation in return for your assitance.
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Old 08-27-04, 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by Absolute Zero
Disabling the autoexec.bat fixed the problem.
Did you just follow procedure in the Microsoft link above? My daughter has a similar problem. I cleaned a ton of spyware off when I was babysitting my grand-daughter a few nights ago. It runs faster once it is finally up and running, but it still launches slower than death.
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Old 08-27-04, 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by OldDude
Did you just follow procedure in the Microsoft link above? My daughter has a similar problem. I cleaned a ton of spyware off when I was babysitting my grand-daughter a few nights ago. It runs faster once it is finally up and running, but it still launches slower than death.
I followed the link above and used msconfig to disable the virus scan command in the autoexec.bat and everything works great now. The school made my sister install McAfee virus scan and firewall or she wouldn't be allowed internet access, even though she already had norton. Removing it solved the problem.
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