Slow/strange boot and switch user times



I'm a Windows XP Home (SP2) user and for about three weeks I'm getting
extremely slow boot times. I've tried all the usual measures, scoured usenet
groups and am still stumped. Here is the problem:

-no problem getting to and beyond the windows xp splash screen
-load time to get to user account (logon) page about 5 minutes
-once loaded, when I click on any user account, it takes a further minute
before it starts booting. Clicking multiple times on the user account does
not solve the problem
-once beyond the user account, it boots normally, with no further problems
-if I try to switch users (without logging out of my account), I again
encounter the slowness - it take me over a minute to reach the user access

I've tried:
-looking at the events console, and there are no reports of unusual activity
-updated all drivers, and have found no hardware failures
-scanned the computer for malware, virsuses, etc. - nada

Any ideas?



Leonard Grey

The most common causes for slow startup are (in no particular order):

1) Viruses and other malicious software. (Don't be so sure your computer
is clean - today's malicious software is tough to detect.)

2) The programs you have starting with Windows are using up too much memory.

3) Configuration errors or unwise configuration choices. An example of
the first might be incorrectly denying a program internet access when it
needs that access. An example of the second might be the damage caused
by the use of so-called registry cleaners.

4) I forget what the technical term for this is, but I call it bulls**t
software: I'm referring to programs like Norton SystemWorks that run all
kinds of unnecessary scans at startup.

It's hard to tell from what you've described what might be causing
problems in your case. But here are a couple of things you might try:

Start the System Information tool (Start > All Programs > Accessories >
System Tools > System Information) and under Software Environment (on
the left side) open Startup Programs. Do you really need to have all
that starting with Windows? (Rhetorical question.)

Start your computer in Safe Mode. Still have the same problem?

Let us know what you discover.


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