Vexed by Really Slow Startup


I built a new Core 2 Quad Q9400 machine on an Asus P5Q Deluxe board with 4GB of Corsair DDR2, a 74GB Raptor, and a GeForce GTX 260. The problem is that it starts up really slowly. The rig will POST and go through hardware boot but right before the Windows XP logo comes up, I get a black screen for seven to eight minutes. On occasion it will start up right away, but about 80 percent of the time, it has the delay. It also takes five minutes to shut down even after using a registry hack to kill apps faster.

—Adam Sorich

Slow startups in Windows XP are difficult to diagnose without more information, but there are a few things you should look at: First, download the latest BIOS and chipset drivers for your motherboard from Asus’s website and install them. If that doesn’t fix the problem, remove all of your USB devices (except keyboard and mouse) and see if you can replicate the issue. Perform a chkdsk of the drive to see if drive corruption is causing the issue. Also, check your machine for malware, which could be slowing you down. Install and run Windows Defender. We also recommend Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware ( ), Super Antispyware ( ), and A2 Free from ( ). All of the above apps have freeware options. If all else fails, you’re probably going to have to back up your data, and do a clean install of Windows.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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