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XP network startup problems


XP network startup problems

This is a weird one. It's even hard to explain so the subject isn't a great description.

Basically, I have a decent PC, an ADSL router and WinXP Pro. Over the last few months, I have noticed it starting to take a long time from my desktop loading and the network connection icon appearing in the taskbar. It is now sometimes 5-10 minutes! Although I can launch things like IE and Outlook Express (anything that uses network connectivity), they do not actually appear until this time is up and the network icon appears. All that time though, the machine is doing nothing, no chugging away doing processing.

I do know a fair bit about computers and particularly software but this one has me stumped. I have googled it to death and not found anything. I've also scoured the MS Support website. Unfortunately, most of the keywords to the problem - "slow", "network", "startup" can hit lots of stuff that has nothing to do with what I want. Even knowing to use quotes and + sign has not helped.

Well, maybe someone is still with me and might be able to help! I reckon it needs a Windows networking/admin expert or someone who has hit it before.

What I really kick myself about is that I have no idea exactly when it started and hence what might have caused it.

Anyway, here's some of the symptoms (clues!):

- There are lots of event log errors. Normally my event log is nice and clear! Mostly though, they seem to be problems caused by some precipitating issue. The first error that comes up (and this may be the root) is the DHCP service warning that it could not renew the lease from DHCP server - it was denied - "(The DHCP Server sent a DHCPNACK message)". This is odd because none of my configuration specifies that IP for DHCP. It is correctly set to my router IP and I do get the address it says I was denied. This has always worked before.

- All the other event log errors are other services timing out when they start, presumably because they are waiting for something crucial to happen too. I doubt what these services are is relevant but heres the first few: Browser, ShellHWDetection, dmserver, FastUserSwitchingCompatibility, AudioSrv. They all timeout "waiting for a transaction response" or because they "did not respond to the start or control request in a timely manner". Remember here though that the computer is not struggling when these events were logged, just starting up gently as normal. I have a P4 2.6GHz and 1GB of memory.

- If I launch a command prompt (via Task Mgr - start menu non-functional at this stage too) whilst waiting for the network icon, running "ipconfig /all" shows a healthy network config including the right DHCP address, the fact that I have an IP address and so on. All looks correct. I can even ping and ftp etc. Remember though that no Windows app that uses the network (internet) will launch at this stage.

So, what does it all mean?? Someone please give me an insight. I'm stumped and the startup time to do anything online is really getting irritating now.

I have by the way removed as much software and new stuff as I can particularly low level stuff like my anti-virus s/w.

Come on, someone rescue me please before I get the XP disk out and start again!

Thanks in advance.


XP network startup problems is the IP address your PC will use (give itself) when requesting a valid network IP address via DHCP. My question is ... why are you using DHCP with just the one client? Why not disable DHCP and give your computer a static IP address or whatever?Huh
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

XP network startup problems

mariglenn, It is easier to setup a system when all the IP settings set by DHCP so that in itself is nothing to worry about. It should work fine in that setup.

rlund, As for your startup issues, try running some of the startup control apps listed in General: Essential Security software and see if anything unusual appears. Before you do that I would scan your system for malware / spyware with spybot and adaware and do a full virus scan with up to date definitions.

Also check if your router has up to date firmware and if not try the latest version in case the DHCP part is not functioning correctly. You could also try resetting your router (which one do you have by the way?) to it's factory defaults and setting it up again in case something is corrupted.

If you have a firewall or virus scanner running, try disabling them and rebooting and see if the startup is any quicker. For some firewalls you need to completely uninstall the software before it stops interfering with your system.

Also are you sure you are not getting disk errors or your disk is having the retry accesing data. It may be worth trying to run a full surface scan to verify you are not having disk problems.

XP network startup problems

I wasn't suggesting that using DHCP makes setting up your network any harder. It's just that if it is DHCP which is at fault, using a static IP address might prove this one way or the other. With any network, adding more services simply means there is more to go wrong. But if DHCP wasn't working the client should use IP address, that would give things away! Wink