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Slow desktop on start-up

maranello
Pro
Posts: 1,036
Thanks: 100
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Slow desktop on start-up

I looking for some advice on how to trace what processes are running which could be slowing down my desktop, which is running under XP. The problem is only apparent once I have selected my account from the XP Welcome screen. Once the background is up and all desktop shortcuts have appeared, it can take ages for any applications to load, such as Outlook Express or any browsers. The disk access light appears to be continuously lit for 5 minutes, once this has stopped then the performance improves.
I don't know how to find out which process is responsible for this disk activity, since task manager doesn't appear to have an option to monitor disk activity by process.
Any advice would be appreciated, short of re-installing XP or buying a faster processor machine. I have already increased the memory to 2GB (max possible)
My other car isn't a Ferrari
7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Slow desktop on start-up

Try using msconfig to see what starts at that point and disable the ones you don't absolutely need (Type msconfig in the run box in the start menu)
Also check virtual memory settings and the available disk space
Moved to Windows Software as that is a better home for it
maranello
Pro
Posts: 1,036
Thanks: 100
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Slow desktop on start-up

Thanks Jim,
I dabbled with msconfig previously, but I may have been too hesitant as I only disabled a redundant printer driver. I will do some research to find out what each process is (it doesn't always seem obvious from the name), before disabling anything.
Likewise with Virtual memory settings I need to find out what is the optimum. Is it related to the amount of installed memory?
My other car isn't a Ferrari
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Slow desktop on start-up

That is the default on XP but if you add more memory it doesn't seem to change
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,760
Thanks: 1,601
Fixes: 19
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Slow desktop on start-up

Are you running an Anti Virus prog that "scans on start up" ? ? ? ?
You should be able to check that, and change it to a more suitable time, (say 10.00) in the "Schedule" scan
Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Slow desktop on start-up

I used to find that having "AdAware" enabled during startup would dramatically slow Windows XP booting.
In the early days it used to be fine, but as more features got added over time, it became more trouble than it was worth.
I resorted to disabling "AdAware" startup from within it's own settings, then I would manually run it when I wanted to scan for malware.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,369
Thanks: 241
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Registered: 04-08-2009

Re: Slow desktop on start-up

wacky17
Grafter
Posts: 134
Registered: 25-06-2008

Re: Slow desktop on start-up

What i usally do is go into event viewer and view for errors in the logs. I also go into services and turn things off and on.