Strange boot issue

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by JohnK, Dec 14, 2006.

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  1. JohnK

    JohnK Registered Member

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    Recently I'm having a very peculiar problem when I boot up my Windows XP machine...

    The boot process seems normal, but one or two utilities in the startup folder fail to launch at startup (e.g. SnagIt, Powermarks) . Then when I try to launch certain programs, nothing happens - examples are IE, Acrobat Reader, Outlook. Other programs (e.g. Firefox) launch okay immediately.

    Then, about ten minutes later, the programs that failed to launch after boot up will launch, including those in the startup folder.

    The timetable goes something like: boot (takes a few minutes). Once boot has finished and system is idle, Firefox will launch okay. Try to launch a problem program (e.g. Acrobat), nothing happens. Ten minutes, Acrobat opens.

    I can't see any unusual processes running. When I try to launch Acrobat immediately after bootup, AcroRd32.exe does run (i.e. the process appears in Task Manager). Nothing else starts running or eating CPU time. But Acrobat doesn't appear on screen for ten minutes or so. This process is repeatable, and has been happening for a couple of weeks.

    Windows XP SP2, up to date. I have run the usual virus/malware progs. Any ideas appreciated.
     
  2. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    JohnK,

    Which virus/malkware progs would those be? It sounds a little like things are being locked while some other event occurs. Any recent uninstalls coincident with the problem?

    Blue
     
  3. JohnK

    JohnK Registered Member

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    Blue,

    Thanks for the response. I used Adaware and Spybot, and Active Virus Shield. I can't link the problem to any specific install/uninstall.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi John

    When you first boot as quick as you can see if you can get Task Manager open to see if and what might be running. That might help.

    Pete
     
  5. ravin

    ravin Registered Member

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  6. VikingStorm

    VikingStorm Registered Member

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    Also check the event logs:
    Go to run: eventvwr.msc
    Check for any error messages in the System and Application sections during the start-up times.
     
  7. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    This might help ?
    Have a look with "Load order"
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/SystemInformation/LoadOrder.mspx
    Just run it from the zip file.
    Works on XP and look through the sequence

    And go through Autoruns and look around
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/SystemInformation/Autoruns.mspx

    Next step might be a HJT log to see what's running?

    Maybe clean your registry? CCleaner or
    JV16 http://www.321download.com/LastFreeware/index.html

    USe SpyBot ADvanced>Tools> Process List & System Internal & Startup: to look around: very useful info there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2006
  8. JohnK

    JohnK Registered Member

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    Many thanks for all the useful advice. I'm currently working through Process Explorer info and the event logs and I'll report back. Thanks again.
     
  9. JohnK

    JohnK Registered Member

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    Having wasted most of the day on this problem, I am now convinced that it is a network issue. I recently tweaked my home network while installing a new router (changed some IPs, moved some devices from DHCP to static etc).

    I think XP or a specific program is searching for a mapped drive that no longer exists, and is locking parts of the OS and locking programs that depend on the OS to launch (hence IE, Outlook etc freezing while other programs launch immediately).

    I did search and there was a mapped drive that no longer existed to I deleted that. I also switched off automatic searching for network folders (control panel | folder options | view | advanced). But the problem hasn't gone away. Can anyone suggest any other network tweak that might help.

    Thanks again for everyone's assistance.
     
  10. JohnK

    JohnK Registered Member

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    And a bizarre symptom that backs up this theory (above): if I try to access the control panel networking applet through the Start menu, the taskbar freezes (including the launch bar and the system tray). The taskbar only unfreezes when everything starts working (i.e. after about ten minutes). I can then access network connections through the Start menu and everything is okay.
     
  11. JohnK

    JohnK Registered Member

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    For the record: my hunch was right - I killed a shared printer, and suddenly my system burst into life, and re-boots normally.

    XP is a very odd OS.
     
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