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XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

I was running a cleanup on my system, so I backed up all my files to an external drive, and reloaded XP Pro.  It runs fine until I run the SP3 update, and then the system will boot very slow.  It can take 10 to 12 minutes to boot, at times.  I continued to run the rest of the critical updates, still booting slow, and when I try to run the optional update for WMP 11, if fails.  It will not load any patches at all from windows update, at this point.  You can download the patch manually, and load it.

I have reloaded XP Pro several times to see what might be causing the problem, and I am down to SP3 being the problem.

Here is my hardware config...

Asus P4C800 Deluxe
ATI Radeon HD2600XT
2 WD RE series 250 GB SATA Drives - RAID 0
Promise Fastrak 378 controller built in MOBO

I am down to skipping the SP3 update, and updating the files one by one from SP2...

Any suggestions?


RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

Does it boot ok in safe mode?

Only the truly stupid believe they know everything.
Stu.. 2004

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

Check the jumpering of the drive!

if it is set to SLAVE and it is the only one on the cable, then set it to MASTER...

Let it boot up, then navigate to the device manager, check the IDE controller (if you have IDE HDD installed), and look for the DMA setting, if it is set to PIO, then uninstall that IDE controller and check the others, then reboot...

XP tends to change the DMA transfer setting to PIO, if it noticed more than 5 DMA errors, and installing a SP as big as it is, could hick-up and you will end up with a slow dead *ss PC...


"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot


I didn't think to try "Safe Mode"...


The drives are SATA drives, RE series Western Digitals, configured in a RAID 0 configuration...

I don't think I have an issue on the drives...I had it setup exactly this way before I started the wipe and reload process...

Current state...

I removed SP3, and loaded patches on SP2 and so far I have had no issues...

If anyone has seen SP3 slow down the boot process, and fixed it let me know...


RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

Next time you battle SP3 (if there is) have you considered experimenting with Slipstreaming the Service Pack?

Slipstreaming Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Create Bootable CD


Slipstream Service Pack 3 into Your Windows XP Installation CD

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Released

Free unlimited installation and compatibility support is available for Windows XP, but only for Service Pack 3 (SP3).

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot


Do you think bootvis would be a viable option? I've not used this tool in ages so don't know its status in regards to any XP Service Packs.

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

Have you defraged your drive lately?  Also, run chkdsk c: /r and reboot.

By any chance, do you have any disconnected shared drives? This will definetly slow down your boot up (but it still shouldn't take that long).

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

Here is the current status...

I took linney's advice and created a slipstream copy of XP and reloaded the system for the 99th time.

It seemed to work better, but would not boot nearly as fast as XP SP2.

I loaded the rest of the patches on the system, and it has slowed down a little.

I haven't put a stopwatch on it, but it is booting from post to ready to work time, in about 1:30.

I have had it take better than 3+ minutes to boot a few times.

At this point, and I am planning to see how it runs for a while.

I haven't defragged yet, it is a new install.  Also, no shares, it is a new install.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far...


RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

I think that Bootvis, for improving Booting Speed, is no longer supported and the technology for want of a better word, superseded, and already included in XP and Vista.  However if you can find a copy of the old Bootvis, the graph that shows the loading delay times for drivers is a handy tool but forget about any optimizing.

I'd now just concentrate on the basics of Disk Cleanup, Defrag, and preventing unnecessary programs from launching at Startup.

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

Even though this is a new machine, you have to remember that SP3 adds a lot of files, copies a lot of files, overwrites a lot of files, and then deletes a lot of files. The result is a year's worth of adding and deleting files in just one install (IMHO).


James P. Cottingham
I'm number 1,229!
I'm number 1,229!

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

Don't believe the hype above about NOT installing SP3.  I've installed SP3 on quite a few machines - at least 20 (all kinds - slow/fast, old/new) and they all run at least as well as before SP3.  Something concrete is definitely going on to cause the slowdown.


Download Autoruns and find out what's trying to start when your computer boots.  Something simple has to be going on.  Install and run CCleaner to clean up temp files also, but I don't think that would make a MAJOR difference like you are describing.

You can uncheck just about everything and then slowly add things back into the mix until you find the culprit.

RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

By the way, make sure to run the program (autoruns), then check the following options under OPTIONS.  This is to hide all Microsoft entries.  Then press the REFRESH button or F5

Include Empty Locations
Verify Code Signatures
Hide Signed Microsoft Entries

I always start there because I ASSUME that it's a third party piece of software causing the slowdown.  Later, if you don't think it's a third party software, you can uncheck these and go after a Microsoft component as the source of the problem.


RE: XP Pro SP3 - Really, Really, REALLY, slow boot

This might be stating the obvious, but are you sure you're running the latest version of SP3?  Has the version you're using been kicking around for a while, or is this a brand new download from the official Microsoft website?


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