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Hey all, A friends machine is lagging for about 30 seconds when they highlight 'All Programs'. A gray box popus up where the program menu would be, but it doesnt populate for nearly 30 seconds. This seems to happen if he hasn't open the start menu for a bit.. but if he get's it working once, doing it immediatly afterwards will usually not have the same lag. Assuming computer hardware isn't an issue, any ideas what the problem may be?

Sidenote: He mentioned making desktop shortcuts is taking long as well, does that give any clues?

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"Assuming computer hardware isn't an issue" - it probably is. Sounds a lot like what my old p4 machine was like. –  Phoshi Mar 4 '10 at 16:39
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2 Answers

It might be poor harddrive performance, or a harddrive that is slowly dying. See if you can check the SMART information and look for anything that might indicate failing drive.

He might also be running out of available memory. Open the task manager and see how much of his memory is in use by applications. You can also use a tool called Process Explorer, which might give better details about memory than Microsoft's built in Task manager.

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It's a very tough situation to diagnose like this, but check the following. Press the windows key (it's the one that looks like the windows logo/flag, usually to left of space bar) and the 'R' key to open the run command. Type 'msconfig' and hit enter. This will open the System Config window. Go to the startup tab and check disable all and hit OK. It will prompt for a reboot. Reboot and see if that addresses the problem. If it does, then a program that was auto starting was causing the problem. You can then go back in and reenable 2 or 3 at a time and see if the situation happens again. Also run a virus/malware scan since that might be the cause of the issue to. A good program is http://www.malwarebytes.org/ (use the free version, and http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/ if you need a AV program.

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