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I have a desktop that refuses to boot into Windows. I used Hitachi DFT and the HD came back OK. I then used Memtest86+ and it took hours for the test to run. After 8+ hours it was up to test number 6. I aborted and ran Memtest86. It ran at basically the same speed. I aborted and went to look at the BIOS settings.

The computer is running slow at POST. It takes a long time for the keyboard to be recognized, etc. The BIOS settings takes time to be (slowly) drawn on the screen.

What could be causing such behavior?

EDIT: I gave back the computer a while back without ever discovering the cause so I'm closing the question.

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closed as too localized by Sathya Jan 16 '12 at 16:47

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Possible, cpu cache disabled in bios. System is crazy slow without cache. It typical for Pentiun 2 - 3 CPU

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Thanks! Will check that right away. – ssvarc Mar 4 '10 at 18:54
Nope. Cache was enabled. But +1 for the possible lead. – ssvarc Mar 4 '10 at 20:14

Generally when a BIOS runs slow like that it indicates hardware damage--probably a short circuit, bad capacitors, or a chip was fairly close to letting the smoke out due to overheating.

How many passes did MemTest86/MemTest86+ complete? It's designed to loop forever.

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So you're saying that the motherboard is bad? What tests are available to narrow this down? Zero passes. It took 8+ hours to get to test number six and which point I aborted. – ssvarc Mar 4 '10 at 18:53
Check the motherboard's capacitors for bulges or leaks. – Broam Mar 4 '10 at 20:25
Did so and I don't see any bulges or leaks. I've reseated all connections as well. It just seems to me that if there was a issue with the motherboard the computer wouldn't run. I've seen computers with a slow boot due to USB conflicts, etc. MMV-RU gave a solid lead about the CPU cache, but I haven't heard of a computer running v-e-r-y slowly due to a motherboard issue. Any links where I could learn more about this? There is definitely lots that I don't know. – ssvarc Mar 4 '10 at 21:09
The "USB conflict" line gives me an idea. Strip the computer to the bare essentials--remove all the add-in cards, drives, etc, until it's basically CPU, minimal RAM, and oh, a floppy or something. If it's still slow, switch the floppy for a CD. Test the RAM in another machine. Test the video card in another machine. Swap power supplies. Basically, isolate the problem. If it's not slow, add items back in until it is. The last item added is either bad or has a conflict with an earlier item. This is time-consuming. – Broam Mar 5 '10 at 14:19
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I gave back the computer without ever discovering the cause.

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