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I've noticed that since I installed the monthly Windows XP Updates on Tue 14 June 2011, my PC is temporarily unresponsive on start-up, say for a minute or two. Afterwards, the problem goes away (until the next reboot). For example, if I double-click the Firefox icon just after start-up it takes around 45 seconds before the main Firefox window appears! If I try it a few minutes later though, it opens in just a second or two.

I remember I had this problem before and I put it down to the .NET Framework assembly process after installing Windows Updates. However, that issue resolved itself after a few days. This time the issue is still persisting after over a week.

I'm using XP Home, with SP 3. As a precaution, I have done a virus/spyware scan and all is reported clear.

Any ideas what is likely to be causing this and how to resolve?

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Check your event viewer logs see if there is a service that is failing to start. – Not Kyle stop stalking me Jun 22 '11 at 17:16
I had a look at the Event Viewer but could not find anything significant. – Goto10 Jun 23 '11 at 18:33

This type of issue can be caused by disabling the Prefetch services, which caches things like the .NET Framework so they startup faster. Go to Start -> Run and type in services.msc then check if the Prefetch service is set to Automatic.

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Could you please let me know the exact name of this service? "Prefetch" does not appear in my list of services. However, I checked the services on a similar XP machine that doesn't have this problem and couldn't find the service there either. – Goto10 Jun 23 '11 at 18:36
I was mistaken, it's only listed as service in Vista and newer. For XP check this site: - Make sure the value is at least 2 or 3. – Chris Thompson Jun 24 '11 at 17:10
Thanks for your reply. The value is 3. I understand what you say about the Prefetch, but I don't think it was causing the problem in this case. – Goto10 Jun 25 '11 at 10:33
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well the issue appears to have been resolved (I no longer get delays when starting applications after booting-up). I'm not 100% sure how this was resolved, but I suspect it to be one (or both) of the following:

1) The issue resolved itself over time (after about a week and a half of the original Windows Updates).

2) I had temporarily disabled Windows Defender and later re-enabled, as I had suspected it may be caused by MsMpEng.exe.

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