I have a machine running Windows XP that, within about 5 minutes of powering on, will become almost unusable for 30 seconds to 5 minutes. The hard drive light will stay solid, and UI elements become mostly unusable. For example, clicking "Start" may only elicit a response after 2 minutes. Eventually, the hard drive light will go off, and the machine will return to normal operation.
The machine is a AthlonIIX2-250. It uses an AMD 770/SB710 chipset motherboard of high quality. I have tried (not necessarily in this order):
- Re-installing Windows
- Replacing the Motherboard
- Replacing the hard drive SATA cable
- Replacing the RAM
- Updating the drivers
- Replacing the wireless card with a different brand and chipset
I have tested the hard drive with both Western Digital Diagnostics and Spinrite, and neither have indicated any errors. I have run numerous RAM tests using Memtest86+. Again, no errors. I have used a power supply tester on the system, and there is no indication of problems. The problem appears to be aggravated by wireless network access (the system freezes more frequently or sooner after booting), but a wireless network connection need not be established for this to happen. The problem happens less frequently using the integrated NIC, but still happens. The Windows Event Viewer shows nothing unusual. The problem occurs in Safe Mode and also in Safe Mode With Networking. The problem also occurs on bare minimum re-install with no third-party drivers loaded except for the AMD AHCI driver supplied by the motherboard vendor.
EDIT 5: Summary above changed to reflect help so far.
Just some background on me in case it helps: I have built and repaired thousands of PCs and servers over the last 7 years. I run my own Linux-based mail server. I use Linux on my usual desktop. I own a Mac Mini. I own two Windows XP machines. I have some experience with Windows Server. I have built and configured networks for about 20 small and medium businesses from scratch (and inherited countless others). I would like to think I have a fair degree of technical competence, but this one has me beaten.