I have an Optiplex gx270 I mainly use for messing around with networking. I had Ubuntu Installed on it, but decided to re-install XP. The install of XP goes good, the computer restarts and hangs when on the XP splash screen. Eventually it loaded the windows first time setup and after 20 hours it finished.

After that it would hang on the splash screen for an hour and finally go to the desktop. Once there everything was insanely slow. So after formatting and installing windows a few more times with different disk still had the same problem. I noticed it also ran slow if I booted to a flash drive or cd. I removed all non-essential hardware, removed all ram and tested each stick 1 at a time in each port. Ran memtest for 24 hours, ran diagnostics on the harddrive, checked to make sure the motherboard was not shorting out, check the caps on the mother board, reseated everything, and tested the power supply. After testing the power supply the computer would not boot, replaced the CMOS battery and that fixed it from not booting and running slow from booting to other devices but still had the problem of it hanging on the windows splash screen. Also in the process I put new thermal paste on the processor.

So I decided to install windows 7 to see how that worked. It installed, and runs perfectly (as good as it can on a 2.8ghz P4 with a gig of ram). Any one have any ideas on what would cause this problem just with XP?

EDIT: hard-drive not making any noises and seems to be spinning just fine.

  • 1
    Oh man, I've replaced so many capacitors on the GX270s.... I had a contract with a local school system that had 50 of them, and after their deal with Dell expired in 2008, they wanted to get a few more years out of machines. So, that's where I came in.... replacing bad Caps till they replaced the machines. With a GX270, the FIRST thing you gotta check, are the Caps news.cnet.com/PCs-plagued-by-bad-capacitors/… – Bon Gart Jun 11 '12 at 12:58
  • I might be a faulty driver. Can you boot in safe mode to xp? – Robert Jun 11 '12 at 12:59
  • I looked for bad caps and didnt see any but ill go over it again. You know I don't think I ever tried to boot to safe mode, I know I did when it first tried to go to windows setup but couldnt because it hadnt gone through the setup yet...I might try to reinstall windows xp again and test it out. – brock029 Jun 11 '12 at 13:25
  • Do you have any extra hardware installed? Or just the bare optiplex with RAM, HDD and DVD? – Hennes Jun 11 '12 at 13:27
  • Lol not even a DVD drive just a CD drive, but yeah everything is bare except for an Nvidia 5200fx, which I have tried it with and without. – brock029 Jun 11 '12 at 13:33

I suppose I'll take a stab at this one. I ALWAYS like to test all of the components (RAM, HD, Power, bad caps, etc.) before anything else in situations like this just because it saves so much time and effort later on down the road. The advice Bon Gart gave is very good as well in these types of scenarios.

Even if the reinstall worked and things are working now, doesn't give you much of a guarantee on anything. Basically, this set of steps is a good way of covering your bases so you aren't banging your head into a wall later on.

There are a variety of bootable disk utilities you can use to test the health of Hard Drives. One simple but effective tool to use is Drive Fitness Test. This will tool will essentially go through the drive checking for bad sectors as well as performing a number of other checks in the process.

Another simple thing to test for would be faulty RAM, with something like Memtest86+.

  • User has already mentioned in his post that he already tried those things. So you should have to come out with new/fresh idea for the use. :) – avirk Jun 11 '12 at 14:09
  • Like I said in my question I have already ran diagnostics on the hard drive and ran memtest for 24 hours with no errors. Also removed all of the ram and tested them one by one in each slot. – brock029 Jun 11 '12 at 14:10
  • Sorry it is apparently still too early for me :P Have you checked the XP installation media for defects, scratches, etc. – jmreicha Jun 11 '12 at 14:12
  • @jmreicha Yep the OEM XP Pro disk is just fine, I also used a second XP Home disk I had same issue with both. – brock029 Jun 11 '12 at 14:15
  • What about swapping out the optical drive or booting from an external optical drive? – jmreicha Jun 11 '12 at 14:21

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.