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The OS used in my PC is Windows XP Professional SP3, duly updated. Suddenly (starting some days back) the booting process has become extremely slow. It takes 5 to 7 minutes for the PC to become operative, before I can open anything. I have checked BIOS settings and reset these as recommended. It is extremely annoying.

The total booting time used to be 30 to 45 seconds. How can I restore the PC to to the normal (fast) booting mode?

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I would suggest you start the msconfig.exe (Windows + R → msconfig.exe) tool and unmark all apps that are being executed at startup and disable the non-microsoft startup services as well (note that they'll be in disabled state, meaning they can't be activated, not even manually, you'd then have to use the services.msc tool to change the ones you really need to manual or automatic again). Defrag your units (make sure you also have enough free space) and check your drive's health (use a SMART data dump tool), they may be failing as well. Use tools such as adwcleaner to check for adware/malware installed. Also make sure your computer's specs aren't too low (some new applications require better hardware that old computers lack).

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Based on my experience you have to check system setting on your Windows.

  • Open msconfig (Windows+R)
  • see the start-up option, uncheck all of it
  • then go to services tab, check "Hide all Microsoft services" then uncheck all of them
  • then apply-ok
  • restart your PC.
  • Thanks. Tried as suggested. It has not resolved the slow booting issue. The booting time is still the same annoying 5 to 7 minutes of waiting each time before I can use the PC. Can you please suggest another way of tackling this acute problem? – Steven Kay May 11 '14 at 5:04
  • ok then try to checkdisk on primary partition where windows was installed and if HDD is okay, try to defrag all partition. also yu can try to install CCleaner and remove junk files and regisry. – Hunter-X May 11 '14 at 8:39
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Does the slowdown happen while the computer is starting up, or does it happen after the login screen appears? If it's the latter, do you have Microsoft Security Essentials installed? I encountered a very similar issue (with my computer freezing for several minutes shortly after logging in) about two weeks ago, and replacing Microsoft Security Essentials with avast! solved the problem.

Another possible and more serious cause is a failing hard drive. Try checking the health of your HDD using a S.M.A.R.T. tool.

  • Danny Chia, Thanks for the suggestion. It is indeed after the log-in screen appears. Yes I do have Microsoft Security Essentials installed. As recommended by you I shall try to get it uninstalled and then see if that solves the problem. Shall also try to check the health of the HDD as suggested by you. I shall let you know thew outcome. Thanks again for your help. – Steven Kay May 11 '14 at 5:43
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I knowhow to fix it, it has something to do with the pagefile, after like 8 bootups after I initiated page file, the computer boots up slower every time I boot it. I disabled the page file and boom! Just normal shutdown and start-up.It's better to have your system boot up without the extreme lag when you have not found the real reason for it to boot like a granny! I have had my pagefile switched off for like a year when I first encountered a problem with it being switched off. It only is a problem when you use applications that can exceed the mounted ram space or have many programs running at once. When you know you don't have many and or have ram enough installed I certainly see no problem in disabling the pagefile. NOTE THAT YOU CAN ENABLE THE PAGEFILE AGAIN AFTER BOOTING ONCE WITHOUT THE PAGEFILE! IT'LL BOOT YOU PC LIKE NORMAL AGAIN UNTIL YOU REENCOUNTER THE PROBLEM.

  • Disabling pagefile is not recommended. It wasn't the cause of this issue, but rather a trigger of something that caused it. You should always have pagefile enabled no matter how much RAM you have. – gronostaj Jan 8 '15 at 20:57

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