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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Ten-minute boot time for old XP machine

    My wife works at home full time using a company provided PC. However, we have an old Dell PC running XP that is used as a temporary fallback in the event that issues occur with her work PC. The old Dell is definitely a secondary machine, so this is not a critical issue, but it is certainly an irritating one.

    After noticing some intermittent Windows errors regarding a "missing file" (I have no more detail as this is as much as my wife remembers), my wife tried to re-install XP using our original installation CD/product key on top of the existing installation of Windows. The reason she did this is that she did not want to have to reinstall and configure some software from her employer. She did not consider backing up the hard drive, wiping the disk and doing a clean install of XP.

    In any event, the result is that we now have a dual boot XP. When booting, we are presented with a screen before Windows loads asking us to select which Windows installation to load. The two installations are labelled identically - to load the newer installation of Windows I need to select the second item in the list. Then Windows boots normally and all is well. If I select the first option in the list, the older buggy installation loads.

    The problem is that it takes about 10 minutes from boot up until we're presented with the dual boot menu. I don't know what the system is doing during this boot check process, but I can't figure out how to shorten this boot time. All we see is a blank monitor with a flashing cursor in the upper left corner. There doesn't appear to be any hard drive activity during this period. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Do you have anything plugged in to the USB ports? If so,try unplugging everything. Is there a disk in your CD/DVD drive? If take it out.

    One more thing to try. Run chkdsk /f

    Jerry

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    cjdahl60 (2011-08-21)

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    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    The problem is that it takes about 10 minutes from boot up until we're presented with the dual boot menu. I don't know what the system is doing during this boot check process, but I can't figure out how to shorten this boot time. All we see is a blank monitor with a flashing cursor in the upper left corner. There doesn't appear to be any hard drive activity during this period. Any suggestions?
    Here is a link that will show you in detail;http://www.watchingthenet.com/speed-...tup-times.html
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

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    cjdahl60 (2011-08-21)

  6. #4
    New Lounger
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    After reading this article, it seems like this is a way to reduce the amount of time once the dual boot menu is presented. My problem is that from cold/re-boot, it takes 10 minutes to get to the dual boot menu.

  7. #5
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    Hi cjdahl60,

    A quick question first up: Did the machine exhibit this issue prior to the dual boot scenario?

    Depending on the above answer it could be either but not limited to the following: PXE (network) boot timeout as you mentioned it is a corporate machine or it may be a failing hard disk which is taking a long time to initialise during the BIOS Post start-up stage.

    I would definitely check the hard disk with a utility like Seagate SeaTools for DOS which is a bootable CD which can run generic tests on non Seagate HDDs.

  8. #6
    New Lounger
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    Chowur: If I'm reading the linked article correctly, this is addressing the default selection time once the dual boot menu is presented. My issue is the length of time it takes to get to the dual boot menu. I will, though, use one of the tips in the article to automatically pre-select the boot option I want. This will mean that I don't have to wait around during the boot process to be sure I manually select the right option. Thant's a step in the right direction! Thanks for your response.

  9. #7
    New Lounger
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    jwitalka: The USB suggestion didn't make any difference. I'll try the CHKDSK now. I have a sneaky feeling that my issue might be hard drive related.......

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