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  1. #1
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    XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    I recently got a new system with XP Pro and Office 2002 (previously running Win2000 with Office 2000). Have P4 2.4GHz with 1GB memory. Whenever I launch a new brower window, Word, Excel, etc. there is an ungodly long wait while ?something? goes on. Word and Excel report "Requesting virus scan..." in the status bar. I am running Norton AV, and I have tried turning off the AutoProtect feature--it doesn't help. As a particularly bad example, I have a simple Excel spreadsheet file with 3 sheets, file size 55K; it takes 1 minute 20 seconds to load---every time! This is driving me crazy; I'm going to get old just waiting for files to load. This happens when launching an internal browser window as well, such as a Help window. I presume there must be some security setting somewhere that I have set to "lock out the entire universe," but I can't find it. Can someone suggest a solution?

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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    Have you ran Adware or Spybot to check for Spyware? Spyware can really slow you down. Have you checked Task Manager to see what might be eating up your resources?

  3. #3
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    I am running SpyBot; I don't think that's the problem. This only happens on startup. Once the file is loaded and the app running, it runs at normal speed, or at least noticeably faster than my old system, which was a 1GHz P3 with half a gig of memory.

  4. #4
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    I had a near identical "issue" when I received my new XP box. And it recurred more recently when (long story) I had to do a repair (re)install. In both cases the cause was slow hard disk access. The slow access was because XP refused to use DMA access, and forced PIO mode, despite correct settings (DMA if available) in Device Manager.

    The cure, in both cases, was to install the Intel Application Accelerator to enable DMA access. It makes a dramatic difference. Obviously, this only applies if you have an Intel chipset in your PC. If it does, get your chipset details, and get the latest IAA from Intel Support. If you don't have an Intel chipset, there may be other ways to chase up the solution, if hard disk access is the problem.

    The reasons for my problems above? The OEM neglected to install IAA because they "wanted to give me a clean XP machine". They also neglected to install from the SP1 CD I received with the machine, and instead ghosted it from some primordial XP master in their workshop (another long story). The second time my repair somehow knobbled IAA - it appeared installed, but didn't work until after a reinstall.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
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  5. #5
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    Have you ran SFC or have you done a Defrag Lately?

  6. #6
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    Yeah, disk defrag was my first thought. I've got DiskKeeper installed and running regularly. The drive _was_ badly fragmented when I first looked at it (even though brand new!), but the initial defrag didn't help this particular problem at all, although it probably improved overall performance somewhat. I think TimOz may be onto something; I'll look into that as a possible solution. I've also been told, elsewhere, that Norton AV is a system killer and that I should switch to CA's ETrust. We'll see.

  7. #7
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    I've heard some bad press about Diskeeper regarding performance problems and thought I was noticing some subtle changes in both my Win 98 and XP Pro SP1 machines. I switched to PerfectDisk on the XP system and noticed an immediate difference. Can't really put a finger on what it is, except to say that the system just seems to "run cleaner and feel smoother". Pretty technical, huh ??? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    I've also noticed different levels of system interference by different "flavors" of Norton AV. Norton AV Pro is a system killer, while Norton AV 2003 seems to hardly be noticed except for the auto-protect scans on downloads and e-mail (which I wouldn't be without !!). Check the settings. You may well have something set too high inadvertently or by default. Do you get the "Requesting virus scan" message in all programs or just the Office programs ??? It could be a security setting in Office that is causing this scan request. If it's a system-wide problem, you could try removing Norton AV from the startup group using "msconfig" and rebooting to see if that speeds things up ??
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    I followed my source's advice, uninstalled Norton AV and downloaded and installed CA's ETrust EZAntivirus. The difference is like night and day. All my problems went away immediately. Norton may have had some some obscure settings somewhere that would have improved its performance, but my source, who is an IT professional, was adamant that I get rid of it. Seems he was right. The version of Norton, BTW, was the one included with Norton System Works, which I left installed.

  9. #9
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    Glad it worked out for you. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> My approach was less final, but hey..... whatever works !!!

    I'm actually surprised that your friend didn't recommend removing the entire System Works suite. Usually if an IT doesn't like Norton AV they seem to dislike all the other Norton products for the same reasons. Every user and every system (or so it seems) have their individual preferences when it comes to configuration and software. That's the great thing about the lounge. It's non-partisan. It exists to solve problems and share information. Not to sell or promote software (unless it does what it's supposed to do). <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
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  10. #10
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    Norton AV has an option way down in the Miscellaneous options for Office Plug in. If enabled it will:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How to keep Microsoft Office documents protected

    Select to have Norton AntiVirus scan Microsoft Office files when they are opened . This option requires Microsoft Office 2000 or Office XP. If a virus is found, Norton AntiVirus responds according to the option set in the Manual Scan options "How to respond when a virus is found."
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  11. #11
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    Re: XP Slow App Startup (XP Pro SP1)

    I expect you're right, but since what I have now is working, I'm going to stick with it. (I've used CA AV in the past and found it very satisfactory.) And I plan to keep the other SystemWorks utilities.

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