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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    System starts slow (XP Prof)

    Help! <img src=/S/help.gif border=0 alt=help width=23 height=15>

    About a week ago, I posted a message about removing McAfee and Norton <post#=454495>post 454495</post#>. Things have not gotten much better but they are improving slooooooowly.

    In that post, I indicated about a week earlier, we had installed Norton's Internet Suite, didn't like it, uninstalled it with Windows XP Add/Remove, and installed McAfee. We didn't like it much better. So we decided to go ala carte - Norton AV, firewall from somewhere else, etc.

    From that post/thread, we got a few suggestions - which we implemented.
    - got the download from Symantec to completely remove Norton's Int Suite and used it. Seemed to work OK. Only thing of concern was that the s/w had a drop-down to choose the product you wanted to uninstall. The drop-down did NOT have the latest and not-so-greatest. So we set it on the latest it had and tried. Seemed to work.
    - also went to the McAfee site and downloaded something from there. It seemed to remove some stubborn components. But when we went to uninstall the Security Center, it says that there are still installed components that have to be removed first. While it seems there's nothing else to uninstall, Explorer still shows some Symantec suite components. Should we just delete them? I suspect that Security Center is getting its info from the Registry or somewhere so not sure what to do.
    - system restore didn't seem to work - going back about 4-5 days from Feb 12, when this all started, resulted in no restore points being useful

    We've since installed:
    - Norton AV, which uncovered a few viruses (viri?) and a trojan, which we removed
    - Adaware, which found a few hundred suspicious things, which we uninstalled
    - (finally) SP2 for XP

    We also ran StartMan (a find on the Software board) to turn off things at startup. We've turned off a few things. There were a few funny things (some paths with unreadable letters at the path beginning) that turning off didn't seem to help.

    However, when we turn on (or restart) the system and log in to our "Andrea" id, the system hangs for about 15 minutes. The icons in the system tray don't turn on almost instantaneously like they used to before this started; there's a noticeable delay. The mouse is completely unresponsive during this time. You can move the mouse and the mouse pointer moves very jerkily and slowly, if at all. After the 15 minutes, things seem to return to normal. Things we've noticed that don't work is that email thru Outlook Express doesn't work (can't find POP3 server).

    We can log onto the login in safe mode to Andrea and things seem to be ok. We can also log into the other login "Fred" that we configured (both with admin privileges) which was hardly ever used before this and things work OK too

    Ideas???

    TIA

    Fred

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: System starts slow (XP Prof)

    Hi All,

    Funny responding to myself. I'm guessing that the problem was a tough one.

    We have made some progress but still need some help.

    As an almost last resort (before reinstalling XP), we decided to go where we've not gone before - edit the registry. We basically looked for keys that seemed to relate to McAfee and anything suspicious like Bargain Buddy and Cash Back. We found a bunch for those latter critters and exported/deleted them. Also found a bunch for McAfee even though we supposedly had uninstalled it. Did the same for McAfee.

    We also found keys for other programs we had uninstalled. There are some still for Norton's Internet Suite even tho that was deleted at the beginning of all this; maybe that was the cause of the problems at the beginning. There also seem to be some strange keys like for Windows 3.1 and versions of Office that we never had on that computer.

    We're at a point where the system is more responsive. But we'd still like to get rid of the remnants of McAfee. Recall last time that McAfee's Security Center was complaining about other components still being installed. Thru reg key removal, we were able to get Security Center beyond that but it complained that the html dialog was missing. So we reinstalled a few keys that had to do with that. Now it's complaining about a missing inf file. I spent about 2 hours trying to track that down. I checked the keys that we had exported, found a few that referred to inf files, and restored those. I also checked the Windows Task Manager before invoking the add/remove of Security Center and after invoking it to see what processes were being invoked as part of the uninstall. Found 2 processes (mcappins.exe and mghtml.exe - the latter probably having something to to with the html dialog that was missing earlier). They have inf files that seem ok (they're in the folder with their parent process and they're referred to from the registry).

    So, a few questions:
    1. we checked the McAfee site and couldn't find anything having to do with uninstall or missing inf files. Any ideas?
    2. Are there other ways of removing files other than thru A/R (and I don't mean just delete)?
    3. Generally, are there some good registry cleanup programs that get rid of keys that have no program (or at least export and/or delete them)? What about for backing up the registry?
    4. A friend had suggested performing an XP repair but I'm not sure what that is other than reinstalling XP on top of itself. Didn't see anything in Help or the Control Panel that suggested any repairs. Any ideas?

    Thanks.

    Fred

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: System starts slow (XP Prof)

    I'm on my third year away from McAfee and even longer from all the Norton stuff but is this page any help: McAfee Support Forums :: View topic - How Do I Uninstall My Previous Anti-Virus Version??

    Personally, the few times I've tried "registry cleaners" (only once since WinXP) I've been disappointed. Mind you, not clobbered, but disappointed. I think if I were in your shoes and had BOTH Norton and McAfee to get rid of, I might (probably would) opt to BACKUP all valuable data and files and do a clean install, starting fresh.

    Edited to add: Oops, sorry, I see I already gave you that link in your previous post. I don't have any other ideas.

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: System starts slow (XP Prof)

    Hi Al,

    Thks. We're leaning towards doing a clean install of XP. Luckily most of our programs are on another physical disk on an F drive (some, like McAfee, insist on installing themselves on the C drive).

    Is there anyway to save reinstalling the programs on the F drive? I know that formating the C drive and reinstalling XP will wipe out the registry. Clearly we have to re-install the programs that are on the C drive. Just wondering if there's anything we can do about the programs on the F drive to save re-installing them too.

    Our documents are on a G drive on the same physical hard drive as F. So that's ok too.

    Should we disconnect the power and/or ribbon cable to the 2nd hard drive "just in case"?

    When (if?) we reinstall XP on the C drive, do we re-format the C drive first or change the boot sequence to go to the CD drive, where the XP CD would be? Do we re-format from there?

    If you don't use McAfee or Norton, what do you use for AV, firewall, etc.?

    Which reg cleaners have you used that disappointed?

    Thks

    Fred

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: System starts slow (XP Prof)

    If you clean install I don't know of any way to keep from re-installing all software, regardless of which drive you installed on. The Windows registry must establish the software, even if it's on another disk. Yes, you should change the boot sequence in the BIOS to boot from the CD first. As a matter of fact, I leave mine set that way. I have it set to CD, floppy, then hard drive. When you boot the XP CD you should be able to format from there, although I haven't done it, since I use a Win98SE customized floppy to prepare hard drives. I don't know of any reason that you should need to un-hook any other drives during a fresh setup. I'm in my 3rd year with Trend Micro PC-cillin and have been very satisfied with it. Some time back I switched from ZA to Sygate's free firewall and after the usual "training" it too seems to work quite well. <!post=This StarPost,407306>This StarPost<!/post> tells a complete story.

    Registry "cleaning" is speculative. At one time, in a prior version of Windows, I used the freebie from Microsoft. Since I've been on XP I've tried something called Easy Cleaner, one called JV16RegCleaner, RegSeeker, and there may be one or two more that I can't find in my software storage directory. I think I've seen several recommendations here in The Lounge for System Mechanic, the PC repair software but by the time I got around to acquiring it, I was disenchanted with registry "housekeeping." The opinion of many folks seems to be that fixing a SPECIFIC problem with the registry is one thing, but wholesale cleaning doesn't yield much, if any, improvement and the risk is always there for possible damage. Sorry for the length of THIS post and good luck as you move forward.

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: System starts slow (XP Prof)

    Al,

    Thanks for the info.

    >Sorry for the length of THIS post

    I asked a lot of questions. I didn't think your post was long.

    Fred

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