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Windows XP Problem solving for the Windows XP Operating System

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  #1  
Old December 11th, 2009, 05:58 AM
man-man man-man is offline
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O/S: Windows XP Pro
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'My Computer' heavily delayed on first open.

Odd little issue... last thing left in a line of problems that seem to now be fixed.

On each boot, the first time I open My Computer, it spends several minutes displaying that animation of a flashlight flicking back and forward over a folder, as if searching, before eventually finding the drives to list. (Side note: it lists a floppy drive when I don't have one, but I think that's an result of having reset my BIOS earlier and not disabled the non-existent floppy drive)

Once it's done this once it behaves as normal thereafter, but it is quite annoying and may be indicative of some underlying problem that I haven't quite fixed. I don't entirely want to go into the chain of events that's gone before (it does seem to be resolved, apart from this one thing) but if it would help I'll see if can remember the order of events.

Edit: This is probably redundant now - looks like the OS as a whole is unstable, keep getting spontaneous reboots (even when the PC is idling at the login screen having not been touched since it started up after the previous reboot), and the slow loading described for My Computer is the same for Explorer generally.

I've left the install CD sat idle for a long-ish period to see if it's rebooting because of a recurring hardware fault, but it's been going for longer than Windows-proper normally lasts. Probably going to reformat later. If anyone has any thoughts on what would make the drive listing take so long to come up, I'd be interested to hear (and it might be useful if a reformat doesn't help) but I'm hoping that it'll be back to normal after reinstalling.

Last edited by man-man; December 11th, 2009 at 05:19 PM.
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  #2  
Old December 12th, 2009, 10:10 PM
millionairematt millionairematt is offline
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Hope this helps, without further information, I can't pinpoint the exact problem but this is a good place to start.

http://stockdaletechnologies.com/blog/?p=20
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  #3  
Old December 13th, 2009, 12:13 AM
man-man man-man is offline
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Thanks for the reply. Things have progressed somewhat since then though. Turned out the previous problems weren't fixed; just dormant and waiting for their moment.

(edit)
Problem solved - finally got around to running Memtest and it's pretty clear what the problem is. Rather large numbers of errors on both of my main PC's memory modules. Welp... time to see if they're still under warranty.
(/edit)
-------------
Started a couple of days ago - powered up and it wouldn't POST, nothing on the screen either. Reseated the GPU and memory and it sort of worked, but suffered from a lot of bluescreens and spontaneous reboots. Tried swapping about the memory, flashed the BIOS, reinstalled from scratch, put in memory from another PC that I knew worked.

The whole way along I've suspected the RAM of having gone bad, but at some time or another both modules have worked just fine - either in the main desktop or a spare. Also suspected the second memory slot, but that also appears to be working. I think it may be an unrelated intermittent error, despite sometimes seeming to be associated with either one module or one slot.

It seemed to be working again (with the spare machine's memory) so I swapped back in the original modules (which had been running in the spare machine without problems), and then it went back to rat**** - whichever memory I used it complained about a missing/corrupt system file, which according to the internet indicates that the registry's hosed. Did an in-place reinstall of Windows to repair that and it's working again.

Now experimenting with different memory in different slots, can't pin down any particular combination that causes problems but I have seen a bluescreen since the reinstall (stop code 0x8E) which seems likely to be memory-related. Very frustrating - each individual component has definitely worked reliably at some point, but together they seem to fail.

Edit: Another bluescreen just flashed by as I finished typing, didn't get to see what code it was before it reset the PC. Ah... fun times, the troubleshooting continues.

Also annoying is how the in-place reinstall means that none of my installed programs are showing up in Add/Remove programs. Is there a way to get those to register or will it be a choice between leaving them off the list and reinstalling them from scratch?

Last edited by man-man; December 13th, 2009 at 01:08 AM.
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  #4  
Old December 15th, 2009, 04:05 AM
millionairematt millionairematt is offline
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What brand are they? Corsair, Kingston and most of the performance companies have lifetime warranties even if they don't advertise it. Call them up and find out, if not, ram is pretty cheap these days.
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  #5  
Old December 15th, 2009, 04:27 AM
man-man man-man is offline
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Corsair, and it does indeed have a lifetime warranty.

The memory in question is currently all wrapped up and ready to be sent back for a replacement. In the mean time I have the fun and happy period where I'm running on older, slower, RAM (and less of it).
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  #6  
Old December 15th, 2009, 04:38 AM
millionairematt millionairematt is offline
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Corsair is very good at honoring their warranties. I have actually had them upgrade ram for me in a warranty issue. They are my number one choice for ram.
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  #7  
Old December 15th, 2009, 04:55 AM
man-man man-man is offline
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I'm just RMA'ing back to the place I bought it from, so an upgrade is unlikely. Should get a replacement though, and that's fine... I bought good stuff to start with.
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