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Living Room / Re: XP boot-up problem
« on: March 22, 2008, 06:07 PM »
Thanks for all the advice.  I did try booting without any AV installed at one stage, but it didn't help.  The only firewall I've ever used is Kerio 2. I really don't think that's causing it. I'll run chkdsk tonight. Hope the hard drive isn't a problem.  I cannot stand the thought of a reinstall -- my system is hyper-modified and it would take days to get it back to this state.

Living Room / Re: XP boot-up problem
« on: March 22, 2008, 12:18 PM »

Thanks for the (amazingly quick) responses.  Yes, I have plenty of free drive space. I have monitored activity during and after startup. There's certainly no AV scan at boot-up - I switched that off.

CPU activity is very low during the 10 or 15 minutes when the system is not functioning properly. And I certainly can't find any mystery process in the Task Manager. It's as if there's a little script somewhere that's saying "after boot-up, wait 15 minutes before allowing access to system files"...

Living Room / XP boot-up problem
« on: March 22, 2008, 12:05 PM »
My main PC (Windows XP SP2) behaves itself very well -- apart from when it boots up.

The desktop appears as normal.  However, for about 10 - 15 minutes after booting up, there are a lot of things the system won't do. Essentially, system files seem to be locked down.  The easiest thing is to give examples:

I cannot install programs (that write to the registry), or indeed edit the registry at all. I cannot use IE, or any program that uses the IE system files, but I can use Firefox. I can't access system management utilities (e.g. if I access Start Menu ->Settings->Network Connections, the menu will freeze on the screen until the system "unlocks").

So generally speaking after booting up I just leave the computer for a quarter of an hour or so. I know when it's ready to use, as my mail checker program bursts into life and all the shortcuts on the desktop "blink".

Obviously I've run plenty of virus/spyware checks. The Event Viewer doesn't seem to offer any obvious clues.

The only other odd system behaviour (not sure if it's a clue) is that, when copying/moving files, the system uses huge amounts of CPU activity, much more than other computers I use. In particular, when receiving files from other machines on my network, the system slows down badly and hits 100pc CPU activity, which is odd.  But this happens all the time, so I doubt it is related to my boot up problem.

To be honest I've been putting up with the boot-up glitch for many months because, apart form this, my system is amazingly stable.  I can (and do) leave the system running for days without any problem.  If I need to reboot, I just leave the computer and have a cup of coffee. So it's really not that big an issue. I'd just like to solve it....any ideas?

As I said elsewhere, I dislike Outlook 2007 with a passion. It's one thing producing a bad product, but it's even worse to take something decent (Outlook 2003) and then spend four years making it worse. Months later and I'm still annoyed (and using Windows Live Mail for email/contacts -- still the best IMAP client I've found).

As for Word, I switch between 2007 and 2003. I use 2003 most of the time as it's much quicker to load. No other reason really.

Best thing about Office 2007? The new font collection that came with it. In particular, Constantia and Consolas are superb, on screen and in print, and I use them all the time. I like Calibri too. But of course you don't need Office 2007 to get the fonts. If you have Vista, they're part of the package, and if you're on XP, I believe the latest version of the Powerpoint viewer will install the new font collection.

Living Room / Re: ASUS eee PC - Any owner?
« on: March 13, 2008, 06:37 PM »
anyone planning in getting the 9" screen version when it comes out. i was undecided about getting one of the current 7" screen version but i think the 9" one is a no brainer.

(those touch screen mods look pretty tempting also.)

Yes -- I've been waiting for "version 2" ever since the first eee was released.  At the time I thought "all this needs is a slightly bigger screen and XP installed and I have my perfect portable".  And it looks as if I'll get my wish in a few months...

However the first eee has been such a success that the market should be overflowing with me-too products any day now, so there's always the outside chance that someone else will come up with something better. Otherwise I'll be first in the queue for the new eee.

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