Why my computer might take a long time to start?


Hopefully you can help. My computer takes a ton of tries to startup properly. When I hit the power button on the box as soon as the monitor clicks on the whole system shuts down. Then I have to hit the power button at least 2 more times before the system will even power up ie lights come on the box.

This happens several times, and eventually the system gets closer to complete startup but will always crash until finally it will startup and continue working without shutting down. It shuts down at least 10-20 times before it finally boots completely and is stable.

I have already done the following:

Windows update

Used all Norton utilites such as Disk Opt, Speed Disk, Scan Disk, Defrag etc.

Power management settings

I have also checked my startup items and there is only one for quicktime that I do not think is necessary. My feeling is it is something to do with the monitor because when the system is crashing and shutting down it seems the monitor shuts off first, then a few seconds later the system shuts down.

Please help??????

Thanks so much



This question was answered on March 17, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

How to fix it

Start Windows, and watch as it starts up Note what it does and where it seems to slow down If, for example, you’re logging on to a network, see whether it’s that process that causes a major slowdown If you’re dialing in to the network, you should expect a delay, depending on the speed (or lack thereof) of the connection and the time the server takes to verify your account If you have a direct connection to a network that has a domain, the logon should be fairly quick If it’s slow, ask the network administrator whether it’s possible to speed up the network logon



Don’t leave a CD or a removable disk in its drive unless you need it When Windows starts, it tests each drive, and, if it finds a CD or a disk, it reads the contents, which adds to the startup time.


Most startup delays occur immediately after you’ve logged on At that point, Windows is working on all the extra, time-consuming tasks it’s been assigned—displaying the contents of open windows, for example, and restoring network connections To prevent an open folder window from appearing when you start Windows, close all your folder windows before you log off or shut down Windows To eliminate or reduce the number of network connections that Windows has to restore, disconnect any network drives you don’t need To do so, in My Computer, right-click the mapped network drive, and click Disconnect on the shortcut menu

The next step is to determine which programs are starting automatically when Windows starts, and to prevent them from doing so if you don’t always need them at startup On the Programs submenu of the Start menu, point to Startup, and examine any programs listed on the submenu These are the programs that start automatically when you start Windows or when you log on Drag any program you don’t need at startup from the Startup submenu into another location on the Start menu You’ll be able to start the program when you need it by clicking its name on the Start menu If you do leave programs in the Startup folder, make sure they’re not configured to run tasks that could take a long time (otherwise, be prepared to wait uncomplainingly for the task to be completed) For example, if you have a mail program in the Startup folder and you’ve configured it to download an address book each time it starts, the startup time will increase substantially

Not all programs that start automatically are shown on the Startup submenu To see which other programs are set to start when Windows starts, on the System Tools submenu of the Start menu, click System Information In the left pane of the System Information window, double-click the Software Environment item to expand it, and then click Startup Programs In the right pane of the window, note the programs that are listed, and then close the System Information window Most of these programs probably do need to start when Windows starts, but, if you identify a program that shouldn’t be included, check the program’s documentation for information about preventing it from starting automatically Sometimes you’ll need to uninstall and then reinstall the program, using different installation choices so that it isn’t set to start automatically

Click to view graphic

Programs can be scheduled to run in other ways too To see whether a program is scheduled to run when you log on, on the System Tools submenu of the Start menu, click Scheduled Tasks In the Scheduled Tasks window, see whether a task is scheduled to be run at logon If so, right-click the task, and click Properties on the shortcut menu In the dialog box that appears, either clear the Enable check box on the Task tab to prevent the task from being run, or, on the Schedule tab, reschedule the task, and then click OK Close the Scheduled Tasks window when you’ve finished

Click to view graphic

Yet another way a program can be set to run when you start Windows is with a logon

script—a set of special instructions that are run at logon If you created the logon script, we’ll assume that you know how to edit it to remove unnecessary programs If you didn’t create the script, don’t try to modify it—you could create a situation in which you can’t log on at all Instead, try to obtain an updated script from the network administrator or from the person who created the logon script

Another long delay in logging on can occur if your computer is set to use offline files, either from your network or the Internet For information about modifying the way offline files are synchronized, see "Windows takes a long time to shut down" on page 248

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Posted by ricardo of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 17, 2003