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Old 07-12-2009   #1
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Windows XP Diagnostic Tool?

I figure there are bound to be some computer savvy folks out there that may be able to answer this.

I've been having hang ups with XP (Media Center edition) booting up and wonder if there are any diagnostic softward tools (free) to check the operating system code for where/why it's hanging up and fix it. The hang ups are when the XP screen with the little bar and green squares moving across it comes up. Searches for this haven't turned up anything yet.

I'm tired of the suspense of whether I'm about to have a major system crash every time I start up but I'm not ready to transition to Linux just yet...



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Old 07-12-2009   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
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Hi ANdy. Boy I love my Mac...


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Old 07-12-2009   #3
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Dave Frank View Post
Hi ANdy. Boy I love my Mac...
The office I support keeps saying that more and more, but since Windows is evil and controls corporate America if you can not convert I think you have a couple options.

From what I have seen that is usually a bad hard drive/system board on the hardware side of things, or as you indicated is OS related. I would run a HDD diagnostic test if you can and rule out hardware.

You can run a repair on your Windows from a boot CD as long as you have your product key and I have seen that take care of most software issues (as long as cause a couple like ruining drivers for printers or 3rd party software).

Have not found a diagnostic CD that can pinpoint OS errors, so if anybody has one to recommend please comment. Usually with the event viewer and dump files have had decent luck trying to figure out the Windows issues.

If you need a boot CD to run repair I should be able to round one up depending on the service pack your running.....
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Old 07-13-2009   #4
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 231
Boot time slowdowns usually come from a cluttered Windows Registry, a large amount of startup programs, and slow disk response.

First, make a Restore Point before in case you do something to mess up your system. If you do you can always boot into Safe Mode and do a restore.

Second, take a look at what programs are loading when you start up. Diagnose boot problems in Windows XP using MSCONFIG | Microsoft Windows |

Third, try nCleaner to clean up your registry, your hdd, and other locations that could be cluttered. I manage 50+ windows workstations and this guy does a pretty good job of cleaning an hdd out.

Fourth, use the Windows Disk Cleanup utility.

Fifth, defrag your hdd

If you can't improve your startup time with these items, it is time for fresh install of the OS.
You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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Old 07-13-2009   #5
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Hi Andy,

RockinRio is right on with the MSCONFIG link. Focus on the "startup" and "services" tab. If you mess with "services" startup, make sure you check the box that says "hide all Microsoft services". Typically when I troubleshoot this type of thing I disable all startup items and all non-Microsoft services. If the problem goes away, I enable all services, reboot, see if it comes back. This will tell you if it is a startup item, a service, or neither.

I bascally test with groups of the services and items to narrow it down (not one at a time). Once I narrow it down to 3 or 4 items, I test individually.

You can also scan for malware. I recommend the free tool at

If any buzzards are interested in small business tech stuff and want some free tips, tricks, and links, check out my company's page on facebook and become a fan:

Login | Facebook

or follow Managed Data on twitter: Managed Data (manageddata) on Twitter

Hope that helps!

It takes a big man to cry...It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.

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