XP unusably slow after STOP errors and running checkdisk - what's going on?
March 4, 2007 12:29 PM Subscribe
So it's come to this - I see no other option than to ask a "help me fix my PC" question. After some troubleshooting the STOP errors seem to have been resolved, XP now boots successfully but is excruciating slow to the point of being unusable. Details and specs below the fold.
-Intel Celeron 2.4GHz
-1 x 512 MB RAM
-XP Pro SP2
-PCI Firewire card
-onboard: USB 2.0, VIA Gigabit Ethernet adapter
1M: HD Maxtor 80 GB U-ATA
2M: DVD Burner
First, the BIOS would occasionally fail to find the boot device (HD). Setting the primary master to "Not Installed" and rebooting, and then back to "Auto" remedied this for the time being.
Then a few days ago the machine started throwing a bunch of BSODs during normal operation. I recorded some of them for your viewing pleasure:
0x000000F4, 0x00000003, 0x829FF020, 0x829FF194
0xc000000E, 0xC000000E, 0x00000000, 0x05357000
0x0000007A (0XC03E1128, 0XC0000185, 0XF844A074, 0X08195860) ACPI.SYS
0x0000008E (0XC0000005, 0X8054AE34, 0XF6505BF4, 0X00000000)
Eventually XP wouldn't boot at all: system32/config was 'corrupted', or something along those lines. I assume this happened as a result of one of the STOP errors.
For some reason CHKDSK wouldn't run on this machine, so I took out the drive and ran CHKDSK on it with the drive attached to another machine. It did find a bunch of errors and corrected them all.
I put it back in its own box, and ran CHKDSK again from the Recovery Console (ran fine this time, and found no errors) and also a FIXBOOT for good measure.
Which brings us to the current situation. The system32/config error is gone, and Windows does boot, *but*:
-The XP splash screen fades in very slowly and seems halted here and there.
-Upon logon, the desktop background loads but no icons or taskbar appear.
-I can load explorer and systray via taskmgr, and sometimes they eventually load on their own without intervention, but this takes a *long* time. Somewhere in the ten minutes order of magnitude.
So technically speaking, Windows now runs, but it's so excruciatingly slow it's basically unusable.
-I have run a Spybot Search & Destroy scan: it found some threats and removed them. No new findings upon further boots and/or Spybot runs.
-I would scan for viruses, but I can't install AVG Free: I just removed the old 7.1 version (had to anyway as it was no longer supported), and the 7.5 installer happily skips from "pick a directory" to "Installation Complete!" but never seems to have touched a file at all! Doesn't even create the specified directory in Program Files.
-Network now also doesn't work. The Network Connections window says "Connected" but the machine receives no IP address nor lease from router. Router and rest of network are running fine.
-I tried System Restore with a variety of restore points from the past two weeks or so, but after going through the process (which also takes very long) it reboots and tells me that restoring to the previous point failed.
In short, I'm confused and could really use your insight. What's causing this and how can I fix it? Thanks in advance for any light you can shed upon this. If you have any questions or need any further details, I'd be happy to answer and provide them.