Windows XP window redraw?
April 18, 2006 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Windows XP: Annoying window "re-draw" animation, make it stop!

I am trying out one of those "unattended install" XP iso's that can be found on torrent sites. I own a registered copy so I don't feel too guilty, I just find it annoying to have to reinstall every little utility and driver every single time.

Anyhoo this particular install has several nice features including a whole bunch of themes, the default being the nice black Vista theme.

However, there is an annoying quirk that I can't seem to figure out. When I move a window on the desktop, an outline moves and then the window "re-draws" from the bottom up or top down. It is quick, but not quick enough to not be annoying, and it is longer on larger windows. Also, the mouse pointer is stuck during the re-draw. When I enable "View contents of windows while dragging", the window does this redraw constantly as you move it, and is very slow. Keep in mind this is a brand new build, and a rather fast machine.

Any ideas how to remove this effect?
posted by bradn to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
It could be incorrect video drivers.
posted by toby\flat2 at 6:20 AM on April 18, 2006

The idea of a "brand new build" of XP scares me just a titch, but I've seen plenty of "OMG SP3 W/EXTRAS CURES CANCER" XP ISOs on torrent sites, and have had a great deal of trouble with a few of them. It's amazing what one or two simple corrupt files will do to destroy your build of Windows.

That said, definitely check your video card's drivers.
Check your motherboard's drivers as well, because there are weird issues with busses occasionally that can be the case with poor drivers.
Windows key + Pause your way to Device Manager and make sure nothing's flagged.
Switch back to Luna (default XP theme) and see if the problem occurs there.
Boot to Safe Mode and see if it occurs there, too.

If after all this, you're still seeing the problem, I think you should bite the bullet and find a better copy of XP. Bad ones do exist.
posted by disillusioned at 6:39 AM on April 18, 2006

Thanks for the tips. Clarification: I meant a new system home build, not a new XP build. And yes it is supposedly "SP3". so far though, this is the only issue, so it seems to be a pretty decent ISO.
posted by bradn at 6:48 AM on April 18, 2006

if your video driver is "VgaSave" then XP is using a failsafe VGA driver, which would cause general display slowness. install the right drivers for your card. also, make sure you have the right chipset drivers installed as well - sometimes not having the right ones of those makes Windows not be able to properly work with your video card. (the specific driver I'm talking about is the AGP aperture driver.)
posted by mrg at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2006

Ummm is it this option:

Go to display properties, appearance tab, effects button. Is "Show Window Contents While Dragging" checked? Just a guess.
posted by antifuse at 7:54 AM on April 18, 2006

antifuse, the asker mentioned that in the original question.

Thirding/fourthing the default VGA drivers explanation. A friend of mine thought Windows XP's video performance really sucked until he realized he didn't the proper video drivers loaded.
posted by zsazsa at 8:04 AM on April 18, 2006

If you're fairly good with technology you can try Microsoft's Sysprep utility. Basically you install your OS, updates, and other software, then run sysprep to strip out any identifying info like the cd key, then image the pc with Norton Ghost or some other imaging program, and you have a ready to install (via Ghost) image of your basic setup. Drawbacks are that the process requires third party software, it will not work if you change your computer's hardware configuration (new image must be made). From Microsoft:

System Preparation Tool

The System Preparation tool (Sysprep.exe) allows you to take a snapshot of a configured workstation and transfer that image to multiple workstations (using a third-party tool). This process is also known as cloning, disk-image copying, or ghost imaging.
How it works

To clone a system, configure a reference computer with the operating system, standard desktop settings, and applications that users need, and then make an image of the reference computer's hard disk. This enables you to transfer the image to other computers and install the system, settings, and applications quickly and without the need to configure each computer. Sysprep prepares the reference computer for cloning. Sysprep creates a unique Security ILD (SID) for each cloned client thereby making this process secure. Sysprep detects Plug and Play devices and adjusts for systems with different devices. Sysprep runs a Mini-Setup Wizard to solicit user-specific information, such as user name or time zone selection. You can also write an answer file script to provide these answers, enabling fully automated installations.

Note: Sysprep performs the preparation of the system image, but a cloning utility from a third party is required to perform the image-copying phase. For more information, see the section below Using other tools with Sysprep.

When to Use Sysprep

Use Sysprep to deploy clean installations in large organizations where hundreds of computers need the same applications and desktop configurations. Use Sysprep if the computers in your organization have only a few standard hardware configurations, rather than many customized configurations.

Sysprep allows you to duplicate a custom image based on a Windows XP Professional installation from a master computer to destination computers. The master and destination computers must have similar hardware and software configurations. The master computer and the destination computers must have the same hardware abstraction layer (HAL).

Advantages of Sysprep

Sysprep greatly reduces deployment time, because nearly every component, including the operating system, applications, and desktop settings, can be configured without user interaction. The master image can be copied to a CD-ROM and physically distributed to clients, saving the time and network capacity required to load files across the network. Using Sysprep to deploy Windows XP Professional on numerous desktops in a large organization enables you to implement standardized desktops, administrative policies, and restrictions. In addition, by default, Sysprep does not perform full hardware Plug and Play enumeration, reducing this part of Setup to a few minutes, instead of the usual 20 minutes to 30 minutes for each computer.

Disadvantages of Sysprep

If you use a third-party imaging utility with Sysprep to copy a reference image onto physical media, you must be able to distribute the physical media to remote clients. The size of the reference image is limited by the capacity of the CD (approximately 650 MB). Sysprep cannot be used to upgrade earlier versions of the operating system. You must arrange to back-up data and user settings prior to the installation, and then restore the data and user settings after the installation.

Where to find Sysprep

Sysprep is located on the Windows XP Professional CD-ROM in Support\Tools\ A version can also be downloaded from the Microsoft Web site at

Using Other Tools with Sysprep

There are several other tools that you can use in conjunction with Sysprep:

Symantec Ghost. For more information, see the Symantec Web site at

Altiris RapidDeploy. For more information, see the Altiris RapidDeploy Web site at

StorageSoftSolutions Imagecast. For more information, see the ImageCast Web site at

posted by ChazB at 8:06 AM on April 18, 2006

Forgot to add at the end that this will "fix" your problem by you not having to deal with a potentially shady and/or virus laden version of XP that you downloaded from a torrent site.
posted by ChazB at 8:08 AM on April 18, 2006

Doy, not sure how I missed that, as I even tried re-reading it a couple times to make sure I got the gist of what the poster's problem was. Apparently brain no worky after 4 day weekend.
posted by antifuse at 8:52 AM on April 18, 2006

Also, if you do have the correct video driver, make sure acceleration is not turned all the way off. (Display Properties -> Settings Tab -> Advanced -> Troubleshoot Tab).
posted by SpookyFish at 10:51 AM on April 18, 2006

Turns out it was the video driver. Installed and working great now. Thanks!
posted by bradn at 8:13 AM on April 19, 2006

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