Dave, when I select to restart or shutdown my computer it takes approx 2 to 2.5 min for the window “Saving your settings” to close and then another 15 sec for the window ” Windows is shutting down: to close. It also takes approx 2.5 to 3 min for the computer to boot and load. I have an HP Pavilion, WinXP SP2 w/all updates, Pentium 4 1.6Ghz, 1024Mb SDRAM, 80GB Hard Drive
I can’t figure out why it takes so long for it to restart, shut down and start up. I have ran adaware, spybot search & destroy, cw shredder and avg anti-virus with no problems found. Any help or info will be greatly appreciated.
It is very difficult to answer this question without knowing what kind of software that you generally have running in the background. Windows XP, like other Windows systems before it, is a resource hog, and even systems with piles of RAM have difficulty getting it up to speed very quickly. According to Microsoft, Windows XP was designed to boot from off to a “usable state” within about 30 seconds. This is fine as long as you don’t have anything running in the background. If you have various programs like a third-party firewall, antivirus software, a couple of instant messaging programs, an extra mouse driver, background CD writing software, Creative media server, and Microsoft or Open Office “quickstart” modules (to give you an example of what is on my machine when it boots), you are looking at a shift from 30 seconds to up to two minutes.
There are a number of programs, including different user programs as well as some drivers, that can lengthen startup and shutdown times when installed. For example, a friend of mine had a laptop whose boot time lagged to about three minutes after a particular Windows “hotfix” was installed. Another patch released soon after solved this problem. SP2 has greatly increased security over XP and XP SP1, but at a cost of taking somewhat longer to boot. OpenOffice? support noted a difficulty with a Windows service (program that runs in the background) called “NVidia display helper” which causes longer shutdown times in conjunction with the OpenOffice? quickstart (and some other programs that I don’t remember). Antivirus programs (such as AVG) can offer adequate protection but do slow down your system to varying degrees; I noticed significant lag when I used AVG for a period.
The short version is that a number of programs may be interacting with each other such that bootup and shutdown times are lengthened. I like the setup of my computer, security-wise, even though the bootup time can be about two minutes (shutdown is not so bad). I personally get around this by using the Hibernate function on my computers a lot, and only “really” restarting them every few days. That is another advantage of XP; while Windows 98 became unstable after being “up” for more than 72 hours, XP can hibernate and wake up for significant periods of time without problems.
Long wait times at the “Saving your settings” screen when logging off is typically indicative of an application does not properly release resources when closing, and hence causes your machine to wait and eventually time out. See this Microsoft Knowledge Base article for information on troubleshooting this specific problem can be found at Microsoft.
Another possibility is that this may be pointing to a problem with the user profile hive. Here’s the description from Microsoft about the symptoms of a UPH glitch:
WHAT DOES THE USER SEE? WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PROFILE?
Windows NT4: The system gives up immediately on failure to unload the profile and the (roaming) profile is not reconciled.
Windows 2000: The system attempts to unload the profile 60 times at 1 second intervals. This retry logic rarely helps so in most cases after 60 seconds of the user waiting at the Saving Settings message box the system gives up and roaming profiles are not reconciled. The number of retries can be changed to allow the user to log off faster (this can be done using the policy under Computer Configuration, Administrative Template, System, User Profiles, Maximum retries to unload and update user profile)
Windows XP and 2003: The profile is reconciled using a copy of the contents of the registry. The user is not made to wait as in Windows 2000. The problem left is that the computer cannot recover the memory the profile uses until it can be unloaded.
Also in some cases (e.g. using anonymous logons) you may find that you cannot log on if the profile cannot be unloaded.
Microsoft has provided a tool to assist with this can be found on their Web site.
Hopefully one of these will get your PC back to a healthy state!