Question about AMD Multimedia Computer with Athlon64 3000+ (2.0GHz)Processor (AMD64256BMDDR80GBHD) Motherboard

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Long delays the first time ANYTHING is tried

This is driving me crazy. I have a Windows XP Pro computer where any time you do ANYTHING the first time there is an outrageously long delay for each step. For example: open a program (very long delay) click load (long delay) select a file (long delay) press print (long dealy) select a printer (long delay) press print (long delay) THEN after that all these steps will be quick and normal with little to no noticable delay until the computer is re-booted. I've seen "loading" windows I've never seen before for simple steps that are usually instant. It does not matter what you do... every part of every step has a long delay the first time it's done. I installed a new much faster MB, video, memory and did a repair-install of Windows XP but the problem did not change!! The computer is used only for printing from Corel Draw and not connected to the internet or a network but I have scanned for viruses anyway. Any ideas? I really do not want to re-install Windows from scratch and re-set up all my setting, programs and drivers.

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  • Ben Jordan Jul 18, 2007

    I think it is bad HD not a slow HD. I ran a drive integrity test on it last night and it never completed the "quick 90 second test". After 15-20 minutes I shut it off. Before that I thought it was a windows setting or driver problem.

    The delays I was talking about were not 5-15 seconds to load a major program... but for those little things you never have to wait for on an old 486.. like displaying the list of available printers or analyzing a drawing consisting of one small square.

  • Ben Jordan Jul 18, 2007

    Definitely a bad drive. No read errors! Just slow as death. I copied everything I needed over to the replacement but it would sometimes take 2-4 minutes to copy 500k. Never seen anything like it.

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Your symptoms sound like a slow hard drive. The first time you run Word or some other program the PC has to read the file from the hard drive into memory. You have enough RAM so that the program is still stored there till the next time you run the same program. When you run it again RAM is much faster so you experience the increased speed. This is fairly typical behavior for a PC; in fact one of the big industry discussions right now is how Vista with its huge operating system is really going to strain the limits of traditional hard drives. While Word can take anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds to load on a typical PC Corel Draw is a much larger program and takes considerably longer. Things that could affect your hard drive speed: - It could just be an older hard drive. Generally the smaller the hard drive the older and slower it is. If you hard drive is smaller than 20 GB then an upgrade will boost your speed - Your drive may not be configured to work as efficiently as it could. If you?re using IDE hard drives make sure the channel is running DMA not PIO. - Your drive could be heavily fragmented. I?m generally not a big fan of defragging since the results are seldom worth it. In you case you may get enough of a boost to make a difference. Make sure you have a backup just in case something goes awry. - Drive interface, IDE is the slowest, next is EIDE and the fastest is Serial ATA or SATA which is replacing IDE/EIDE on newer motherboards.

Posted on Jul 18, 2007

  • tomj23 Jul 18, 2007

    I would have expected read error messages from a failing drive. Any way if that is the case I looks like you're in for a re-installation after all. Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions.

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