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Old 04-15-2008, 06:41 PM
cbclark cbclark is offline
 
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Default Slow XP install on a Dell?

Forgive me if this has already been posted, I didn't see anything during a quick search.

I had a Dell Dimension 1100 in the shop a few days ago, customer complained of it running very slowly. I booted up and confirmed the complaint, and noted that there was no antivirus of any type installed. I went ahead and pulled the hard drive out and plugged into the shop computer to scan it, and found almost a thousand baddies throughout the system32 directory.

At this point I went ahead and called the customer and made sure that there were no important files to be saved, etc. After she agreed that a reload would be fine with her, I started re-installing windows XP.

Right off the bat I noticed that it took an abnormally long time to copy the initial files to memory, and when that finally finished the rest of the setup process was taking ridiculous amounts of time.

I went to check my emails while this was happening, and started surfing around various posts in several forums. I happened upon a post talking about very slow windows setup on Dell PCs, and since I was experiencing the problem I read into it.

There seems to be a trick with these Dells to remedy this, and that is to remove the CMOS battery for a couple of minutes, reinstall it and boot up again. After setting the BIOS date and time again, I booted from the windows CD and this time the setup routine was running as normal.

My boss and I were a bit surprised that this fix worked, but it did save a lot of time waiting.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:03 AM
iladelf iladelf is offline
 
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Now, that's a new one. Thanks for the post. My assumption has always been IF a PC is clean of virus and spyware, and there's nothing else smashing away at either the memory or CPU, it's likely that the hard drive is showing its age, and needs to be replaced.

Example: my own business PC just kind of started seeming "laggy", not bad, but...
So, I ghosted the drive to a new one, and the speed has improved considerably.

But with your above post, now I know different. Thanks, cbclark!
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:39 AM
focuz focuz is offline
 
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Theirs a SATA option in the dell bios to goto "mixed" or I can't remember the other setting. But basically the computer runs like garbage until the sata controllers driver is installed. Since its a new windows install not running off of the driver you have to make sure the bios setting is set to the compatible SATA setting and not the other. By removing the CMOS you reset the bios option back to default to use the right option.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:49 PM
cbclark cbclark is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by focuz View Post
Theirs a SATA option in the dell bios to goto "mixed" or I can't remember the other setting. But basically the computer runs like garbage until the sata controllers driver is installed. Since its a new windows install not running off of the driver you have to make sure the bios setting is set to the compatible SATA setting and not the other. By removing the CMOS you reset the bios option back to default to use the right option.
Well, even though this model was all IDE, I did indeed look for native SATA mode or anything of the sort on this machine out of habit, but was not able to find anything. I really dislike the way Dell has their BIOS interface set up.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:15 PM
Trouble-Shooter Trouble-Shooter is offline
 
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Thanks for the post and information. I'm sure it'll come in handy at some point. Props.
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