XP extremely slow after 7.04 install

Asked by bobsp

I have installed Ubuntu 7.04 as a dual boot with an existing XP home system. The PC is a P4 3GHz, has a single 80GB drive with 512 MB RAM. During the install, I resized the XP partition to 60GB to leave 20GB for Ubuntu. Ubuntu seems to run OK, but XP now runs extremely slowly. When booting, the "windows is starting up", the "welcome" screen, and the desktop come up at normal speed, but it then takes 1 - 2 hours for the system tray icons to all appear. Clicking on anything during or after that point takes many minutes before a response. Task Manager (when it opens) shows minimal task activity, and the hard-drive access light is only flashing occasionally. Does anyone have an idea what may have happened, and how best to try and fix this?

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Edoardo Batini (edoardo-batini) said :

That's sound quite odd.
There is not a reason why your XP should be slower...

The only thing that could cause strange things to happen are:
1) the resizing of your partition, so:
    - how did you resized your xp partition?
2) Windows viruses
    - Do you have a working and good antivirus?

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bobsp (bandj-sparrow) said :

I used the installer on the live CD for 7.04, selected the option to resize the existing partition, and set the slider control to retain 75% for XP.
I have been using an up-to-date virus software (comodo).
I did a de-frag of the drive before installing Ubuntu, but it wasn't able to move all the files. The thing that concerns me is that if windows de-frag can't move files out of harm's way, how does the Ubuntu re-sizing utility do it. Do you think I'll have to re-install XP?

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Steve Romanow (slestak989) said :

maybe try bringing xp up in safe mode, then you can step through boot and see where the performance drops off. maybe virtual memory (swap space) has been turned off or otherwise not working. just some thoughts.

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bobsp (bandj-sparrow) said :

I'm not sure how I boot in safe mode now - GRUB doesn't have a safe mode listed for XP, and the F8 key doesn't work like it used to. Someone on the ubuntu forums already suggested virtual memory, so I tried setting the size of the swap file to zero, rebooting, then setting the swap file back again so that windows would make a brand-new file. That doesn't seem to have helped.

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Dmitry Kotik (dkotik) said :

Windows page file needs at least 1 gig of free disk space on the volume where Windows is installed (1 gig because it is double your ram). Loosing that free space could slow it down.

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Jo-Erlend Schinstad (joerlend.schinstad) said :

This does sound abit strange. How much free space do you have on your Windows partition now? You should always have at least 15% free space. Anything less, and the system will begin to slow down. Have you tried defragmenting after the resize? Perhaps you should also run scandisk, just to be certain? Thiese are the only things I can think of.

Good luck!

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bobsp (bandj-sparrow) said :

Hi all. Thanks for your input so far. I managed to boot XP in safe mode, and windows runs fine like this. I ran chkdsk with no issues. I used msconfig to remove all the listed programs to load on startup, and rebooted. This didn't fix the problem. Out of desperation, I finally tried using a restore point from a date before I installed Ubuntu - ie before the XP partition size changed (not expecting this to work). On reboot, however the system worked properly for a few minutes. Then an icon appeared in the system tray, with a tooltip saying that new hardware had been found (though the PC hardware hasn't changed), that drivers had been loaded and that the system needed to be re-started. On re-boot, the PC goes back to not responding again.

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Steve Romanow (slestak989) said :

Have yiu looked at task manager for any processes running with high cpu?

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Best bobsp (bandj-sparrow) said :

This issue finally resolved itself as the hard drive completely died. A new hard drive has been able to be formatted successfully for dual-boot.
Thanks all for your help.