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SP2 fragments tying up my hard drive


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#1
RLDavies

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I tried installing Service Pack 2 about a week ago and it was sheer poison to my system. It kept the hard drive running non-stop, so nothing could work. Let's gloss over the following week of sweating and swearing, and just say that after a lot of work, including several formattings and reinstallations, there's a semblance of a working system up and running again.

The problem is that a couple of vital drivers tried to slap an SP2 Hotfix on the Windows Installer. I figured out how to get around one of them without activating the hotfix, and for the second one I uninstalled the hotfix before it could get established by rebooting. But there seems to be a fragment of SP2 still in there somewhere, because the computer is slowed to a crawl.

I am desperate not to have to reformat the hard drive yet AGAIN. I can't use the Windows repair option from the Windows CD, because I use Norton GoBack, which is a great rescue program but "masks" the drives from the repair program.

There is plenty of free memory, and the CPU load seems OK. The problem is that something is constantly accessing the hard drive (I can hear it grinding away), and everything else is desperately slow. The best way to describe it is that the computer seems preoccupied. It seems to get worse the longer the computer stays on. Norton WinDoctor is not showing anything wrong with the registry.

I've contemplated looking for newer Intel chipset drivers, or trying a more powerful file and registry cleanup tool. Haven't tried either of these yet because, frankly, I'm afraid of blowing the system again. I am perfectly happy to make manual adjustments to the registry or any other files, as long as I'm sure what to do.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received!
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#2
bobmad

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I had a similar problem with AN update. the only thing that seemed to resolve it was running SFC /scannow... if you're not familiar with it, this program (included with windows) restores XP files to their intended state.

Got to start -> run type SFC /scannow and have your XP cd ready (it will most likely need the CD). This utility has fixed a LOT of miscellaneous windows errors for me. I hope it will help you.
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#3
The Skeptic

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I fail to understand why you did not succeed with your new installation and why you had so many problem, so much so that you had to format a number of times. Something must have been wrong with the way you did it.

had I been in your position I would reformat again as much as I loathe it. If you decide to do this please forget about any Norton application for the moment.

Take the following steps:
  • Reformat the disk (full format, not the quick one) and install xp.
  • Install SP2 immediately after xp. No other applications no nothing. SP2 after xp. Install from a disk. If you don't have one download sp2 on another computer, burn to a disk and install in your computer.
  • Install the drivers of the motherboard.
  • Activate microsoft firewall and install an antivirus program, NOT Norton. Download Avast or AVG free (I prefere Avast) on another computer, burn to a disk and install on your computer.
  • Connect to the internet, activate xp with microsoft. Download updates for Avast (or AVG Free). Download all windows updates. There are over 70 and you will have to do this in 2 stages at least, the first will download the newest version of windows installer.
  • Install your applications.
  • Install your data.

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#4
RLDavies

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The reason I was reformatting so often was because of that SP2 installer hotfix turning up while I was installing drivers and basic hardware utilities. The change from a fast smooth system to a stuttery slow one was instantaneous, and the only thing for it was to go back and try again. There are two drivers causing the problems - one I've figured out how to get around, and the other I may have an idea how to do it if I end up reformatting again.

The only reason I installed Norton so early on was that I wanted to get WinDoctor up and running to look at the registry. Not that it did any good.

I did try to install Windows, SP1, SP2 in that order, with nothing else at all installed, and the whole dam'd lot instantly went sour. SP2 just doesn't seem to work with this system. I've been perfectly happy without it for years, and don't feel any need for it now. I'm not interested in installing SP2, just in getting the computer working. Whether this means getting rid of the SP2 fragments or persuading the system to cope with them, I don't care either way.

Sorry, just blowing off a week's worth of steam here.

Anyway, I'll try SFC /scannow and see what happens, and may try an updated chipset driver, and will report back!

If the worst comes to the worst, and I have to reformat, I'll wait until next week when I may feel more up to it (after a long weekend away taking a spa break - oooh!). In the meantime, at least the computer is limping along well enough for me to get the more urgent work done, such as printing out invoices so I can get paid. I won't touch it until that's done, at least!
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#5
The Skeptic

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First of all, I understand your frustration. I have been into such episodes myself. The truth is that I don't really understand the problem with the hotfix (presumably windows installer 3.1) and the drivers. When the installer start looking for windows updates it can take a lot of the computer resources, especially when talking about older, low memory, slow HD systems. Combine this with auto update/scan of antimalware programs and your computer is stuttering.

SP2 is a very important update but when asked about loading it to well-running computers I always have reservations. To mesh such a piece of software into a computer loaded with applications, utilities and old program shreds can be very problematic. I know that other people think differently but I only advise installation of SP2 after format and clean installation.

If you decide to reformat take the steps that I suggested. That should work. After you load up all the present windows updates you can stop automatic updates in the control panel and load your applications.
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#6
RLDavies

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Big big thanks to both of you!

I tried SFC /scannow and it improved things well enough to be encouraging. So I ended up combining both your suggestions:
1. Reformat hard drive using full (not quick) format.
2. Install Windows.
3. Install the DVD-RW software that adds a hotfix. Immediately delete the hotfix and the live update manager it belongs to (which I don't want anyway).
4. Mandatory reboot, then run SFC /scannow to restore Windows to pristine condition.
5. Install Service Pack 1.
6. Very carefully install everything else.

Norton GoBack turns out to be a hard-drive-access hog, so that's out too. And I'm going to be extra cautious about installing anything newer than 2005.

No more grind-grind-grind of the hard drive! The silence is music to my ears. And the computer is full of the joys of spring.

I am also enjoying some idle speculation about what SFC stands for. Presumably not Southern Fried Chicken, nor Scottish Football Clubs.

A great big kiss or a hearty handshake (whichever you prefer) to both Bobmad and The Skeptic.

Edited by RLDavies, 26 April 2007 - 02:58 AM.

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#7
bobmad

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I am also enjoying some idle speculation about what SFC stands for. Presumably not Southern Fried Chicken, nor Scottish Football Clubs.


Sorry, I forgot to give info....

http://www.fixmyxp.c...ent/view/35/40/
That's where I learned about this program.


A great big kiss or a hearty handshake (whichever you prefer) to both Bobmad and The Skeptic. I'll happily drop a donation in the kitty on my way out.


Let me see... you are "Gender not set" and I'm married... HANDSHAKE please.
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#8
The Skeptic

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Thanks for letting us know.
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#9
RLDavies

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Just wanted to come back with the final instalment on this saga.

I did have to reformat one last time. And this time the computer was perfectly happy to accept Service Pack 2 in all its glory. And its various updates. Go figure. (I don't ask why, I just shrug and accept.)

The remaining resource-hogging problems I have only just yesterday tracked down to my tiny, innocuous-looking memory monitor. Now that that's gone, everything's working fine at last. Should have gone to msconfig and worked through it systematically in the first place, instead of in the last place.

Big big thanks again to everyone. And public apologies to iTunes, which I was sure was the culprit.
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#10
bobmad

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What was the memory monitor program? I tinker and I'd like to avoid it.
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