To us, this usually indicates to us that there is a physical problem on the hard drive in the area where the OS has files written to. The extra time is the OS rereading the same sectors over and over again to get a proper read off of them.
So, we contacted Acer for a new hard drive. They sent one out immediately as this particular client always purchases the Acer Total Damage 3 Year warranty.
In the mean time, we took a ShadowProtect image of the existing OS and restored it to an identical replacement hard drive we keep around the shop for situations like this. Thus, we get the client's user back up and running in short order, and we place the incoming warranty drive on the shelf to be swapped back out when the user has some time to spare.
The hard drive swap did indeed work. The system now booted up in a reasonable amount of time, and seemed to be running all-around in a quicker manner.
So, out the door it went.
We then received a call from the user a few days later indicating that the system had blue screened again, and that their Kinston USB flash drive (DTSP) was no longer working with the laptop USB ports.
They were on-site and required an immediate replacement to get productive again. We brought in one of the older laptop spares they keep around for situations like this.
When we brought the system back to the shop, we figured that the preveious hard drive failure may have caused some spotty corruption in Windows XP, so we took the replacement warranty hard drive sent to us by Acer and ran the restore to factory default recovery DVD.
We had started the process at the end of the day, and this is what greeted us the following morning:
Windows XP Pro: STOP framebuf 0x000000EA
A force power down, and a power up again brought the system up into the Windows XP startup routine and subsequently the Acer setup routine once into the OS.
But, given the number of other flaky things the laptop was doing, along with the BSOD on recovering to factory default, this is a pretty clear indication that something has failed or is failing on the system main board.
A phone call into Acer, and we will be seeing a courier here to pick the unit up shortly.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.