Slow Boot Performance In Windows

by Rod Dunne on August 10, 2010

in Articles, Performance

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Windows has always had a problem with slow boot times. Here we’ll look at ways to avoid the problem, fix slow boot performance and rollback system files for severe start-up issues. The discussion is rounded off with some broader ways to fix slow computer performance that can also improve a slow startup.

Slow Boot Up: Bypassing The Issue

The simplest approach may well be to avoid the issue altogether. Try using the hibernation/standby mode instead of doing a full reboot as it can prove to be a lot quicker.

Both modes take a system snapshot prior to shutting down that can be rapidly reloaded to make the startup faster. The difference between the two is that hibernation mode does not use power/electricity while shutdown, whereas standby mode does.

Fix Slow Boot Times Directly

Slow boot up speed can often be remedied with some of the following simple actions.

  • Get the latest Windows Update for your OS, system files and device drivers. These regularly include more stable efficient code.
  • If a slow startup only begun happening after installing a new program then check their website for program updates (your edition may be outdated), reported customer support tickets about the issue and any possible workarounds. If no improvements can be found then remove it, replace it with a similar application or disable it.
  • Disabling applications and services that are initialized as part of start up is an effective way to fix slow boot speed. The Microsoft Configuration Utility (Start > Run > Enter msconfig) has a Startup tab listing the services in your start up application list. Only disable programs you are familiar with and comfortable with deactivating (they can always be manually started later on).

Slow Startup: Severe Cases

If your PC stops responding or your computer freezes on startup then your slow computer issue may be more severe.

  • Use the Device Manager (Control Panel > System > Hardware tab) to check all the hardware drivers are functioning properly and no faults are being detected.
  • Use a registry cleaner (e.g. XP Repair Pro or Error Fix) to analyze and repair any registry faults.
  • Technically proficient users should check the CMOS/BIOS settings using their computer manufacturer’s recommended settings as a guide.
  • If the computer becomes unstable as a result of this issue then consider starting the PC in safe-mode and troubleshoot the issue using the steps above. If this fails, use the System Restore tool revert Windows back to an earlier snapshot of the main system files. Our post on reboot computer tips gives more detail about the System Restore tool.

Slow Computer = Slow Boot Times

Of course, a slow boot up speed may simply be a symptom of a slow computer that is straining to run any applications. With this in mind, the following actions can help improve overall PC speeds, and therefore fix slow boot times.

  • Run a disk defragmenter on all your drives, especially the partition containing system files (e.g. Regtool is a disk defrag tool and registry cleaner in one single application).
  • Clean out more than 10% free hard drive space. Windows needs this amount to function smoothly.
  • Scan for malware, adware, spyware or viruses. Any of these can result in system file damage and subsequent slow boot up times.
  • See our article, computer running very slow for more general performance tips.

Related Posts:
For XP users, we have a post on troubleshooting Windows XP slow startup problems.
For severe performance issues try reading – why does my computer keep freezing?
Top three ways to fix slow PC performance issues.

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