Improve Slow Boot Up Performance

by Rod Dunne on November 4, 2010

in Performance, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

Slow Boot Up Performance Tips Using PC Maintenance Software And Windows Utilities.
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Slow boot up performance can often be fixed using a combination of PC maintenance software and Window’s own utilities. The key to any investigations is to try and limit which applications/services are being run as the computer is booting.

Improving slow boot up speeds using MSConfig

The first steps to improving slow computer start up times is to reduce the number of applications that are initialized as Windows boots using the System Configuration utility, as follows:

  1. Go to the Start menu, choose the Run program and type in msconfig then hit ok.
  2. The configuration utility has a start up tab listing all the applications run as Windows is booting up. De-select applications you are happy to leave out from this process by using the check boxes that are provided.
  3. Make sure to only disable applications which you are familiar with and do not relate to security programs or important anti-virus updates.
  4. Save your changes. These alterations will take effect on the next reboot.

This utility also has a boot.ini section which contains a boot time out setting. The default value for this is 30 seconds but you can also try reducing this to 5 seconds and saving changes which may help slow boot up performance in many situations.

For those applications that are left enabled you should now work out ways of improving how they perform. Here are some suggestions:

  • Check the applications or new versions or patch updates.
  • Research user forums for performance configuration tweaks that you could use.
  • Run a registry cleaner or online PC maintenance software to automate the process of repairing faulty registry settings and optimizing registry keys.

Suggested tools:

  • XP Repair Pro: Registry and system repair and optimization that scans for over 60,000 common computer errors.

Are the number of running services causing slow computer startup times?

The Windows operating system also runs a number of services automatically as the PC boots up. This can cause slow computer start up times if there is too many services, or if individual services are having performance issues. Troubleshooting these issues can be done as follows:

  1. Go to the start menu, choose the Run program and enter services.msc to launch the Services utility.
  2. Most of the services listed are crucial to the smooth running of your PC so should not be disabled. You can however go through the list to identify third party applications or external hardware components which you can consider disabling.

One additional check you could make is to open the Task Manager utility on the processes tab to view which of the above services are using too much RAM memory. In particular, focus in on external peripheral components (e.g. printers) which can have a tendency of performing quite poorly. Check these applications for new device drivers or service applications.

Could the slow Windows startup times can be due to hardware conflicts/issues?

Slow boot up speeds can also be a symptom of hardware issues on your PC. Issues such as hardware conflicts and out-of-date/faulty device drivers can lead to slow Windows startup performance. These issues can be identified and resolved by using the Device Manager utility, as follows:

  1. Go to the Control Panel, choose the System program. When it launches, go to the hardware tab to locate the device manager.
  2. The program will indicate straightaway, using icons, if there are any hardware conflicts or device driver issues. Use the programs own troubleshooting wizard to rectify faults in a logical manner.

Don’t discount the possibility of there being a virus on your PC

Finally, if your computer has been infected with adware, malware or other types of viruses then these will be continually running or will have damaged registry settings and operating system programs. You may find your computer very slow at startup if these viruses have altered key settings relating to any of your boot programs/services.

Try to resolve the problem by running a full anti-virus scan of your hard drive. Run the application in safe mode if necessary (i.e. hit F8 as Windows is booting to enter safe mode) if the virus is causing any difficulties with starting the antivirus application.

Most anti-virus scans can rectify a number of faults to the registry but will not resolve issues with DLLs or service related programs. In this case, you should try using a dedicated PC maintenance software service which is capable of identifying registry and file system/OS program damage which it can fix by using its own repository of healthy working files. The product comes with 60 day money back guarantee and currently provide a free online scan, so you can at least identify if there are any severe issues currently with your system.

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