Startup Faster: Troubleshooting Boot Performance

by Rod Dunne on December 15, 2010

in Performance

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This article takes a look at some simple ways to make your computer startup faster using Windows utilities, computer maintenance software and some simple maintenance tweaks.

It is a natural fact that as your computer ages, it will begin to slow down as more applications are installed, the disk drive fills up and the registry starts developing minor faults as programs change/are removed. A slow startup speed often results from the fact that too many programs are initialized as Windows is booting up. So, to speed things up you need to look at which services you can disable from the startup process, and how to speed up the ones that you leave enabled.

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XP Repair Pro Registry & system optimization for Windows 7, Vista & XP.

Making Windows startup faster using the System Configuration utility

All Windows operating systems are supplied with a small program called the System Configuration utility which includes a startup tab listing off all the applications initialized as Windows boots up. This program can be started via the Start/Run menu-item by entering msconfig. The goal of using this tool is to improve slow boot up speeds by disabling the number of applications that are run at start-up.

Microsoft System Configuration Utility (a.k.a. msconfig)Once you have the startup tab opened, run through the list of programs that are displayed and disable the ones you feel happy to close down. They can of course be manually started later once Windows is running if you decide that you need them. Be careful not to disable programs you are unfamiliar with as these may be critical programs. Therefore, use the executable file name listed to research what the program does before disabling unfamiliar services.

Speeding up the programs initialized at boot time

For any of the applications that you leave enabled, you should now look at ways of speeding up how these services are run. The starting point for doing this is to check that you have the latest version/updates installed for this application. This could make your PC startup faster as patch updates regularly include tweaks and bug fixes relating to threading/speed problems.

You should also check for any configuration tweaks that may be mentioned in user forums or customer support tickets. This may involve simple changes to tune how the application runs.

Some programs can also become slow, or perform poorly, due to changes in registry settings outside of their control. This can often be due to other services which use the same shared configuration settings. To repair this, use computer maintenance software such as XP Repair Pro, to repair any faulty keys.

The Reimage product can also repair DLL files for your operating system and third-party programs in order to give you some extra gains (it runs as an online PC repair service to scan and repair faults on your computer using the latest healthy registry configuration settings and latest system files taken from their online repository).

Improving slow startup times thanks to the hardware

A number of the services that are run as Windows is booting up relate to initializing your hardware peripherals. This can include external hard drives, monitors, modems and other pieces of kit. If any of these peripherals are having issues with their device drivers then this can slow startup performance.

To help make Windows startup faster, open the device manager application (Control Panel, system, hardware tab) and check that all device drivers are running well, and are not displaying any hardware conflicts or driver issues. If they are, then the tools troubleshooting facility can step you through how to update the drivers and fix any faults.

And finally..

One way to make your PC startup faster is to not use the full reboot/shutdown every time you close down your PC. Instead, try using the hibernate/standby mode as these can prove to be a lot quicker than a full reboot. They will make your computer startup faster as they utilize a snapshot of any running programs and services to load up Windows at boot time (the snapshot is taken at the time of shutdown by saving these program settings to the hard disk).

Related posts:
How to make your PC run faster without resorting to memory upgrades.
Understanding how to reboot computer systems in order to work around OS faults/virus damage.
Improving Windows XP slow startup speeds.

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