How to Speed Up Startup Times?

The measurement of startup time for a computer system begins from the pressing of the Power button and ends when the user is able to double click on an icon. This of course is for Graphical User Interface (GUI) based operating systems.

During the DOS days, the measurement was from pressing the Power button up to the time when the computer user can type in a command on the prompt. With the introduction of GUI-based operating system an additional component that leads to increased boot-up time is the display of the operating system logo.

Essentially, GUI-based operating systems load various applications and modules in the background before allowing the user access to the functionalities of the machine. There is a wrong notion that this slow boot-up process comes with the age of the computer system.

In the majority of computer systems, slow boot-up times is attributed to cluttered registry and numerous unnecessary programs that are loaded by the operating system. The best way to address this is to trim down the number of programs that are launched during startup.

Although there are no inherent risks associated with the process of trimming down programs loaded during boot up, it is still wise to backup necessary files before attempting any modifications of the system settings. You can effectively do this by using any third-party backup utility applications which are widely available on the Internet. Make sure to validate your backup files before proceeding with any system changes. It is likewise recommended to do a complete virus scan before backing up your system to make sure that no unwanted malicious programs will be included in the backup file.

Another alternative to the backup process is the use of the System Restore tool. To launch the program:

  1. Click on the Start menu and right click on the "My Computer" option.
  2. From the context menu select the "Properties" option and choose "System Restore."
  3. Follow the command prompts and allow the process to finish.
  4. Wait for the message prompt to indicate completion of the creation of the restore point.

Here's how to speed up computer system startup by trimming unnecessary programs loaded:

  1. Click on the Start menu and choose the "Run" option.
  2. In the Open box type in the command MSCONFIG and press the enter key or click on the "OK" button.
  3. In the System Configuration Utility click on the "Startup" tab.
  4. Make sure that all items under the Startup Item column are required by the operating system.
  5. Remove any checkmark in the box for unnecessary items and click on the "OK" button.
  6. Restart the machine when prompted to do so.

Another, easier way to manage the startup items is to use a PC optimization tool that will do this work for you.

Essentially only hardware drivers and other system files are required during the boot up process. Other applications not associated with these components should be disabled accordingly. Another way to speed up the startup time is to check the entries in the WIN.INI file. This is done by:

  1. Clicking on the Start menu and selecting the "Run" option.
  2. Type the command win.ini in the Open box and click on the "OK" button.
  3. Pay extra attention to any line which includes the command LOAD= or RUN= on it. Remove this entry since there should be nothing in this file that should contain such an entry.
  4. Restart the computer system.

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