Microsoft for every generation of their OS has strived to provide a faster startup for the masses. Windows 2000 might be the exception to the rule but every other OS a faster startup has been listed as a feature. In this tutorial we will show you how to speed up your already faster startup in Windows XP.
Step 1: Clear The Start-up folder.
The startup folder is the folder that will launch any programs or shortcuts when the computer starts up. The fewer programs that you have starting up when you power on the computer the faster the computer will boot. Keep in mind that some programs need to run when windows starts up so it may be best to backup this folder before you start.
The folder can be found by going to: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup, where username is your Windows logon name. You can also clear out the start-up items by going to Start > Programs > Startup, then right-clicking items you want to remove.
Step 2: Clearing out the startup in the system configuration utility
The System Configuration Utility also known as MSConfig is a helpful tool that will help you troubleshoot your Windows system. This tool lets you modify a lot of your system preferences but it also allows you to disable programs that startup in the background of Windows. Note: Be careful with this tool as you can make Windows run improperly.
How to start msconfig
Click on the Start button.
Select Run from the menu.
In the run dialog box type â€œmsconfigâ€.
Once in the msconfig utility select the startup tab. In the startup tab you will see several programs listed with a checkbox beside it. If there is a check mark beside the application listed, the application will startup when your computer starts up. To speed up your computer you want to remove as many check marks from this box without affecting the programs that you use. Once you have removed the checkmarks you wish to remove, click on OK and restart the computer when prompted. It is recommended to uncheck a couple at a time so you will know what is causing a problem if one occurs.
To get more information about a listing, expand the width of the Command column near the top of the Startup tab. Expand it enough and you’ll see the start-up command that the program issues, including its location, such as C:Program FilesAdobeAcrobat 5.0ReaderAcroRd32.exe. The directory location should be a hint to help you know the name of the program. In this case it is Adobe Acrobat.
Step 3: Speeding up your startup by sorting your drivers.
Once upon a time Microsoft used to offer a tool called bootvis to optimize the sequence that your computers drivers load when starting Windows. Although the file is not available through Microsoft, there is a link to the program found in the tools section of this book. There has been some controversy wether the tool actually does anything. Lots of magazines and users say yes. Microsoft says no. For this one youâ€™ll have to be the judge.
How to use bootvis:
Download and install Bootvis. Do a search in Google for bootvis.exe, you will find it. Open Bootvis. (Location may vary depending where you installed it) You need to analyze your computer by going to File and clicking on New. In the New menu select Next Boot and Drivers Trace. Next a box will come up asking how many trace repetitions are needed. Just leave it at the default and click on OK. Another box will appear, select the Reboot Now button and wait for your computer to restart. Once your computer has restarted wait for a little bit and bootvis will start automatically. Go to the Trace menu and select Optimize System.(This may take a few minutes.) Once complete, you will be prompted to restart your system one more time. This reboot should be faster than the last.
Step 4: Stop as many services as possible.
The more that is running on your computer the more your computer has to open on startup. Keeping a slimmer running computer will not only make your computer run faster but it will make Windows startup faster. Here is how itâ€™s done:
Go to the Start menu and then select Run. Type â€˜services.mscâ€™ in the Run Dialog Box and click on OK. In the services window double click on the service you wish to disable. In the properties box for the selected service choose disabled in the Startup Type dropdown box. Click on OK.
Its best to restart your computer after disabling a couple of services at a time so if something undesired happens to your computer you know what disabled service needs to be re-enabled.
Step 5: Remove unwanted fonts to increase boot speed
Windows checks and loads fonts during the startup process, therefore having a large amount of font files can cause performance to drag during startup. The simple solution for this (if you do not expect to use the certain fonts) is to move the unnecessary fonts to a new directory elsewhere on the hard disk, preserving them in case they are needed, but preventing them from loading upon startup.
This is how you do it:
In your C drive create a folder called Fonts Backup. You can do this by going to the C drive through My Computer. Go to the File menu and go to New. In the new menu select Folder. A new folder will pop-up and allow you to name it.
Once the folder is created go into it and leave it open. Go to the Start menu and select Run. In the Run command type Fonts. The Fonts folder will load and display the Font files. All you have to do is drag and drop the fonts you think you wont need to the Font Backup folder. Be sure to move the .bold and the.bold.italic files that correspond with the font you want to move.
Step 6: Disable auto detection for empty IDE slots
For a faster boot up is to disable the auto detection that Windows XP uses to determine if there are IDE devices present in any of the IDE slots on the motherboard. More specifically, disable this feature on any empty slots to prevent the operating system wasting time and resources checking them.
This is how you disable IDE Detection:
Right-click on My Computer and Select Properties. In the properties click on the Hardware tab and click on the Device Manager button. In the Device Manager expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Double-click on one of the Secondary IDE Channels and click on the Advanced Settings tab. In the dropdown box beside Device Type select None and click on OK. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to all of the Secondary IDE channels under the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.
Step 7: Reduce wait time after XP boots
A common problem when Windows XP boots is you will see the desktop and all of your icons but nothing responds when you click on it. During this time Windows application and networking processes are loading in the background. To reduce this wait time you need to cut down the amount of processes loading. The best way to do this is through Windows networking. Most computers do not share files or printers to other users on a network yet Windows turns File and Printer sharing on by default. Warning: If you are sharing any files or printers this step is not for you.
Here is how you disable file and print sharing.
Go to the Start menu and select Run. In the Run command enter control netconnections. In your Network Connections right-click on a Local area connection and select properties. In the properties remove the checkmark beside File and print sharing. Click OK
Repeat steps 3 through 5 if you have more than one network connection.
Step 8: Disable parts of the Group Policy Manager. (XP Pro only)
This will dramatically speed up the login process – If you don’t need to utilize Group Policies on the local machine, you can disable parts of it.
Go to Start and select Run. Type in gpedit.msc and click on OK. Right click on the Local Computer Policy entry and select Properties from the menu that appears. Add checkmarks to the two options within the Disable section. Close out. Reboot.
Step 9: Enable boot defrag.
A great new feature in Microsoft Windows XP is the ability to do a boot Defragment. This places all boot files next to each other on the disk to allow for faster booting. By default this option is enabled but on some builds it is not so below is how to turn it on.(Y is good)
Go to Start then Run. Enter regedit and click on OK Click on the + sign beside HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then software then Microsoft then dfrg then bootoptimizefunction Select Enable from the list on the right. Right on it and select Modify. Change the value to Y to enable and N to disable. Reboot your computer
Step 10: Delete the prefetch files from time to time.
The prefetch files are the files that make Windows XP load applications load faster. Deleting the files will speedup your boot time. The trade-off is that Windows will take longer to load applications. The time difference for loading applications may not be that affected. Its best to experiment with this one.
How to enable the deletion of prefetch files.
Go into My Computer and go into your hard drive. Right-click anywhere that a file is not and select the ‘New’ submenu and click ‘Text Documentâ€™ Name it “deleteprefetch” Double-click on the text file you just created. Type “del C:WindowsPrefetch*.* /Q” (without the quotes). Go to the File menu and click on Save As… and choose “All Files” from the “Save as Type” box and save it as “deleteprefetch.bat”
You just created a batch file that will automatically delete all the files in your Prefetch folder. Just double-click on the file to make it run. I do this once a month to clean up the files
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