Specialists in Customer Service
Shortening PC boot times
We have chosen the tips below as being the ones that actually work for us. This means we have tested them on many machines, and have seen significant improvements in boot times through using them. You will notice that we have not chosen any of the 'tweaks' that are applied through the registry. This is because in our experience they rarely work, and involve the risk that you might permanently damage your system.
All computers start to load more slowly as they become loaded with programs, spyware and viruses, so visit our article on keeping your pc running smoothly for more information on controlling what programs load when you turn on your computer.
Please note that some of these tips only work in Windows 2000, XP or newer.
Microsoft Bootvis traces your computer's activity while it boots, and presents you with graphs showing what took the most time etc.
Bootvis can be downloaded from MajorGeeks.com. There is lots of documentation about this program, so we will move on to some of the most useful startup tweaks.
Bootvis often identifies slow Network detection, where a network card is installed but not connected to anything.
Turn off AutoDetect Hard Disks
This does not work in Windows 98/me, because the option isn't there.
As Windows loads it searches for new drives. If your computer has only one hard drive, or an IDE cable with only one device connected, this tip can reduce boot times by up to 20 seconds (at least, 20 seconds was the average reduction in boot time on three of our test rigs).
Cleaning out the prefetch folder
Applies in XP, and possibly 2000.
Located under C:/windows is a folder called prefetch. It's purpose is to keep the files your computer loads during startup in one place, causing the computer to spend less time searching for them. After you have reduced the number of files loaded at startup, they remain in the prefetch folder. This means you need to empty it after cleaning up, by deleting the entire contents of the folder. Your PC will load more slowly on the first reboot, as the system has to start caching the files again.
Use a program like EasyCleaner
EasyCleaner is a program available from MajorGeeks.
It offers you the option of cleaning invalid registry entries, unnecessary files, history, cache etc. It is a good idea to do this regularly.
Note: We strongly recommend you do not use the duplicate files option, as during a number of our tests it suggested deleting essential system files.
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