Tips/Tricks/Reccommendations to Decrease Start-up Time?

By cpu1 ·
Hi everyone. I'm looking to learn all the things I can do to decrease the time from when I push the power button to when I can actually use my computer.

How I measure this is the time from when I push the power button to when the desktop shows up and when FireFox opens (I have to click the icon.) Right now, I'm at avg. 55 sec. for desktop to show-up and another 35 sec. after that for FF to launch. This is a total of avg 90 sec. from power button push to internet connectivity.

I've read where folks can get launches in half this time. I'd love to be able to do this, but any significant improvement is welcome. I know my time is not THAT BAD, but it's kind of become a challenge to see how fast I can get it.

So far, I've downloaded and ran CCleaner several times and Defragmentation with the Windows utility and then 2 more times with Defraggler (I heard it works better than the stock program in Windows). The results have made the overall window-opening, etc, faster, but not the start-up.

What else do you recommend? Feel free to post your own speed, preferably measured the same way I measure mine (to keep things in the same perspective).

I'm running Windows Vista, 32-bit, 360GB harddrive, 3GB ram, 2Ghz processor.

I also have a BootSkin, which is a picture that displays in place of the windows loading bar, and an animated 3D desktop background.

Sorry for the long-winded post and thanks for your help with my goal.

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All Answers

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Well as you are using Windows you are sort of stuck with that

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Tips/Tricks/Reccommendati ...

But your Hardware Configuration may be improved. What Type of M'Board do you have and is it configured for Dual Chanel RAM?

If you are not using Matched Pairs of Memory Modules you are limiting the speed of the system by locking it in Single Chanel Mode.

Of course if you have one of the newer M'Boards that supports Triple Chanel Mode you need to be using 3 Identical Modules and ideally a Matched Set should be used instead of just using 3 Modules of the same Specifications from the same maker.

Also remove any Programs/Services that are not used or needed from the Startup when Windows opens.


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I'm not sure.

by cpu1 In reply to Tips/Tricks/Reccommendati ...

"But your Hardware Configuration may be improved. What Type of M'Board do you have and is it configured for Dual Chanel RAM?"

I'm not sure. How would I find this out?

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Most of the delay is from your hard drive

by Slayer_ In reply to Tips/Tricks/Reccommendati ...

First, remove the animated desktop, set it to a basic bitmap file, not jpeg, not png, not gif, but a bitmap. Bitmaps do not require decompression and can be blitted directly to the screen, saving a lot of hard drive time.
Firefox stores its temporary internet files in your profile folder, so does internet explorer, this is very bad as your profile folder is indexed each time your computer is logged into. Indexing 30k temporary internet files can take a lot of time. Set your browsers to empty the folder on exit.

Remove as many desktop shortcuts as you can, each desktop shortcut requires a HDD read to find the location of the EXE, then a move to the exe, a read of the EXE to find the icon picture, then it has to be displayed on the shortcut, a fairly long process. Keep your desktop empty for the best performance.
Keep your profile as small as possible, don't use the My Documents folder or my pictures, or any of those, keep your start menu small. All these folders are re-indexed at startup.

Next, turn off auto indexing for search.

Then, turn off 8.3 DOS naming conventions as this slows down your system. If you are not running any 16 bit programs, these are useless.

Remove as many startups as you can, turn off all uneccessary services, don't have wireless? Turn off the wireless services.

Don't use Aero, you can leave the themed desktop turned on, but don't use Aero.

Remove any USB drives you have plugged in before bootup, this includes USB keys and USB hard drives, these are indexed at startup and can slow down boot time.

Disconnect/disable unnecessary hardware, have a dialup modem installed but don't use it? disable it. This way windows has less drivers to load into memory, and will thus boot faster. (Do this through device manager)

These are just some ideas, I didn't give specific instructions as these are all power user items, and I wouldn't want a rookie user doing this.

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Reponse To Answer

by cpu1 In reply to Most of the delay is from ...

These are some thorough suggestions. I did try replacing the animated walpaper and it did not seem to have much of an effect. I should probably try getting rid of Aero and search indexing. The 8.3 DOS is a new one. I'll have to try that as well.

If I don't use My Picures or My Documents, what do I do, store it in a separate harddrive?

Thanks for all of the suggestions.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Most of the delay is from ...

Personally, I just making new root folders off the root of C then put shortcuts to them on my desktop and start menu. Windows will Index the shortcut, but that's it.

Most of these improvement give you only small boosts. Windows always boots slow.
Keeping your system well defragmented can help. I keep a disk defrag scheduled for each night.

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Is This My Max, Then?

by cpu1 In reply to Tips/Tricks/Reccommendati ...

So, do you guys think, then, that 54 sec. from power button to desktop and then another 30 or so for Firefox to launch is about as good as I can get without a SSD?

Thanks for all of your suggestions!

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Is This My Max, Then?

Did you disable some services?
Remove uneeded startups?
Move swap file to a separate hard disk?
There is also a program out there that lets you delay the startup of certain programs and services. The theory being, less happening at once, faster everything goes.

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I have..

by cpu1 In reply to Tips/Tricks/Reccommendati ...

I've left the services alone, since I heard you can cause some problems by disabling them;
I did disable most of the startup programs (from soluto); I don't know what a swap file is and I don't have separate harddisk,

I'm thinking that the program you mentioned is like soluto. That gives me the option to delay, but I just stopped the programs from running all together.

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New Software

by cpu1 In reply to Tips/Tricks/Reccommendati ...

OK, I just tried a program called Autoruns, but I'm kind of confused by it.

There are a dozen tabs, but I'm not sure if everything under the "EVERTHING" tab is really affecting my start-up. When I look At my "LOGON" tab, it more accurately resembles what my startup msconfig looks like.

Here are some of the things listed in the "everthing tab." Note that there is A LOT more than this.

Here is what the logon tab shows:

For my purposes, should I only be concerned with the logon tab?

Thanks for the help.

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by cpu1 In reply to Tips/Tricks/Reccommendati ...

I downloaded Revo uninstaller and when I click on the "autorun manager", it shows the same programs the are shown in the "log on" tab of the Autorun program I just mentioned. Perhaps I was right in thinking that all of the items shown in the "Everything" tab of Autoruns aren't too much to be concerned about

I wonder if a lot of these aren't the items listed in the "services" tab of MSCONFIG. I know I haven't disabled any of those.

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