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I bought my computer about 2 years ago. Since then the start up time (Windows XP) has gone from less than 30 seconds to over 3 minutes. Part of this happened immediately after installation of the first service pack.

But what other reasons can there be? I've heard of program pre-loaders and registry cleaners...

What I really want to know is not just why start up takes longer but how I can improve the time again?

Anything that subsequent improves run time performance is a nice bonus!

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You've misspelled Windows in your tags. – Gelatin Jul 31 '10 at 22:37
I run indows :) – jer.salamon Jul 31 '10 at 22:41
Retagged to windows. – Hello71 Aug 1 '10 at 0:08
@Hello71 - thanks for the correction – Wikis Aug 1 '10 at 12:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Things you can do:

  • Check what services are running (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services), search for them to see what each one does and if it is important to keep it enabled.
  • Check what things run on startup (type msconfig into the run prompt), search for each one to see whether it is important to keep it enabled.
  • If it wouldn't take that long to reconfigure your computer after doing so and you want to speed it up quickly, re-install Windows.
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thanks. If I reinstall Windows, will that wipe everything or is there a "fix" option? – Wikis Aug 1 '10 at 12:16
Even if there is that is unlikely to speed it up, I was talking about a complete re-install which you should backup your files before doing. – Gelatin Aug 1 '10 at 16:16
Every "fix"-option i've seen on any OS that supports it doesn't really do a good job. I'd recommend backing up all your data and reinstalling your whole system, too. – lajuette Aug 1 '10 at 16:55
update - that msconfig tip was great, got rid of quite a bit of rubbish, thanks. – Wikis Aug 13 '10 at 20:36

If your good with computers you can look at whats running in your autoruns with the sysinternals tool.

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nice tip, thanks – Wikis Aug 1 '10 at 12:16

If you are less good with computers you can try the anti-frustation tool Soluto which helps you do this.

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@Tom - wow, that looks great. I found a review of it (…) which looks good. I'll try it - thanks. – Wikis Aug 1 '10 at 12:21
@Tom (and others) - OK, I thought I'd start here seems it seems the easiest. Bad start - the "anti-frustration" site does not allow me simply to download the tool - I have to email them to get an "invite in a few days"! – Wikis Aug 4 '10 at 20:10
Ah, seems sad... Yeah, they are still in beta and in order to keep the feedback at a reasonable level they work with an invite system. Well, then you should go with AutoRuns as other people do mention... And if you really want to get your hands dirty you can try out XPerf from the Windows Performance toolkit, which is available in the Windows SDK. The reason BootVis is no longer supported is because Microsoft wrote XPerf, which contains the tool XBootMgr. Instead of a GUI, you will have to do things using command-line and view things with the XPerfView GUI afterwards. – Tom Wijsman Aug 5 '10 at 8:23
Well, good luck with the other answers and check Soluto out once you can. :-) – Tom Wijsman Aug 5 '10 at 8:23
@Tom, thanks - will do. Appreciate your help. (Sorry, don't have the rep yet to upvote your comments / answer!) – Wikis Aug 8 '10 at 9:08

Rather than hunt and poke for what could be causing boot performance issues, I recommend mapping out all the components that load during boot and how long each takes. Microsoft BootVis can do this for you and even provide a pretty graph to look at.

More information can be found on MSDN. Because the tool is no longer supported and hosted by Microsoft, you'll need to download this from a mirror, like Softpedia. (I can't link you due to reputation guards in place. It's a simple search on Google, though.)

After discovering what's slowing boot, you can use the aforementioned applications (e.g. Autoruns, msconfig) to disable boot time drivers, applications as needed.

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@Rafeal - strange that such a useful program is no longer supported! Thnaks for the tip – Wikis Aug 1 '10 at 12:17

This question is quite similar to this one. Installing TuneUp Utilities and especially PageDefrag (as recommended in this answer) may help.

Reinstalling Windows is the last option. But it may bring the best effect. I recommend installing PageDefrag anyways. It really helps and it's free.


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that certainly does help, thank you. I looked for a similar question but couldn't find it so thanks for that link. – Wikis Aug 1 '10 at 12:18

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