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This is something that has always been bothering me.

Booting up my computer or laptop is simply a waste of time and I often use this time to get myself a drink, setup / clean my work environment, etc. The time Windows spends at the login screen should (or could) be used more efficiently by already running applications that need to be run.

In a single user environment, this should not be a real problem and in a multi-user environment, there should be a possibility to start common applications that are in the "pre-logon" startup folder.

One of the many uses I see for this is already connecting to a wireless network before the user has even logged in.

Is there any way to do the above?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would recommend using either ApplicationAsService or Basta Computing's AppToService

Each of these applications will allow your .exe to be run as a system service. It will start up when the system starts up. The downside here is that if your application does not have it's on web front end, you might have a problem getting to the interactive interface when you are running it as a service. Many apps have a management interface for just this kind of situation.

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Those things are called services :-).

There is actually a tool that allows you to run arbitrary applications as services, I just can't remember the name, right now.

Alternatively, Vista has a greatly improved Task Scheduler, which enables you to do this kind of thing, too.

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This is not a direct answer to your question, but recently I have found myself rarely booting my Vista laptop. By using the sleep and hibernation features of your laptop, you can reduce the number of reboots required.

Vista goes to sleep mode when I close the screen. It uses much less power in this state. It only takes a few seconds to recover from sleep mode, and all my applications are returned to the same state.

Vista can also hibernate. This means all the RAM is saved to the harddrive, then the laptop shuts itself off. When the laptop is powered on again, the RAM contents are restored from the harddrive. This takes more time than recovering from sleep mode, but it will likely be less time than a full reboot. Again, all your open applications will be in the same state.

My laptop is usually plugged in, so I usually just use sleep mode.

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Thanks for the tip; this is indeed what I do as well. Sadly, my laptop battery has died on me which makes hibernating impossible and kept me wondering if there was something to fix these startup "issues". My new laptop will arrive soon, so it's really only temporary. – Aron Rotteveel Aug 9 '09 at 17:27
Hibernation (not Sleep) doesn't require battery power, as the memory and process states are saved to disk. – Doktoro Reichard Nov 7 '13 at 18:01

Most non User services are doing exactly what you are asking, starting before you logon. However you should check how many items are showing next to the clock in the bottom right(unless you've moved the taskbar). Everyone of those items is starting up when you login and many may be associated with one id.

Many people end up with too many items in there by installing every toolbar that is offered to them which will slow you boot time.

To see what is set at startup you can do the following:

  1. From the Run Command type MSCONFIG
  2. Click the Startup Tab (this shows you everything that launches at startup)

Just be very careful about deselecting things, and do them one at a time rebooting between them. If you are not sure what something is then don't touch it.

As for Wireless you could disable the connection, but that would me enabling it each time you want to use it.

Also think about adding Memory, more memory can translate to faster computer(usually)

Good luck.

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Thanks @Axxmasterr for those answers, another common tool is FireDaemon. Being a developer, I find it just as easy to whip together a .NET service that could do this. Hoping to find a "free solution" to save me the 1hr of coding, I was sad to see FireDaemon Lite is no longer available. So a quick search and I found this:

Basically install this .NET service which then generically executes any process listed in its INI. Open source so that you're free to change it!

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+1 for mentioning a free program that can do this. – greatwolf Jan 19 '12 at 23:04
Is this the new working link? Not sure, please have alook:… – nixda Nov 7 '13 at 21:50

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