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Are there any specific known steps which I could take to make my computer with Windows XP Professional booting faster?

I am interested in speeding up following stages in particular:

  • loading the OS (Windows logo, up to the moment login screen appears)
  • log in user (from the moment you type your user name and password up to the moment all memory resident programs and services are loaded and the computer is really ready to use)
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6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could try profiling your startup time to see what exactly is taking such a long time. This will help you better figure out what to reduce. There's a question regarding this on SuperUser.

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Testing this utility right now, and testing bootvis from Microsoft as well. Besides of things specific to my system I guess there will be some general tips to give (like disabling Java Quick Starter) once I am done. –  Suma Oct 1 '09 at 11:29
    
@Suma there are always things to improve boot time. Running msconfig will show you all the apps that start at boot time. If it's not vital, I suggest you disable it (but check to see what it does before that). With services it's a bit trickier; I suggest you leave them as they are, since stopping the wrong ones can have negative consequences. –  alex Oct 1 '09 at 12:28

Microsoft once created a tool for this: BootVis http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/fastboot/default.mspx

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Note: MS no longer offers BootVis for download, but you can find it at many public download sites, including softpedia.com/get/Tweak/System-Tweak/BootVis.shtml –  Suma Oct 1 '09 at 11:50

The quickest thing you can do is to click Start then run and type "msconfig" go to the Startup tab and disable everything. Reboot and reinstate them one by one until your computer is faster - by using this method, you will be able to see what is taking longest.

You can also go to the services tab and disable there. Services such as AV programs are usually the most to blame for slow start up times.

If you want more control over the startup and see exactly what is running from any location on your system, I highly advise you use the Autoruns program from Microsoft Sysinternals.

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Disable services, even AV programs, what a good advice. –  Bender Oct 1 '09 at 11:28
    
This tool is great to know what is running, but it gives me no idea how much time is consumed by individual items. Boot Profiling utilities seems a lot more useful. –  Suma Oct 1 '09 at 11:30
    
Sorry, but your question was how to make the computer start faster, not how can I see what processes are taking up what time.... –  William Hilsum Oct 1 '09 at 11:35
    
Yes, but for this knowing what processes are taking time is extremely useful. There are too many processes and services started for me to decide which I perhaps might not need (and disable them). Boot profiler allows me to concentrate on disabling those where I can gain most. –  Suma Oct 1 '09 at 11:48
    
Then you just upvote and accept the one that helps you the most - in my opinion, it is bad to downvote when someone gives an answer if it is on topic and useful just because someone else is better (I am guessing it was you as it was within a few seconds of your comment) –  William Hilsum Oct 1 '09 at 11:58

A list of utilities which I have found absolutely unnecessary for me, and I guess many users may see the same:

  • JQS.exe - Java Quick Start - see QHacks JQS.exe to see how to disable it
  • wgatray.exe - Windows Genuine Advantate - I did not find how to disable it safely yet
  • ccc.exe - Catalyst Control Center - can be uninstalled
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Use Soluto.

alt text

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It seems Soluto might be very handy for WinXP. However, I have changed a computer to Win7 meanwhile and I find Soluto misleading. The computer is ready to use far sooner than Soluto reports, as Win7 have their own delayed starting of background applications, and using Soluto for this brings very little real gain, if any. –  Suma Jan 19 '11 at 9:31

After cleaning up run either:

rundll32 advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

or

defrag C: -b

Both defragment boot files in logical order destroyed by each Service Pack.

You might want pagedfrg.exe from Sysinternals to make registry into one fragment and contig.exe to defragment disk structures like MFT$.

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