My one year old Vista installation at work takes some 10 minutes to start up. However, my freshly installed Vista at home takes only 1 minute to get fully running. What could cause this slowdown, and more importantly, how can I pinpoint the cause(s)? Are there tools available that can help?

Hardware used: the Vista booting slowly runs on better hardware: 4GB RAM + quad core 2.4GHz processor + slightly newer mainboard vs. 2GB RAM + single core 2.4Ghz. Vista's Aero is disabled on both installations (because I like the Windows 2000 look and feel :-).

The thing is: every version of Windows starts up very fast when just installed, but it slows down considerably after using it for a while. My guess is that this is caused by installing+uninstalling a lot of software, leaving a lot of .DLLs being loaded unnecessarily.


3 Answers 3


Start by typing "msconfig" in run. Go past the UAC pop-up and a menu will pop up.

Go to the start-up tab. Find any programs that do not need to be running when you start the computer and un-check them. Then go to the services tab. Disable or set services to manual that do not need to start when the computer starts.

Defrag your hard-drive with a good defragger (auslogics disk defrag for me).

Clean your registry (auslogics registry cleaner).

Run CCleaner.

You should have noticeable preformance increase.


Startup programs are probably the cause. Try Autoruns to diagnose your startup programs.

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Maybe you could tell us a few specs- especially what machine, how much RAM? If these are too old or small then you might need to look at things like disabling Aero.

Further to Dynamic I's great tips, the number of desktop icons can have an effect. Try to reduce/file/use folders.

Did the machine previously start up quickly? Depending on use, a year is about the time to do a fresh install anyway!

  • You are right, I'll add some more detail to my question.
    – Dimitri C.
    Sep 3, 2009 at 6:18

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