Most often I encounter a problem at my workplace which irks users. Waiting for your system boot up might be a test of your patience. There are certain programs that are configured to run automatically at Windows start up, but in case there are too many of them running unnecessarily it might slow down your system's boot up time as well as its performance.
I figured out few ways by which we can improve the speed and performance of the system.
1. Optimizing Bios
BIOS (Basic Input/output system) first boots your system and then delegates the control of your computer to operating system. In bios, usually you can do two things to boot the computer a little faster.
Set the right boot device order
This is the most common problem in computers. The configuration of booting is set to boot from Floppy driver or from CDROM / DVD drive and when both these fail it looks for your hard drive for boot records. That wastes a lot of time. To modify the BIOS you have press the F2 key(in some systems it is DEL key). As you enter the BIOS look for boot device order or BOOT option and set your Hard drive to look first for boot records.
2. Change BOOT.INI
This tip will help your Windows XP start up faster. Click on Start, then Run and type msconfig. Wait till a new Window pops up. Look for the BOOT.INI tab, you will get to see a box labeled Timeout, and a numerical value. By default, it is set at 30 seconds of waiting time before booting. Change this to 3 seconds.
3. Dual Operating systems - Off dual boot options
In case you have more than one operating system installed in your PC, say for instance you have both Windows Vista and Windows 7 beta installed. In that case your PC displays a menu asking which operating system you want to load. In case, if you don't select an operating system within 30 seconds the default operating system is gets loaded.
Follow the same method as in above point. Move to the Msconfig and select the Boot tab. Change the number to a lower setting say 5 seconds, so that you have enough time to make your choice.
This is a simple hack for Windows XP to speed up your booting. Simply browse to the Windows folder (Ex: C:\WIndows). Look for the Prefetch folder. Delete all the files in the Prefetch folder.
In order to tweak it you need to edit a registry key. Follow the steps below
Step 1: Open regedit and browse to the key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters
Step 2: Under this key look for a value - EnablePrefetcher
It contains 4 possible values
Set the value to 2 and reboot. This will allow us to keep the advantage of caching system files and stop clogging the system with applications.
Hibernation enables the system to close and open faster than the normal speed. For Windows XP you can do the following to activate Hibernation
Step 1: Go to Start >Control Panel >Power Options
Step 2: Click on the Hibernate tab
Step 3: Check the box that reads Enable Hibernation
Step 4: Click on the Advanced tab and change the Power buttons option if you want to hibernate by pressing the sleep button or the power button. Alternately, you can hold the Shift key while in the Turn Off Computer menu you can get the option to hibernate.
Step 5: Restart your PC every week or so to clear your computer
7. Clean the registry
The more the size of your Windows registry the longer it takes to boot the OS. Use registry cleaners to clean up the registry. You can try the free ones like easy cleaner software.
8. Adding RAM
Faster hardware enables faster boot up. There is no easier and more effective way to speed up your boot than to improve the hardware's performance.
9. Get rid of extra users
To secure Windows Vista you might create different user accounts or a password-protected user account. However, in case you are the only person who uses the system you can save the boot time by having just one account with no password. This would speed up the time it takes to load Windows Vista as won't have to load the User Account log-in screen and wait for the password.
10. Defrag your drive
Defragmentation of your hard drives allows your PC to find and access the files faster. This will also help your computer to run and load faster than usual. To run the Disk Defragmenter in Windows Vista type defrag in the start button.
For Windows XP follow the steps below for defragmentation
Step1:Open My Computer.
Step2: Right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, and then click properties.
Step3: On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
Step 4: Click Defragment
11. Removing all fonts which are rarely used
Uninstalling unused fonts frees up a whole lot of memory of Windows and eventually reduces the time to boot your system.
1. Simply go to Window’s Fonts Folder. Select all fonts that you never/rarely use and just press the DEL key.
Though I do not like the first method because it deletes all the fonts. Here is effective process to retain the fonts and still delete them from that folder.
2. Simply stop the loading up of unused fonts at system startup (instead of completely deleting them). For this, just COPY all unused fonts from the Window’s Fonts Folder and PASTE them at any other location on hard drive. Now DELETE all the unused Fonts (those you recently copied to another location) from the Window’s Fonts Folder.
The next time Windows Boots up, it will definitely be faster than previous boots.