Sunday, February 24, 2008

Do It Yourself: Tips for Faster PC Boot Up

Your Computer loads a lot of programs every time it starts up. Each of the icons in your system tray represents an auto-start application. And there are probably other programs on your machine that start automatically but don't make their presence known so easily. Each autoloading app slows your boot time--a little or a lot. And because most of them continue to run in the background, they rob you of a little performance.

Before you start eliminating autoloaders, though, make sure you can undo your changes. In Windows XP, Select Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and System Restore. Select Create a restore point, click next, call your restore point something like before removing autoloaders, and choose Create. Click Close once you've created the restore point.

In Windows Vista, select Start, Control Panel, System. Under 'Tasks' on the right side of the window, click System Protection. In the System Properties box that comes up, click Create at the bottom of the window.

XP users should now select Start, Run, type msconfig, and press . (In Vista, select Start, type msconfig into the Search box, and press .) Click the Startup tab, and you'll see a list of all your autoloading programs, each with a check box. Uncheck an item, and it will no longer load at startup.

Choose Your Autoloading Apps

Which applications should you leave checked so that they continue to autoload? First and foremost, you don't want to operate without your antivirus, firewall, and other security programs. Yes, these programs slow your PC's boot-up and shutdown, and they can even cause conflicts, but the cost of not having them running is too high to bear.

For any other program in the list, use your judgment. Don't ask yourself "Is it a good program?" but "Does it need to be on all the time?"

After unchecking the programs that you don't need to autoload at startup, click OK and reboot. Windows will load with a very wordy message box that might look like an error message. Just check Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts (the wording is slightly different in Vista) at the bottom of the dialog box and click OK.
Post a Comment