The first thing i noticed when i booted my XP professional for the first time was the speed, i was sat facing the desktop in about 40 seconds. Great, off to a good start.
The XP kernel gets going a lot faster than previous versions of Windows, as the boot sequence has been streamlined. As well as remembering what happened during the last boot -- and thus knowing when it's safe to omit diagnostic tests -- the kernel optimises the sequence in which it starts up peripherals, loads files from disk and initialises drivers and protocols.
In many cases, it can load multiple components in parallel and start them running without having to wait for previous components to finish their initialisation, and can pre-fetch drivers from disk to be in memory before they are required. XP remembers details of the previous eight boot sequences and knows to stop pre-fetching files that are no longer required, or to modify the sequence when new drivers are added.
Before we do anything grab a watch or stopwatch and time your current bootup time. Write it down somewhere.
Step one :
Download Bootvis.exe (25 March 2002) from Microsoft. Bootvis is a Boot performance trace visualization tool for use with Windows XP systems. It gives a graphical view of what processes are doing what and when during boot and allow you to optimise your boot up. A very handy tool.
Unzip it and you have Bootvis.exe click on it. You will now see the GUI of bootvis.
Now go to File > New and choose "Next boot trace" or "Next boot and drivers chase". Leave everything else as is and get ready for a reboot in 15 secods.
Ok we are back after a reboot. Click on the Bootvis.exe, it will now output the results, once it has finished generating the report, you will see graphs 5 or 6 graphs. They look a bit confusing at this stage.
You may see "warning disk write caching is disabled" i am pretty sure Bootvis Automatically enables this for you... but you can manually enable this by going to Device manager >> Right click on your hard drive >> Properties >> Policies Tab >> Check " Enable Disk write caching"
Now this is where the fun begins ! From the main menu .. Click on Trace >> optimize system.
And yes you guessed it another reboot .... :-)
Once you have re-booted and are back at your desktop, dont touch anything, just wait.
You will see a message box "Please wait for bootvis to load" ... about 20 seconds later another meassge box will appear "Optimising system for boot performance" basicallay bootvis is happily rearranging the boot files for a faster startup
One final thing to do, is to see if this has made a difference, get the watch out again and reboot. Compare the original time to the new time and you will be pleasantly suprised, i managed to shave 35 seconds off mine. I have heard people reduce their boot time to 20 seconds.
We are going to delve into the BIOS to get our boot time that bit faster.
To enter the BIOS, restart your PC, then HIT the key called "delete" to enter setup.
There are lot of different BIOS' so you will have to look for each section i describe, its very easy, just take your time.
a) Quick Power On Self Test (POST) - Enable it - This will have your system run a less detailed POST, resulting in a quicker boot sequence. May skip a memory check each boot etc...
b) Boot Up Floppy Seek - DISABLE. If you enable this, your system will take a few seconds to examine the floppy drive in search of a disk, wasting your time.
c) Boot Sequence - Set this to start with C: drive. Remeber to change this back if you do a format
Now choose "Save & Exit"
Using the System Tools:
Good maintenance is very important to boot times and general PC performance.
Goto internet otptions and delete all your temp files, cookies and empty the recycle bin, then
Defrag that Disk - The best and easiest way to speed up hard drive access and load times is to defragment your hard drives often. Windows XP has a built in "defragger" which I find works quite well, though there are others on the market which may be better. Depending on the usage I suggest to Defrag at least twice a week, to keep the drive(s) in peak condition.
Start UP options:
A lot of programs you install will insist on starting up each time windows is booted, this not only slows your boot time but steal RAM and other resources. Why have programs start at boot time when you may not even use them. Lets kill them ....
There are two ways of doing this, you can go to Start >> run >> and type msconfig and go to the tab called start up.
Use an excllent free app called "Startup CPL" i used this in win2K and now use it in XP. Ok now youve downloaded it I will run through how to use it, its really easy.
Go to start >> control panel > and chose "Classic View" (left top corner) and you will now see an applet called "Startup". Click on it. You will see the following Tabs :
Startup (user) - Run the program from the current user's Startup folder.
Startup (common) - Run the program from the common (all users) Startup folder (NT only)
HKLM / Run - Run the program from the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (all users) Registry key.
HKCU / Run - Run the program from the HKEY_CURRENT_USER Registry key.
Services - Run these system services before the user logs on. This is usually used for things like virus scanners.
Run Once - These programs are run once and once only at the next system startup.
Click on each of the tabs..and have a look ...the ones we are concerned with are HKLM/run and HKCU/run. You will recognize a few names of the programs listed in there.
What do I remove ?
HKCU/run -- You can basically remove all of them, just untick them.
HKLM/run - its entirely up to you, anything you dont recognise LEAVE :-) though most are named and you can get rid of most.
I leave Norton Antivirus to start at boot time and thats all.
An easy way to check if this worked is you will see hardly anyhting in your system tray (next to the clock), you probably shaved time off of boot and also recovered a heap of RAM and resoources.