Monday, November 28, 2005

[tech] Solutions to ''Slow System Startup''

This list is "Designed for Windows XP", although I didn't receive the logo.... :-)

1. Defrag your hard drive. Use the built in XP defragmenter (dfrg.msc). It's the only one that properly optimizes your system's prefetching to speed up boot time.

2. Go to Microsoft's website and download BootVis.exe. It will optimize your prefetching even further than the built in defragmenter. Use both to get the best results: dfrg.msc first, then BootVis.exe->Tools menu->Optimize. Also, you can use it to benchmark your boot time before and after system tweaks and software installations.

3. Go to Start->Run... and type or paste "Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks". This will start a built in optimization routine that runs in the System Idle Process and shows up as "rundll32.exe" in task manager. It normally runs automatically every 3 days. It will run for 15 mins to half an hour, so don't try to do anything too intensive while it's running. If you get sick of it running, you should probably log off or restart to be safe, rather than killing the process.

4. Delete anything that you don't need in the Start->Programs->Startup folder, and in the Registry under HKLM->Software->Microsoft->Windows->Run and HKCU->Software->Microsoft->Windows->Run.

5. Go to Start->Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Services or go to Start->Run... and type "services.msc" to display services running on your machine. About 1/3 should be automatic, 1/3 should be manual, and 1/3 should be disabled, IMHO. If you don't know which to change, search google for "XP services" and read one of the many WebPages that describe each service.

6. Use a partition manager to create a separate partition for your swap-file. Set its size to about 2.5 times the amount of physical RAM you have. You can do this by right-clicking my computer and selecting Properties->Advanced tab->Performance section->Settings button->Advanced tab again->Virtual Memory section->Change button. Whew! They don't make that one easy to get to. Just don't completely remove your swap file, because your system might not boot after that, unless you have a lot of physical RAM.

7. Repeat steps 1-3.
Ideally, XP on a clean install should boot in about 12 seconds from the time that you see the XP logo to useable (can open a program). With all my device drivers and third-party utilities, the best I can acheive so far is 18 seconds on my Dell. Don't use Norton SpeedDisk!--It may slow your XP system boot time by about 6 seconds.
I have messed around with this a lot, to say the least, and I plan to build some utilities to make it easier and give them away for free in the future. Wish I had a web address to post here, but I'll be around here in the future, so check back in this discussion forum if you are really interested, or look for my utilities in the next few months on in the Utilities section.
Good luck, Ben

Solutions to ''Slow System Startup''
Friday, January 3, 2003 at 1:51 pm
Posted by Ben

No comments: