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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Improving Windows XP Boot Time on your Old Computer

Do you remember how fast the bootup process of your old XP box was a couple of years ago? Lightning quick and blazingly fast were probably words that came into your mind back then. Now one thing is certain: it doesn't leave you with this impression anymore. Here are a couple of ways to help you improve XP's boot time.

Disable the Boot Logo

Yes, removing the boot logo can help you speed up the bootup process by a few seconds. Unfortunately, by doing this, you will not be able to see any boot messages. If you don't have any problems with your computer, this isn't really a problem, and if you ever do, just re-enable it.

  • Start -> Run, type msconfig, and click OK.
  • Select the BOOT.INI tab.
  • Click the NOGUIBOOT check box and click OK.
  • Reboot and enjoy.

Assign a static IP to your computer

If you are using a DHCP server to assign an IP address to your computer, consider using a static one instead, this way, the operating system will not have to query the network to get a new address. To assign a static IP to your computer:

  • 1- Start-> settings -> Network connection (Classic start menu) or Start->right click "My Network Place", select properties.
  • 2- Right click your local network connection, select properties.
  • 3- Double click TCP/IP and assign your address manually

Remove unnecessary fonts

Windows has to load up all of its fonts while it is booting up, by removing unnecessary ones, you'll help make your computer start faster.

  • 1- Go into the control panel, and double click the fonts folder
  • 2- Select all the fonts you do not need and Back them up in another folder (just in case you delete one that you need).
  • 3- Go back into your fonts folder and delete them.

Do not delete these fonts, Windows need them: Verdana, Arial, Trebuchet, Tahoma, Times New Roman, MS Sans Serif.

Disable unnecessary services

XP loads a large number of services at startup, and a lot of them aren't really necessary. Consult
this article to learn about which one you should disable.

As a last recommendation, I would suggest that you defragment your drives and clean up your temp directories regularly. After applying all of those tweaks, your computer should be starting approximately 20% faster then before. Enjoy the speed while it last!

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  • Another good way to improve boot speed is to Disable the Recent Documents History feature of xp.

    1-Open regedit
    2-go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    3-Create a NoRecentDocsHistory D_WORD key with a value of 1
    4- Click OK and restart the computer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:23 PM  

  • My name is Chris and I work at Help.com. I came across you blog and since you are writing about the startup process, I hoped you could help answer a question that came to me from a Help.com site user. They ask:
    "Why does my 1 gig of ram become 700 megs on startup?" If you think you can help answer this question, I would appreciate it.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 3:00 PM  

  • Hmm this isnt really related to the post but here goes:

    1- depending on the kind of computer this person has, the max amount of ram may be less then 1 gb. (I doubt it)

    2- make sure that all the memory is recognized in the BIOS, and that the kind of memory the person has is compatible with the motherboard. (refer the user the the motherboard manual or to the manifacturer's website)

    Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage, and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.
    For example, 2GB of memory size will instead be shown as 1.xxGB memory during system startup.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 3:07 PM  

  • Bootvis is definitly a must when trying to optimize your startup process.. I had a link somewhere about it.. Here it is: BOOTVIS

    By Anonymous Michael Smith, at 4:32 PM  

  • Chris, assuming that your computer has an agp video card, check how much ram is assigned to it in your bios.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:34 PM  

  • The best solution to speed up Windows XP, is to install Linux.
    Enjoy !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:24 AM  

  • I like to use ms bootvis. There should still be an xp version kicking around the internet somewhere.

    Also defraging the HD also greatly helps speed up boot time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:32 AM  

  • Chris, if the motherboard has onboard video, when the computer boots up, it reserves a chunk of RAM for the vid card memory, usually 256 megs if the system has more than 512 RAM. So even though the sys has 1 gig, Win only sees the 700ish that's left

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:47 AM  

  • re: "The best solution to speed up Windows XP, is to install Linux.
    Enjoy !"

    As much as I enjoy Linux (ALL PC users should try Kubuntu at least once to see what they're missing), in my experience windows always boots faster, all else being equal.

    The tweak that makes the biggest difference in boot time is using minlogon instead of windows logon (instructions as well as pros/cons can easily be found with google).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 AM  

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