Horse Sense #113

Is Windows Taking Too Long to Boot?

If so, it may be trying very hard to make something work. For example, if you have drives mapped to a network that does not exist and reboot your machine, it will try very hard to connect to these non-existent drives before it shows your desktop. It tries to do this in case you have something on your desktop referencing these drives. You can literally wait many minutes on even the fastest machines to boot as the system tries to connect to these drives. You can fix this by making the drives non-permanent, meaning you will not be attaching to them at boot time. You can make a batch file that contains the needed references (my preferred method) or by connecting manually after the boot process completes. You can also configure your machine to boot with different configurations appropriate to where you are at the time. For other ways to speed up your boot time, see:,2817,2364937,00.asp

The tip I like the best is to remove applications, settings, cache files, and other files from your system that you do not need. I like to use CCleaner with CCEnhancer and Glary Utilities to remove stuff Windows does not feel like letting you remove, but should be removed anyway. Temporary cache files and useless entries in your system registry are prime candidates. Be careful. These utilities can be dangerous if you get too aggressive. A good backup is a good idea (always!). Then defragment your hard drive, or, better, have an automatic defragmenter that does not slow down your system like Diskeeper running. A well ordered system with fewer files on it is more secure, better performing, and costs less to manage.

I also think you can do a few other very simple things:

-Every once in a while, you should restart your computer. Systems that have been running for a long time can suffer from memory leaks and other issues. Reboot the machine and the problems will go away.

-Shut down any program you are not currently using. That gives every other program more processor and memory to work with.

-Not having enough system memory will make your system crawl. If Task Manager routinely says you are using all your memory, get more memory or stop loading so many programs at once.

-A solid state drive will speed up boot and program load times considerably. Anything that access the hard disk will benefit.

-Glary Utilities allows you to not only keep items from starting up on bootup, but to delay those that do not have to happen right away. This can get you to your desktop faster. Many other programs to set delays at boot time.

-Many software manufacturers try to "help" you by loading programs that execute at startup and remain in memory all the time, including CCleaner and Glary! You can use the startup managers in Glary or CCleaner and remove those you do not absolutely need. If you want to check for updates of many common free programs, I recommend using the software at

-To speed up your work after you boot your system, turn off all the "eye candy." Do not use any animations. Use a plain high contrast desktop background that makes it easy to see your icons and your work. Set your computer to optimize for performance rather than graphics. Right click on "My Computer," select Properties and go to the Advanced System Properties and click on the Advanced Tab then click the Settings button under Performance. Set the Visual Effects to "Adjust for Best Performance." While you are there, go to the Advanced Tab and use your fastest drive as the page file drive and set it to 1-2x the amount of RAM in your system and make that size fixed (note this can break some fairly sophisticated graphics and other programs). Exit out of there and lower the Startup and Recovery settings to 5 seconds and select "Small Memory Dump."

-System administrators should set machines to boot without a graphical user interface, especially if they are using virtual desktops and/or remote control. Any splash screens or animations you remove will increase performance dramatically.

-Most people should turn off search indexing on their computers. I find I know where I put things and do not seach my computer much. To be continually indexing my drive takes a lot of cycles away from useful work.

-If your computer is running slower than you would like, load up Task Manager by right clicking the Task Bar and selecting it. See what is taking the most CPU cycles. Frequently it is your antivirus software that is slowing things down and that is often because the settings are way too aggressive. Get help in tuning those settings so they are not forcing you to do unnecessary work.

If you do not feel comfortable doing these things yourself, have a troublesome application, or would rather talk to a professional about your problems, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call us!

©2014 Tony tirk, Iron Horse