Recipe 6.18. Speeding Up System Startup


You want your system to start more quickly.


Perform a boot defragment

Doing a boot defragmen t will put all the boot files next to one another on your hard disk. When boot files are in close proximity to one another, your system will start faster. On most systems, boot defragment should be enabled by default, but it might not be on yours, or it might have been changed inadvertently. To make sure that boot defragment is enabled on your system, run the Registry Editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction. Edit the Enable string value to Y if it is not already set to Y. Exit the Registry and reboot. The next time you reboot, you'll do a boot defragment.

Edit your BIOS

When you turn on your PC, it goes through a set of startup procedures in its BIOS before it starts XP. So, if you speed up those initial startup procedures, you'll make your system start faster.

You can speed up your startup procedures by changing the BIOS with the built-in setup utility. How you run this utility varies from PC to PC, but you typically get to it by pressing the Delete, F1, or F10 key. You'll come to a menu with a variety of choices. Here are the choices to make for faster system startups.

Quick Power-On Self Test (POST)

When you choose this option, your system runs an abbreviated POST rather than the normal, lengthy one.

Boot-Up Floppy Seek

Disable this option. When it's enabled, your system spends a few extra seconds looking for your floppy drive a relatively pointless procedure, especially considering how infrequently you use your floppy drive.

Boot Delay

Some systems let you delay booting after you turn on your PC so that your hard drive gets a chance to start spinning before bootup. Most likely, you don't need to have this boot delay, so turn it off. If you run into problems, you can turn it back on.

Clean out your Registry

Over time, your Registry can become bloated with unused entries, slowing down your system startup because your system loads them every time you start up your PC. Registry First Aid ( can help you delete unneeded Registry entries and speed up startup times. It combs your Registry for outdated and useless entries, and lets you choose which entries to delete and which to keep. It also creates a full Registry backup so that you can restore the Registry if you run into a problem.

See Also

Registry First Aid is shareware and free to try, but it costs $21 if you decide to keep using it. Download it from

Stop unnecessary services that run on startup

Another cause of system slowdown is services that run on startup that you don't need for example, the Wireless Zero Configuration Services running on a desktop computer that doesn't use a wireless adapter and is connected to a network via an Ethernet connection. For details, see Recipe 6.7.

Windows XP Cookbook
Windows XP Cookbook (Cookbooks)
ISBN: 0596007256
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 408

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