Tweaking your system startup/booting

Even though Microsoft do their best to lower the boot time with each successive release of the Windows OS, after a while things will tend to slow down a bit as more applications get set to load at start-up unnecessarily, whether you wanted them to or not.

This guide will take you through configuring Windows 9x, Me, 2000 & XP to load as quickly as possible & also have the benefit of loading with more memory available for use.

Since most of the more recent versions of Microsoft Windows are covered on this article, we recommend Win9x and ME users to keep reading, while Win2k and XP users will want to skip some of the info that follows and go directly here, where their OSes are covered. The third part of the article covers general/miscellaneous settings that should work for all of the OSes aforementioned.


Start menu

The first place to look for items being loaded is the Start Menu, this goes for all Operating Systems.

Click on Start, Programs then the Startup folder. Right click on & Delete any items that are unnecessary to load at Startup. Unfortunately not every Application that is to be initiated at Startup gets displayed here. There are several ways that these Applications can be found & disabled & the rest of the guide will cover this on an OS specific basis to account for differences that exist.


Windows 9x

Click on Start, Run type in msconfig & hit Enter. Now select the General tab. This tab contains a few bootup minimizing options.

The first thing you should do is set the Startup selection type to Selective startup & Untick Process Config.sys/Autoexec.bat/Winstart.bat file. At this stage you should be getting over DOS & other such legacy support. Though should you require DOS Drivers or some other environmental parameters to be loaded on your system then be sure to leave the appropriate .bat file option Ticked.

Should you have left any of the .bat options Ticked use the Config.sys & Autoexec.bat tab to delete all unnecessary statements. If you have neither the Config.sys &/or Autoexec.bat options Ticked you should delete both the respective file from your root directory, e.g. C:\.

Now select the Startup tab.

For optimal bootup time Untick all unnecessary items listed here (With the exception of SystemTray).

A good listing of Programs that may appear here can be found at this page. This should help you decide on what else you can Untick if you arenít too sure about some of them. Once you have finished this select Apply then hit Ok. You will need to Reboot your system for any changes to take effect. Further into the guide Iíll cover how to delete Unticked options from being displayed here altogether.


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