If that sounds like you, or if you have more than a five minute wait (still pretty bad) when booting your computer into the desktop after you power it on, you could definitely benefit from learning how to speed up computer start up times!
Many people could care less how long their computer takes to load while others pull a strand of hair out for every minute that has passed in wait. Businesses with no in-house IT department or regular support person to call on suffer the most from ultra-slow computers as time=productivity and slow computers=lost productivity.
Regardless of your location while reading this post; either at home or behind a desk or cubicle, let’s look at several ways to speed up computer start up times, quickly and easily.
1.) How OLD is the computer you are trying to speed up?
If your computer was purchased anytime before or near the housing boom, you need a new computer! Seriously, computers that are older than five years old may not necessarily be worth tuning or tweaking.
As new operating systems are released and newer software, computers are created to be faster and more efficient to accommodate the increase in power needed by more current software (just think of computer games and how each generation of games require much faster computers for more realistic graphics.
Generally speaking computers that are older than three years old may not necessarily get any “faster” than they already are.
2.) Does the computer have a hardware problem causing slow start up times?
Does your (Windows) computer take a long time to load BEFORE it gets to the Windows logo screen or does it take a long time to get to that logo screen? When first powering up a computer it should POST, or Power On Self Test. This occurs when there is white (and colored) text against a black monitor that resembles DOS mode.
This is where the computer tests the hardware and components to verify everything functions. If the computer is hanging during POST or shortly after–prior to loading Windows–there could be a hardware problem. In this instance clearing CMOS is the easiest solution. Otherwise, problems could exist including: motherboard problems, a low CMOS battery, failing memory, incompatible hardware and other issues.
If the PC doesn’t slow down until it gets past the Windows logo, there is a Window related issue going on that needs further diagnosis.
3.) Get rid of unnecessary programs that start-up when Windows loads!
Countless people make the mistake of allowing several thousand programs (icons) to load up in the lower right hand corner of the taskbar. This is bad for several reasons. First, the more programs scheduled to load with Windows, the more time it will takes Windows to load these programs into memory. So, the “wait” time can seem much longer as these programs and icons have to finish loading. To fix this problem:
Go to the Start menu and click the icon. Next, type msconfig in the search box (Vista and Windows 7). Afterwards, hit enter and wait for the System Configuration box to appear.
When the box appears, click on the third tab labeled Startup. Here, look at the tabs labeled Startup Items and Manufacturer.
Here you can uncheck anything that doesn’t need to start with Windows. You can pretty much narrow down what is what by looking at the names of the manufacturers. When in doubt, makes no changes at all. However, any changes made aren’t permanent and can be easily reversed with no harm to the computer.
Uncheck any app or process that doesn’t need to start with Windows. Afterwards, click Apply. Next, click OK. Allow the computer to restart.
4.) Check the hard disk free space
Some computers don’t slow down much when the hard disk starts to run out of free space while others slow to a crawl. Look to see how much free hard disk space is remaining on the computer. If less than 30% free space exists on the drive, freeing up space may be necessary to speed PC start up times.
Additionally, adding a second hard drive specifically for data storage can dramatically improve performance. Not all hard drives will be affected by storing data close to capacity and the operating system will usually warn of low disk space well before you notice any slowdowns. Most modern computers will have a performance loss due to loss of disk space but it usually isn’t noticeable unless the hard drive is small in size (older drives).
5.) Check for driver issues!
Drivers are software programs that are responsible for correct hardware operation. If your computer takes forever to load after getting to the Windows logo drivers could be the culprit. Go into Control Panel, then Device Manager.
If not, manually check out the manufacturer of your computer’s website to see if any updated drivers are available for any hardware in your computer. Also, check your Windows updates as updates could be available which will help.
6.) Check for viruses, trojans and others!
One primary cause of slow computer start up times is malware! Make sure your computer has none. Malware can slow a computer start up time dramatically and damage the computer in many ways while it’s on! If you don’t know how to fully check for malware and make sure your PC is clean, feel free to check out this post on removing trojans etc.
In the event you need a more detailed, step-by-step guide to fully remove any and all malware, feel free to download your copy of The PC Technician’s Virus Removal Manual.
7.) Download “The PC Technician’s Tune Up Manual” – for free
You cannot beat the value of this book. It’s free! It will guide you several other quick and easy tips to speed your computer start up times — Guaranteed.
In the meanwhile,
Please feel free to comment with any questions. I hope this post helped you cure that office turtle called a computer, or helped speed up your home’s old clunker!
See you next time!
Jarvis Edwards – TekTime
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