Make Windows XP Boot Faster - Top Tweaks

Although you should expect to wait for a few seconds for Windows XP to boot, if you have had it running for a while or just installed a fresh install and it seems to boot rather slowly. Its time for you to apply some old tricks once again making your PC roar to life again. There are several tweaks that help Windows XP get the bootup speed you want.

This tutorial explores how to put these techniques to work.

1. Change the boot device list order
Most computers are set up so that when you first turn on your computer it will check to see if you want to boot from other drives besides your hard disk. It will automatically check the CD/DVD Drive for a bootable disk, or a floppy disk (which we dont really use as much if any), some may have it to check boot from LAN or USB Stick. If all you want is for your primary hard disk to boot up Windows, make it so in the BIOS first.

The main benefit here is by placing your primary hard disk first as the startup device boot the system does not have to waste time

checking other devices for boot records. By doing this you can shave several seconds off of your boot time.

2.Lower the OS Timeout Values

If you have the Microsoft OS Selector that the Microsoft installer configures during installation of another operating system or upgrade. By default, the OS Selector gives you 30 seconds to select an operating system before it reverts to the default operating system. The only way not to wait 30 seconds is to select the operating system you want to use right away. If you use one operating system the majority of your time, you would definitely save

time if you set that operating system as the default and lowered the timeout value to 1 or 2 seconds. That way, you would not have to select an operating system every time you turned on your system or wait 30 seconds before doing so.

With Windows changing the timeout value is simple if the operating system that you use primarily is already the default. If it is, just follow these directions:

From the Start menu, select Run and type MSCONFIG and press OK. This will load the System Configuration utility.

Once the System Configuration utility has loaded, click on the tab labeled BOOT.INI

Locate the Timeout text box and replace 30 seconds with 1 or 2 seconds—or any number that gives you enough time to select the other operating systems on your system. The amount of time that you select to be your timeout value is not the amount of time that you have to select the operating system. Rather, it is the amount of time that you have to hit any key and then select the operating system. So don't be afraid of setting this timeout value too low.

Once you have made the change, click the OK button, and you are finished. Repeat these steps if you find the value you entered is too fast for example.

3. Disable your Windows boot logo screen

The process for disabling the system boot screen is similar to the process for modifying the default operating system in the boot file. If you do not have any other operating systems installed on your system, then you will have to create your own boot.ini file to place in your drive root (that is, the c:\ drive).

The boot.ini file that disables the boot screen looks similar like the following for windows XP:

[boot loader]
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS [operating systems]multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /noguiboot

The above boot.ini file is all pretty much standard except for the adition of the /noguiboot to the last line of the file. That is the parameter that tells Windows to start up without using the graphical user interface boot screen. To get started, open up a copy of Notepad found in the Accessories menu of the All Programs entry in the Start Menu and follow the steps below:

  1. On the first line of the file, type in [boot loader].
  2. On line 2 of the file, key in timeout=0 so Windows does not show the boot selection screen at all. You don't want this anyways since you only have one operating system installed on your computer.
  3. On line 3 of the file, type in default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS so that Windows knows where to look on your hard drive to start the operating system.
  4. On line 4, type in [operating systems].
  5. On line 5, type in multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /noguiboot to start up Windows with the /noguiboot parameter to disable the boot screen.
  6. Click on the File menu bar item and select Save As.
  7. Type in Boot.ini in the File name box and change the Save as type to All Files.
  8. Then, change the Save in directory to your drive root, which is usually Local Disk (C:).
  9. Hit the save button and you are now finished.

4. Remove unused Fonts

Only a handful of your installed fonts are most likely used on a regular basis. Windows uses the Tahoma, Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, Trebuchet, and MS Sans Serif fonts. All of the other fonts are installed for secondary use or by your other applications as optional.

To remove the unused fonts, first my a copy/backup of those extra fonts, then follow these steps:

  1. Open up My Computer through the icon in your Start panel or from the icon on your Desktop. Navigate to the C: drive or whatever drive on which you have Windows installed.
  2. Next, navigate to the C:\Windows folder (or C:\WINNT folder for some). If along the way you are prompted with a screen telling you that "this folder contains file that keep your system working properly; you should not modify its contents," ignore this message and click the text that says "show the contents of this folder."
  3. Now that you are inside the Windows root folder, create a folder to store the fonts that you are going to remove from the fonts folder. Right-click on the white space that lists the folder and files and select New and then select Folder. Call your folder Fonts Backup or something similar, so that you will be able to identify that this is the place that your old fonts are.
  4. Once you have created the new folder, open it.
  5. Next, go back to the My Computer icon in your Start panel or Desktop and open another window. Navigate to the drive you have Windows installed on and then navigate to the windows folder. Once you are inside the Windows folder, navigate to the Fonts folder.
  6. Now that you have both the Fonts folder open and your backup folder open

  7. Now that the two font folders are side by side, to remove a font from the system, all you have to do is click on the icon in the Fonts folder that you do not want installed any more, and drag the icon over to the backup folder. This will automatically uninstall the font and will copy it to your backup folder.

In the event that you was to reinstall a font, all you have to do is drag the font file from the backup folder back to the Fonts folder.

When you remove fonts from your computer you will no longer be able to use them in any software application, including Microsoft Word and Excel.

5. Defragment your drives.

Keep the hard drive tidy. Run Disk Cleanup (Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Cleanup) and Disk Defragmenter (same location) at least once each month. Defragging a large drive can take a few hours, so you might start the process at the end of your day and let the computer defrag itself while you sleep. You can also free up 10 Gigs of space in Windows easily. Watch my video tutorial here that shows you step by step.

6. Reduce the Overhead

You can get rid of all kinds of programs that run in the background that you may not need. The easiest way to do this is with the System Configuration Utility, otherwise known as Msconfig. Launch it by clicking the Start button and then Run, typing MSCONFIG into the text box, and hitting Enter.

Click on the Startup tab and look at the contents. This is a list of things that start when the computer boots up. All of these little goodies run in the background, eating up memory and resources and slowing your system down.

Uncheck those in the list that are not required such as itunes, quicktime, autoupdate features, and so on, reboot and see if any of your programs or hardware devices lose functionality. If they do, run the System Configuration Utility again and recheck entries that you suspect to be the programs your system needs, rebooting between each attempt until you narrow it down. Leave everything that doesn't affect normal use of your system unchecked. This will speed the Windows boot process and clear up system resources.

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