Dec 6, 2011

Reimage Tips & Tricks: Giving the boot a Boost!

Remember the days when restarting your system meant that it was time to make a few phone calls or go for a smoke (yes kids, once upon a time people spoke on phones that were tethered to the walls and we were also allowed to smoke indoors).

One of the great bonuses with Windows 7 is the time it takes to boot up. Relative to previous versions of Windows, it was like being upgraded from having to take a 12 hour transatlantic flight to flying in a concord (I remain optimistic that most of you were born before 1990).

Humankind’s need for speed stems, not from an addiction to an adrenaline rush, but through sheer boredom and a stubborn dissatisfaction with conformity. We find it very easy to get used to new technology. Inevitably, we are also prone to develop an unnatural dependency on technology.

When first introduced to the internet, we would be quite content to calmly sit awaiting a webpage (no flash content) to load. Today it is not uncommon to see people with trigger-happy fingers drumming the F5 key even before they’ve even clicked the link.

But who am I kidding? I want my PC to run like lightning just as much as the next guy so  this week we’ll be sharing some tips on how to make your speedy Windows 7 boot sequence -run even faster.

The basic principle behind tweaking your boot time is quite simple: Configure your boot sequence to only load the programs and drivers that your system needs to survive. Just how frugal you want to keep your settings is up to you. If you have any devices or programs that you constantly use, you may want to keep them listed in your boot sequence. So if you simply must have that USB industrial strength hair dryer ready to go as soon as windows starts –go right ahead.

Reconfigure Unused/Rarely Used Software with MSConfig:

MSConfig is an absolutely wonderful tool allowing you to manage many aspects of your computer’s behavior.

1. Open the Run Command window by pressing the Windows (logo) key & R on your keyboard. (If you do not have a Windows key, go to Start, and in the search bar, type “Run” and press Enter.

2. In the Run Command window, type “msconfig” in and click OK. The MSconfig window now opens.

3. Select the Startup tab.  You will notice a list of programs that are scheduled to run each time your system boots/reboots. If you recognize any programs that you rarely use (such as scanner software), simply uncheck the box next to it. When you are done click Apply.

4. HIGH-LEVEL USERS ONLY: Select the Services tab. You will notice a list of system services that are scheduled to run each time your system boots/reboots. If you recognize any services that would rarely be used (such as Fax software or an update manager for rarely used program), simply uncheck the box next to it to disable them. You must be absolutely certain of each service you disable. Disabling a service or program that is crucial to your system will cause it to function incorrectly, and possibly result in loss of functionality and crashes. If this should happen, re-enabling the unchecked services and reboot to solve this problem.

5. When you are done click Apply then click OK.

Disable the Windows Splash Screen:

If you want to be really frugal, and avoid wasting every unnecessary second, you can also disable the Windows splash screen.

1. Follow the instructions above to open the MSconfig window.

2. Select the Boot tab, check the box labeled “No GUI boot” then click OK or Apply.

Reconfigure unused/rarely used Hardware in the Device manager:

Should you still want to speed up your boot sequence even further, you can reconfigure which devices to run during the startup in the Device Manager.

If you’ve ever wondered what your PC gets up to while it displays the “Starting Windows” screen, it is busy loading all of your device drivers (-Yes, you do need them).

But there might be a few devices that you only occasionally use, and you can save boot time by loading these devices when you need them. Personally, I would advise against changing anything. But if you’re felling adventurous here’s how to do it:

1. Go to Start > Control Panel> Device Manager.

2. HIGH-LEVEL USERS ONLY: Select an unused/rarely used device from the list of devices running on your system. Right click to open the menu and select disable.

Stay tuned for more Windows PC Tips & Tricks from Reimage.

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