Reduce Stress with Faster Computer Boots

Have you ever found yourself talking to your computer urging it to “come on already”? If I had my way, working with a slow computer should be a form of torture. It does not help either that our newer computers are sometimes as slow as our lovely Pentium IIs with the never ending hourglass that you sometimes wish you could…. oh well.

I use Linux Mint as my main desktop on a 64-bit hardware and I am used to fast shutdowns and very fast boots – about 20 seconds from boot to desktop – and this is with loading the regulars, then Virtualbox and Sauerbraten on startup. 64-bit Vista Business on my Lenovo laptop does a decent job too. But I had to restrain myself from drumming my fingers on the table the other day when I had to go fix a client’s computer. Let’s not even talk about it! Makes you realize why they call it boot.

A couple of things can lead to a computer taking a long time to boot up. Sometimes, the more applications you have installed, the more time the system needs to figure out where things go and what needs to startup and what to block or send to time-out. Also very old computers behave as such, no disrespect.

So what can you do to speed up the time it takes your computer to boot up? Here are a few pointers:

For starters, go through your add/remove list through control panel and make a list of programs you have not used for years and, perhaps, did not even know you had. How do you know? If you find yourself asking “What is that?”, there you go, or take a look here. A lot of these hibernating applications may actually be hogging resources that could be put to better use. Those may be some of the programs the Operating System is trying to accommodate when starting up.

If you have a brand new computer, do what I do – before you even open the first application, go through and delete the bloatware the vendor slapped on your computer to make themselves feel good about the outrageous money they made you pay for the computer. Many of these crappy “trial” versions are just their way of trying to market a program you may never use . And guess what, there is even an application for decrapifying your computer (do not laugh, see for yourself).

Another great tool is from Microsoft called msconfig. It lets you select which programs you want the Operating System to load on startup. Msconfig can be accessed by typing “msconfig” in the “Run” menu. Also, if you are brave enough, you can edit the registry of your computer to remove or disable some programs you do not want, but please, do not say I asked you to. I am publicly removing myself from that “oh shoot” scenario.

Happy computing.

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