How to Speed up Windows Boot Time

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Many computer users dread rebooting their computers because of excessively slow boot times. After all, who has five to ten minutes to spare just to get a computer to load? Slow boot times are more than a mere inconvenience; they waste energy and may shorten the life of your computer. Energy is wasted because users tend to leave their slow computers running rather than shutting them down for the day. The life of the computer can be shortened due to overheating and excessive use. Plus, the computer may be exposed to hackers and malware due to being unattended for long periods of time.

Fortunately, you can speed up Windows boot time by performing a few easy steps. Boot time improvements begin in the BIOS. To enter the BIOS, you must reboot your computer and press a specific key. The key varies by computer, so you will need to watch your computer screen as the boot sequence begins. You should see text that says something along the lines of “Press the F10 key to enter setup.” Press the specified key and a DOS-like menu will appear.

BIOS programs are extremely basic. You will need to use your keyboard to navigate and make choices. The tab and arrow keys are usually used to highlight different menu items in conjunction with pressing function and number keys. Once in the BIOS menu, look for a boot option called “Quick POST.” POST means Power On Self Test. Normally, BIOS runs a full set of Power On Post Tests which takes time. By switching to Quick POST, your computer will runner fewer tests and boot up faster.

While in the BIOS menu, look to see if your computer is set to look for a bootable floppy. If so, the operating system will check your floppy disk drive for a bootable disk. Since users rarely boot their computers from floppy disks, this setting is nearly obsolete. Change the boot order so that your computer searches the hard drive first. Save your BIOS changes and exit BIOS. Allow Windows to load and move on to the next tip. 

This next tip can shave off a full 30 seconds of boot time: change the boot “timeout” from 30 to 0! The boot timeout time is designed to give users a chance to pick an alternate operating system other than the primary one (in a dual boot computer configuration). For example, if you have a dual boot Windows XP/Vista machine and Vista is the primary operating system, each time your computer boots it will stop for 30 seconds to allow you the chance to pick Windows XP instead. Even if you have a single boot computer, it’s likely that your computer has the 30 second timeout setting.

To change the timeout length, go to Start > Run and type in: msconfig. Once the system configuration screen appears, click on the tab labeled “Boot.” Find the Timeout field and change the field’s value from 30 to 0.

These simple steps should improve your Windows boot time dramatically. If Windows boot up remains slow, other steps include removing any password requirements and limiting the number of programs that load automatically when Windows boots.

 
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