I recently made some boot changes to a notebook computer that resulted in a remarkable increase in the boot speed. The notebook was running Windows XP Home.
It was a small, light Sony — one of the 12-inch monitor models.
With notebooks, you can get small, light, fast and cheap.
Pick any two…
In this particular case, the notebook took 4.5 minutes to boot, and it’s owner wanted it to be much faster.
I referred to my favorite tool to get his boot process under control — Winpatrol Plus.
First stop was the Winpatrol web site to see if there was a new version. I found that the current version was 12.1.2007.5 (I haven’t quite figured out BillP’s new version number system), so I updated the computer to that.
As of version 12 (the 2007 version) of WinPatrol, it has included the ability to use Windows XP’s Windows Vista’s "Delayed Start" capabilities. WinPatrol has had a Startup Programs tab for a long time. Now, it also has a separate tab for Delayed Start programs.
Of course, having a Delayed Start tab doesn’t help much if you can’t move Starup Programs to Delayed Start. That’s easy. Just right-click and select
Once you have moved the auto-starting program to the Delayed Start tab, it has a default delay of 30 seconds. Fortunately, you can change this to be something less intrusive.
If the program is something like Karen’s Replicator, which I use for routine file backup on a daily basis, I don’t need it to run for a while. At this point, I right-click on the program and select "Delay Start Options.." from the pop-up context menu.
This displays the Program Delay Starup Options. I can change the title that is shown in WinPatrol’s Delayed Start tab. More importantly,I can also use the pull-down menus to select the delay in minutes and seconds. The maximum delay that can be set is 60 minutes and 50 seconds — plenty of time to make the bootup and early computer use easier.
So, back to the Sony notebook with the 4.5 minute boot process, what kind of difference did we make by using WinPatrol Plus?
By choosing to disable a number of auto-starting programs and by delaying the start of even more, we reduced the boot process to 2 minutes — not much longer than a desktop.
How did we know what to disable and what to delay? That’s where the paid version of WinPatrol comes in — it’s called WinPatrol Plus. While WinPatrol Plus adds some features to the free WinPatrol program, the most important thing it adds is access to their database of programs.
This database tells us what a program is, whether it is safe or not, and recommends whether to remove it or let it run. Choosing whether to delay a program startup was pretty easy — once we know what a program is, the answer is pretty obvious. If you don’t need it immediately, delay it.
What programs do you need to start immediately? Your antivirus, your antispyware, your firewall and WinPatrol. You may have a couple more that are unique to your system or your particular desires.