Does Your Computer Take Too Long to Start?
If your computer is taking longer to start than it used to, there could be many reasons, ranging from too many new applications, fragmented registry to virus infections. When you install new applications on your computer, most consider themselves important and register as startup items. Over time, when you have plenty of programs installed on your computer, the list of startup items grows and increases the Windows' start time!
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The Windows Startup Process
In order to determine what is making your computer start slow, it is important to have some knowledge on Microsoft Windows startup process. As soon as you hit the power button on your computer, your computer goes through POST (Power-on self-test) process that tests installed memory and other components. Once the POST is successfully completed, the BIOS of your computer will then attempt to read the MBR (Master Boot Record), and look for Windows boot loader file; for example, NTLDR (in Windows XP). Subsequently, the startup process executes several operating system related file such as NTDETECT.COM, BOOT.INI, BOOTSECT.DOS, NTOSKRNL.EXE, HAL.DLL, WINLOGON.EXE, LSASS.EXE, before you could see the logon screen. After logging in to Windows, it then loads system services and other software related startup items.
Causes of Longer Boot Time
Before you can identify the exact cause of why your computer is slowing down, you should first try to classify the type of slow down. Does your computer take a long time to get into Windows? Or does it takes longer to load all applications and related services? Your computer's startup time normally depends on the number of items scheduled to run at system startup.
In order to speed up your computer's startup time, you should run only the crucial programs at startup and disable all other programs that are not necessary to run upon startup. Even though it is possible to manage startup processes and services manually, identifying and understanding what services are important to run on startup can be time consuming and complicated.
No matter what operating system you're running on your computer, we're here to help you get more speed out of it. Don't suffer through using a slow computer. The problem will only grow worse over time.
If you decide you need expert technical advice, Support.com can help. We've been assisting people with their computer problems since 1998.