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- WINDOWS 8
- Computing 101
For users of Windows, slow start-up is a common problem, especially after using the operating system for an extended period of time. Give it months or years and Windows seems to inevitably slow down. And while it's gotten better, even the latest version of the Windows OS isn't immune.
So what causes it? And - more importantly - how do I fix it? This article will show you how the problem was designed to be addressed in Windows Vista, so it can be a launching point for troubleshooting the problem in those platforms that came after.
Slow Vista start-up can be caused by a number of different issues such as the amount of additional software that has been added to the start menu, too many services loading at start-up, or the registry becoming jumbled. There may be a virus on your system.
Fix 1- Remove Startup Entries
Any programs that you do not need to have load at start-up should be removed from the Start-up Menu. You can do this with the following procedure:
Before: Windows Vista & 7
Access the MSCONFIG toolbox. This is short for Microsoft Configuration and provides an easy way to trim your startup profile.
- Go to START » RUN or hit the shortcut "WindowsKey + R"
- When the RUN prompt comes up, type "MSCONFIG"
- This will open the MSCONFIG toolbox. The first thing you'll notice are tabs at the top. Find the one labeled Startup
Here you'll see all the programs that have startup commands loaded into your computer. Are there a lot? The more there are, the more programs are vying for resources when your system boots up.
To disable startups, just uncheck them. Don't worry about hurting anything. Windows only lists non-vital startup sequences here, so you can potentially disable everything and not mess up your system's behavior.
4. When you finish, Windows will ask you for a reboot and - once its rebooted - it'll pop up a message letting you know that changes have been made. Just close it out and you're good to go.
Now: Windows 8
Windows 8 changed up the game a little bit. Now the Startup Manager is no longer in the MSCONFIG toolbox, it's in the TASK MANAGER.
Open the Task Manager by using the shortcut "CTRL+SHIFT+ESC"
When the task manager opens, you can view various aspects of your computer's active running processes in real time.
If you've got a pesky application that's frozen or otherwise refusing to cooperate, you can actually force shutdown from here by finding the active process, right clicking and opting to "End Task."
As before, to control startups all you have to do is find the STARTUP tab and then selectively activate/deactivate startup entries.
Fix 2 - Shut down Unneeded Services
There are a number of Windows Services that run at start-up and are not generally required by your system; especially for the home PC user.
To find out more about a particular service, you should use a program that will give you info on the specific items installed on your computer. The best application for this (by far) is SlimCleaner. It's a free program that will give you individual assessments of each service, startup, program and browser add-on on your system - complete with user evaluations of their usefulness. Check out SlimCleaner at CNET.
So how do you manage services the right way?
Well, there are many services that load at start-up that can be moved to the ‘manual’ setting so they will only load when required.
You can determine which Windows Services are running in all post-XP Windows systems by opening the Task Manager: "CTRL+SHIFT+ESC"
Select the ‘Services’ tab at the top of the dialogue box. You can tell what a given services is by viewing its status.
- ‘Automatic’ - takes the control and decision out of your hands
- ‘Manual’ - only loads a program when needed
- ‘Disable’ - removes the service from operation completely.
Stopping a service is easy. Just right-click and opt to stop it.
Fix 3- Increase Allocated Boot Memory
Starting in Windows Vista, a computer was set by default to run all available processors at bootup. That being said, there's processor troubleshooting tool that can in fact increase boot speed. By telling Windows to allocate 2 processors (if you have them) or more memory to system start-up, it can jump start the boot sequence.
To allocate more processors and memory,
- Open MSConfig
- Click the Boot tab
- Select ‘Advanced Options’
- Change the number of Processors to two (2) if available and check ‘Maximum Memory.’
Fix 4 - Run an Accredited Registry Cleaner
After time with new programs loaded onto your system and files saved, the registry can become jumbled and basically needs a good maid to straighten and clean.
There are lots of outstanding cleaners out there, but if you're going to choose one, the most important thing is to make sure it does automatic backups of your registry before enacting any changes. FixCleaner provides an award winning cleaning tool that is specially designed to prevent conflict errors.
Fix 5 - Do an AntiVirus Scan
When you have tried the steps above and still find yourself with a slow start-up, its possible your system has been infected by a virus. Perform a full system scan with your anti-virus program, first making sure you have downloaded all the latest virus definitions.
Though Windows 8 has taken great strides to minimize the ability of bugs to take over a system, things like Adware and Spyware are still getting through. And it just so happens that these are the sorts of things that can really bog down a system.
And Whatever you Do . . .
Don't give up. Technicians can be expensive and - of course - so can new computers. But you don't have to be a tech wiz to enact some simple, straight-forward fixes. Try the steps listed above to speed up your older system or your newer system. Remember, it doesn't matter how old it is, it cost something and should work like it's supposed to.