Make your PC boot faster than ever before:
1. Take a moment to defrag
To improve performance in applications, including booting, is to make sure the drive is defragged. When a drive is fragmented, chunks of each file are scattered so in order to read them, the hdd's read/write head has to jump all over the platters wich takes time. By defragging, your files are arranged in sequential order. Use any defragmentation utility like Diskeeper.
2. Clean the rest of the startup folders
To find which apps are loading every startup, click Start, Run then type MSCONFIG, then click the startup tab. Every item in this tab checked runs every time you boot, so cleaning the list will shave your boot time especially on systems with tons of apps. Anything having to do with your display, antivirus or spyware utilities can stay. If you dont know something, it is better to leave it be. If you are sure it is junk, delete it.
3. Prefetch (For Windows XP only)
Whenever you run a program or open a file, Windows will add bits of the file to the prefetch folder on your harddrive so the next time you open that app, Windows can deliver it to you faster. Sometimes Windows prefetches items you do not need, sucking system resources. You can see what Windows is prefetching by going to C:\Windows\Prefetch. Go to the prefetch folder by clicking start, run and type prefetch. Delete all files that are there. Then, Open My Computer, Click Folder Options, Click the View tab & Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types". Click OK. Next, Open Notepad (Start, Run, Type notepad) and copy this completely and paste (Completely Copy, no spaces on the last line):
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters]
Check if no prefetch files are there except NTOSBOOT bla bla bla... by typing prefetch in the run command at the start menu.
4. Disable the splash screen (For Windows XP only)
Every time you boot, you see the same XP splash screen since 2001. Disable this and get a couple seconds of your boot time. To disable, open MSCONFIG, and go to the boot.ini tab. Check the /NOGUIBOOT box, click apply then ok, then restart your pc.
(Note: it will just affect the logo of WinXP on startup, no damage will be made)
5. Tweak your BIOS
The last of relatively simple tweaks will require you to enter your computer's BIOS. To enter it, you must press F2 or DEL key as soon as you turn onyour pc. IF you dont have a floppy drive, it is reccomended to disable your floppy controller. Also. for max boot speed, your hard drive (C:) must be the first boot device. Enable the Quick POST and Fast Boot. Then, disable any unused I/O devices, such as parallel ports, save changes, then reboot your pc.
(remember to backup your old bios settings first)
5. Upgrade your hardware!
If you have gone through all the tweaks listed here, and your machine is still slow, the only way to improve performance is to buy a faster hard drive. Because much of the boot process involve disk reads, a 10,000rpm hard drive will speed things along.
6. Hibernate (Win2k/XP, I dont know with Win9x PCs)
Hibernating makes your pc start faster, because when you hibernate your pc, a copy of the system ram is placed on your hard disk, so when you startup, your apps and other softwares are on the desktop immediately. Sometimes hibernating starts up faster than normal Windows booting. To hibernate, click start, turn off computer. On winxp machines, hold shift and the standby button will go into hibernate. click hibernate then wait for it to finish (normally faster than normal shutdown at all).