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Make your PC boot faster than ever before


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Hibernation is the worst thing you can do for your computer.... for the 5-10 seconds of boot up time, you are seriously compromising the stability of the system. I have the pleasure of managing 28 laptops and everyone has come to me with a "this stopped working yesterday.... I didn't do anything different..." as soon as the computer is restarted, the issue magically vanishes. Performance also takes a massive hit. I have clocked one particular program (Logos) that is very hard drive intensive. After being in and out of hibernate for a few cycles, the program would take 2 minutes or more to fully load. Immediately after a frest restart, the program took 35 seconds.

 

There is no benefit to hibernation aside from the initial boot time savings, (which are negligible at best if you have a lot of ram like most computers now days do) and the performance hit for your trouble makes this "feature" a mistake at best.

 

My boot time with 2 gigs ram from cold start: 18 seconds to idle. 30 more seconds to previous state. 48 seconds total.

 

My restore from hibernate time with 2 gigs : 1:01 seconds to idle....

 

remember that the computer is having to write as much from the hard drive as you have ram installed, so the more you have, the slower the process......

 

I know there are a lot of people who believe in hibernate, but as an IT director, I strongly discourage its use. If someone with oversight of more than 60 computers cares to chime in on why I am wrong, I will gladly hear alternate viewpoints..... until then, I'll put my experiences against its use on the table as a "NO" vote.

Yeah I acompletely agree; "sleep" or "stand-by" (or sometimes called "suspend") is a much better option. In fact too don't like the "hibernate" function; mostly because it just doesn't seem to work in my case (on my computer and its particlar setup/configuration), i.e. on resuming, which is usually the next day, everything first looks normal; namely that "indicator" goes to the last step, but then it just stops, and a manual reset is required.

 

 

But also I am thinking in particular about writing the contents of RAM to a hard drive, i.e. there is no such writing (in such a big "chunk") involved with normal shut-downs/boot-ups.

 

 

P.S. -- Oh and btw., one of the reasons why I don't use it these days (i.e. even attempt to) is that is stresses my hard-disk too much (which is too hot anyway, the hard-this that is) especially compare to the normal shut-down procedure; see this thread here: What have I done so that now the temperature ... for details if you are maybe interested !!

 

 

moocher

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The damage that is done is maybe caused by POOR POWER SUPPLY. Sometimes, starting from hibernate state is longer than normal, but applications are already started just the way before you hibernated the pc so it saves more time than normal boot. Hard drive speed is also a factor.

 

P.S. -- Oh and btw., one of the reasons why I don't use it these days (i.e. even attempt to) is that is stresses my hard-disk too much (which is too hot anyway, the hard-this that is) especially compare to the normal shut-down procedure; see this thread here: What have I done so that now the temperature ... for details if you are maybe interested !!

POOR AIRFLOW

 

My time at normal boot time is 1:23

 

When hibernated: 40 seconds

 

Now you see the difference there.

 

I know there are a lot of people who believe in hibernate, but as an IT director, I strongly discourage its use

I dont believe, and i only need user's comments if it maked there pc boot faster, no change at all or damaged there pc after all... Edited by ineedhelpregularly21
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and ventilation would also not cause the difference in boot times.... (even if it was the issue, whick it is not)

did you read this?

P.S. -- Oh and btw., one of the reasons why I don't use it these days (i.e. even attempt to) is that is stresses my hard-disk too much (which is too hot anyway, the hard-this that is) especially compare to the normal shut-down procedure; see this thread here: What have I done so that now the temperature ... for details if you are maybe interested !!

POOR AIRFLOW

 

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Hi ineed helpregularly21,

 

I went to step 3 and had a problem:

 

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):

 

I deleted the files in the prefetch file without a problem but when I went to:

 

Then, Open My Computer, Click Folder Options, Click the View tab & Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types".

 

I went to Open my computer, clicked folder options, but no view tab appeared. I clicked view in the toolbar and no, "Hide extensions for known file types," appeared.

 

I know I must be doing something wrong. Can you help me?

 

Thanks,

 

adkron

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Hi again ineed helpregularly21,

 

I couldn’t get step 5 or 6 to work to work either.

 

 

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 recommended 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)

I kept hitting F2 at a rate of a tap per second on turning my computer on and nothing happened. How do I enable the Quick POST and Fast Boot?

 

 

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).

 

I clicked start, turn off computer, held down the shift key and my computer turned itself off. I never saw a hibernate to click? Again what am I doing wrong?

 

Thanks,

 

adkron

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Hi adkron, can i know your Windows version?

 

I kept hitting F2 at a rate of a tap per second on turning my computer on and nothing happened. How do I enable the Quick POST and Fast Boot?

Did you press Del on the number pad (the one w/ 0-9, /,*,-,+ and Enter)?

 

I clicked start, turn off computer, held down the shift key and my computer turned itself off. I never saw a hibernate to click? Again what am I doing wrong

If on startup, you saw Resuming Windows or something same like that, you are on the right track.

 

 

:beer: :mrgreen:

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Hi adkron, can i know your Windows version?

 

Did you press Del on the number pad (the one w/ 0-9, /,*,-,+ and Enter)?

 

If on startup, you saw Resuming Windows or something same like that, you are on the right track.

:beer: :mrgreen:

 

Hi ineedhelpregularly21,

 

Sorry for the slow response. I,ve been away from any computer for a couple of days.

 

I run Windows XP on a Compacq Presario 6410NX. Its five years old and only has 256 Mgs of RAM. I'm thinking of upgrading my RAM or just getting a new computer with a faster processor and more RAM.

 

Thanks for your help,

 

adkron

 

adkron

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Maybe you can help me:

 

I have no files - None _ in my preftech folder. And I have the proper parameters for pretetching in my registry.

 

My computer looks like it's not prefetching files because of this.

 

What do I need to do?

 

I remeber that ther used to be a file in my prefetch folder; something *.ini.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Joe Lamberti

 

[email protected]

 

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. :D

 

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.

:nuke:

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]
"VideoInitTime"=dword:00000f0f
"EnablePrefetcher"=dword:00000002
"AppLaunchMaxNumPages"=dword:00000fa0
"AppLaunchMaxNumSections"=dword:000000aa
"AppLaunchTimerPeriod"=hex:80,69,67,ff,ff,ff,ff,ff
"BootMaxNumPages"=dword:0001f400
"BootMaxNumSections"=dword:00000ff0
"BootTimerPeriod"=hex:00,f2,d8,f8,ff,ff,ff,ff
"MaxNumActiveTraces"=dword:00000008
"MaxNumSavedTraces"=dword:00000008
"RootDirPath"="Prefetch"
"HostingAppList"="DLLHOST.EXE,MMC.EXE,RUNDLL32.EXE"

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. :geezer:

(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).

 

:surrender:

:thud:

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Quite possibly the most beneficial tip to make your computer boot faster out of all of them:

 

Click on Run in the Start menu, type cmd into the box, hit enter, and type in this text exactly as it is in this post. defrag C: /b. After ya typed it, press enter, and after a few seconds of waiting, it'll be done.

 

That moves the boot files so they get accessed faster on bootup. C: can be substituted for whatever drive XP is installed on.

 

Also, I recommend enabling Suspend to RAM, or better known as S3 in the BIOS. It shuts off your computer, and puts all the pertinent data into RAM, which makes it a magnitude faster than hibernation.

Edited by brandon
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Guest dwfinch

That is Awsome brandon!!!

 

Also, I recommend enabling Suspend to RAM, or better known as S3 in the BIOS. It shuts off your computer, and puts all the pertinent data into RAM, which makes it a magnitude faster than hibernation.

 

My PC was already fast! But OMG, I press the power button, and within 3 seconds I'm on my Desktop, with everything running!

 

My PC is already tweaked out, but that one is the best, by far, for fast booting!

 

Thanks

DW

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Well, this is one is one of those myths that just don't want to die: please listen everybody, this information is completely FALSE, and doing so will result in decreased PC's performance !!

In fact, I urge anyone who might want to, to check out and read the "PREFETCH-FOLDER CLEANING MYTH" entry on my site's http://tadej-ivan.50webs.com/articles.html page of my home-site, with various related articles links in case if you don't believe me. One of such sources is Ed Bott's "Windows Expertise: One more time: do not clean out your Prefetch folder!" article: http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000743.html (you can see my own comments signed as "Ivan Tadej"), and the other one Popular Technology: CCleaner Cripples Application Load Times: http://poptech.blogspot.com/2005/10/cclean...ation-load.html

You see, as stated in the linked Ed's article at the top of this page (and I guess somewhere on the Microsoft's site too), the Windows cleans the old/obsolete files in Prefetch folder by itself after 128 files were/are created; so when there are 128 of ("someprogram.exe-hash.pf" files already created, Windows deletes the older one (oh well, not the older one, but the least used one), so why bothering with it and doing the OS's job ??

For example a few lines from AntiVir's "AVGUARD.EXE-17927959.pf" file:

 

AVGUARD.EXE

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\NTDLL.DLL

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\KERNEL32.DLL

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\UNICODE.NLS

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\LOCALE.NLS

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\SORTTBLS.NLS

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\PROGRAMS\AVPERSONAL\AVGUARD.EXE

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WS2_32.DLL

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MSVCRT.DLL

\DEVICE\HARDDISKVOLUME2\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WS2HELP.DLL

Then regarding what data that these files contain, these files simply contain prefetch data, i.e. the data about which dlls the respective executable loads/uses during run-time. So I guess it's quite obvious that they don't "pre-load" anything (or whatever), they just contain a list of directories (you can view file in any good file-viewer), where program's owned dlls, OS-libraries, and other non-OS libraries that executable loads/maps/hooks on the execution (I assume this because .pf files are created AFTER the respective process is closed and not ON or right after the execution, since some can be dynamicly/delay-loaded), all this with regard to the device, i.e. with regard to the hard-disk volume on which they reside, so it is only a some kind of a "map", like for instance a file/directory-tree.

But one good tip might be how to manually optimize them, i.e. how to manually rebuild the "Layout.ini" file (although it actually rebuilds itself when computer is idle; when Windows decides so); you can do that if you invoke the rundll32.exe process with the advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks parameter. If you want to, also see the Why my prefetch files are not re-created after deleting them ?? thread that I opened on Ars Technica forum (my nick is "shirker") about this command. /NOTE: However, in first case the "Task Scheduler" service must run and prefetching must be enabled in the first place (also see one of my comments on Ed Bott's blog linked above)

So once again I am begging you, please just don't do that (i.e. empty the Prefetch folder) because it's simply not worth it, and you'll achieve the exact opposite result of the desired one ...

P.S. -- The only thing that I occassionally do regarding the Prefetch folder is that I delete those various "setup.exe-hash.pf" files, i.e. the ones from few of my programs that gets updated frequently and so I use a different executable with the same name each time, i.e. on each installation/updating. Then I also delete .pf files of various temporary processes' files, although those are rarely created/run on my system. And finally I delete those orphaned .pf files from executables that I moved after the new .pf file was already created (with new file's location), however, I know that OS would delete them by itself after time. I am just a bit of a "maintainance maniac", that's all.

regards, moocher

 

Cleaning prefetch selectively for programs you deleted MIGHT help a bit...I had AOL junk in there and I uninstalled AOL....So getting rid of that was an ok idea.
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  • 4 weeks later...

I have no files - None _ in my preftech folder. And I have the proper parameters for pretetching in my registry.

 

My computer looks like it's not prefetching files because of this.

 

What do I need to do?

Maybe you've disabled the Task Scheduler service?? You can enable/start it again with "services.msc" MSC applet.

 

 

I remeber that ther used to be a file in my prefetch folder; something *.ini.

Yeah, that's "Layout.ini" file to be precise ...

 

 

hth, moocher

Edited by moocher
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  • 2 months later...

Hello all, I am fairly new to this 'tweaking' and I have some questions...

 

I did #4.... (Disable the splash screen) and part of what Brandon suggested.... (Click on Run in the Start menu, type cmd into the box, hit enter, and type in this text exactly as it is in this post. defrag C: /b. After ya typed it, press enter, and after a few seconds of waiting, it'll be done), And my computer seems to start up slower than it did before I messed with it. I am wondering how I can access the BIOS to do the other thing Brandon suggested... (enabling Suspend to RAM, or better known as S3 in the BIOS) ?

 

I also defrag this computer often and have minimal program running at start up

 

I have been lurking here for a couple months and would like to thank everyone for their suggestions and tips. I switched to Firefox and tweaked it, as suggested in another post here, and it was a night and day difference in web surfing.

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I am wondering how I can access the BIOS to do the other thing Brandon suggested... (enabling Suspend to RAM, or better known as S3 in the BIOS) ?

 

okay so turn your pc completely off. Then turn it on. Press either one of these keys:

 

F1

F2

Del

F10

 

then you can access your bios. bios hotkeys depends on your system.

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Thanks for your quick response. I must have been sleeping when I read this last night, I see that #5 tells me how to access the BIOS... :snooze:

 

The only problem now is that I can seem to find any of what your suggesting to change... "Enable the Quick POST and Fast Boot. Then, disable any unused I/O devices, such as parallel ports, save changes, then reboot your pc."

 

I press F10 at start up, it takes me to "Compaq computer corp setup utility" and the only things I see that are even close to what your suggesting is under the Advanced tab where it has P.O.S.T. and I can change that between Quickboot and Fullboot. It was on Quickboot so I didn't change anything. I searched through every tab and saw nothing of I/O devices or where I could 'suspend to RAM' or any mention of S3.....

 

Am I even in the correct spot? I tried all four suggestions and F1 and F2 did nothing but Delete and F10 took me to the same spot.

 

Thanks for your time and patience

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:wp: ol_grayfeather,

 

You're in the right spot. F10 is the default key for most Compaqs. Keeping the setting on Quickboot is the correct setting.

 

Unfortunately, many propriatary computer builds such as Compaq, Dell, HP, etc. place limits and restrictions in their BIOS so you are limited in what can be changed. With your diligent searching throughout the menus in the BIOS, it sounds as though you are faced with these limitations.

 

My Compaq was the same way. Sometimes ya just can't tweak 'em. ;)

 

:)Y

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