Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Re-speeding Bootup!

Checking out yesterday's article, which involved checking Windows boot time, got me to testing my startup speed again. Remember, one of my first posts (and inspiration for starting this blog), was when I got the time it took to boot up my computer from over four minutes to just over one. Well, it's been about six months since I did that, I figured it was time to see if such was still the case.

Using the ol' cellphone stopwatch when I see the BIOS loading screen display trick, I got 1:15, which was about 7 seconds longer than it used to take. Hardly something to panic about, but certainly worth looking into.

I ran msconfig (start>run>msconfig), and clicked the Startup tab. I saw a handful of entries that concerned me:

There were entries for WindowClippings and Orbit (for OrbitDock), both programs I'd previously installed to try out, and uninstalled for one reason or another. I was surprised to see that not only were there entries in there, they were enabled to run at startup!

Normally I just go and uncheck the boxes next to those entries so they would be disabled from running at startup. But this time I was fed up; why were programs I'd uninstalled still registering? Time to visit the registry.

I run regedit (Start>Run>regedit), and did a search for Orbit. Suddenly the folder showed up that seemed to show all the msconfig entries that were rooted in the registry. There they all were.

Now, the next thing I did was to run a backup of my registry (file>export>, select export all). This is extremely important for people not so crazy about editing the registry. In fact, I would not recommend doing this to anyone who would be slightly squeamish about editing the registry.

That done, I went and deleted all the entries that pertained to programs I absolutely did not want loading at startup (during this I did actually delete an entry I didn't mean to, and regedit does not have an undo feature... the backup came in very handy). Remember, be extremely cautious deleting entries you don't know about. Check online for what people say about those entries to see what they refer to, and whether it's safe to delete them.

When all was said and done, I did a restart to clear everything. Then I whipped out the stopwatch and timed: 1:11. Cut down four seconds from the total. It's still a higher value than that first fated time, but it's understandable since I've since added other necessary files to startup, including some Thunderbird extensions. Overall, I can't complain. After all, a little spring cleaning never hurt anyone.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

to avoid something like this, i use revo uninstaller, which analyzes the uninstallation (lol i dont think thats word) and alerts the user of left over registry keys and folders which were created by the program at install but wasnt deleted, and it does it for me :]