Optimizing Boot up Time

A computer or laptop that is booting up slowly is a frustrating way to begin your work day. Although there are a variety of reasons why a computer/laptop will boot up slowly, there are some preventive steps that you can take to ensure that the boot up process is occurring at an optimum speed.

An encrypted laptop will always boot up slower than your home PC due to the extra layer of security. Encryption on a laptop is essential to ensure that all the information contained on the laptop or sent to and from the laptop are protected from people trying to intercept your emails or access proprietary information. Laptops have an extra layer of encryption through the router to protect any data sent to or from the laptop through the router (VPN). 

Tips and techniques that all users can do to speed up boot up (laptop and desktops):

Do not have programs Autostart – in your start up folder

Often files will be set to Autostart when you boot up your computer, which means that the program loads in the background even though you have not asked it to. Some programs are useful to have Automatic start up like antivirus programs or firewalls, but many programs like instant messengers will default to Autostart when installed.

Often when a program is installed it will place a shortcut in the startup folder. Upon startup everything in this folder will load which can cause a slow down when booting up.  To open your startup folder:

–       Click on the Start menu, and then Run.

–       Type %userprofile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Another technique would be to use the System Configuration Utility to manage the programs that are automatically starting when booting up.

–       Click on the Start menu, and then Run.

–       Type msconfig, which will open the System Configuration Utility.

–       Navigate to the Start up tab, which will allow you to see what processes are running upon startup.

–       Uncheck any programs you do not want to automatically startup. If you are unsure what it does, then it is best to leave them checked.


Do not have any/many mapped drives

 All drives can be accessed without having the scripts run the mappings.   If you have a laptop, it will try to connect when remote or not connected to domain and thus take longer to “look” for the mapping.     Users that are remote majority of the time should not have any mapped drives instead use shortcuts to access the network drives.

To Create a Shortcut:

–       Navigate to the folders or network drive that you need to access, and right-click on the icon for the drive and choose create shortcut.

–       Then, you will be prompted to place the shortcut on the desktop, click yes.

To Disconnect a Mapped Drive:

–       Go to Start, and then click Run.

–       Right-click the icon for the mapped drive.

–       Click Disconnect.

Even though you have disconnected the mapped drive, you can still access the drive through my network places.

When booting up, wait until all the way up before attempting to open programs.  

Just like hitting the button for the elevator repeatedly in hopes of speeding up the process trying to start a program before the boot up process is complete will not help, in fact it will only slow down the process.

Frequently perform system maintenance on your computer

System maintenance helps ensure that your computer is running at optimal efficiency. Just like a car you need to perform maintenance on your computer. Below are list of best practices that will help you keep your computer running smoothly. You can find additional ones in the guide that we passed out last fall with the general classes.

Empty the Recycle Bin (at least once per quarter)

When you delete a file, it does not get deleted permanently. Instead it goes to the recycle bin, and you must delete it. This takes up hard drive space, and can decrease performance. To empty the recycle bin, please do the following:

–       Right-click the Recycle Bin on your desktop

–       Click Empty Recycle Bin

–       It will ask if you are sure, click Yes.

Hard Drive Defragmenting (at least twice per year)

Because Windows stores new files in whatever free space is available, data becomes spread out across the hard drive as it gets updated. Large files may get broken into thousands of fragments. This causes the hard drive to read/write numerous extra times. Defragmenting the drive rewrites the files and stores them contiguously in adjacent sectors.

To defrag the hard drive, please use the following steps. It is important that you do this while not using your computer.

  1. Go to Start
  2. Programs
  3. Accessories
  4. System Tools
  5. Disk Defragmenter
  6. You will notice the hard drive is formatted into 2 partitions. The Operating System (Windows XP) is stored on C:\. All of your data and program files are stored on Drive D:\. Once in disk defragmenter, please do the following:
  7. Select the C:\ Drive
  8. Click Defragment (Note: This could take several hours)
  9. Repeat the process for the D:\ Drive.

Delete Temporary Internet Files (at least monthly)

Our virus software removes the majority of infections (viruses/malware/spyware), but sometimes they require manual user intervention to remove. The majority of these items attack the Temporary Internet Files folder in your user profile. Therefore, we recommend periodically deleting temporary Internet files as a preventative measure. These instructions are also posted on the NA Intranet\IT Home page in the FAQ’s – Internal document.

Deleting Temporary Internet Files

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Go to tools, Internet options
  3. Click Delete Files
  4. Check the box “Delete All Offline Content”
  5. Click OK. The hourglass will appear and could stay on for quite some time. Your PC is not locked up. It will disappear when all files are cleared.

Another good tip for Internet performance is periodically deleting cookies. Cookies are files stored locally that contain information about Internet websites you have previously visited. They are used to save your personal preferences on a particular website. As sites change, sometimes cookies become outdated and simply aren’t needed anymore. You can delete those using the instructions below.

Deleting Cookies

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Go to tools, Internet options
  3. Click Delete Cookies
  4. Click OK

 Hopefully these tips will help minimize the time it takes for you computer to boot up!