This guide will show you how to shorten the time it takes for your desktop to appear when you turn your computer, and make it shut down faster as well. Here are a few tips to get you right to your desktop as quickly as possible after startup.
To speed up Windows XP shutdown times:
Turn off services that you don’t need. If you want XP to shutdown faster, you need to have less services running for it to shutdown. Disable any unneeded services.
Don’t clear virtual memory at shutdown. Clearing the page file can provide more security, but that comes at the expense of speed. I don’t really care if someone can look at my page file. If you are more concerned with the shutdown speed, then you will want to disable this option in the registry. You will need to locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management registry key and change the ClearPageFileAtShutdown to 0.
To speed up Windows XP Startup times:
Waiting for your computer to boot can be a painful process. Though Microsoft has taken steps to speed up the boot process, it still can be improved. Here a few suggestions you can follow to speed up your Windows XP boot time.
Boot Defrag. If your boot files are closer together it will take less time for your hard drive to seek the files, therefore giving you a faster boot time. This was enabled by default on my machine, but you will want to make sure you have the option enabled in the registry. In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction
You will want to set “enable” to “Y”.
Keep the registry clean. Windows registry can be a disaster. When programs install they will create registry keys. When you uninstall the program it will leave behind useless registry keys. The solution is to use a good, reliable, registry cleaner. Be careful in which one you choose though because a bad cleaner could really screw up your system. My favorite choice is CClceaner, which will also rid your machine of some spyware and temporary internet files. You can download it here.
Change BIOS Settings. The computer has to go through the BIOS before actually touching Windows. Changing a few settings can decrease the time it takes to actually get to the Windows XP boot screen. First you will want to run a Quick POST (power on self test) if your bios has this option. Secondly you will want to disable booting from a floppy (especially slow), cd, usb. If the BIOS only has to look for the hard drive it will go much faster. You will want to remember that you changed this setting though, incase you have to boot from one of these devices for troubleshooting. The last option is to turn off Boot Delay if you BIOS has this available.