Speed Up Windows XP Boot and Shutdown Times

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.

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  • raj

    Great job, keep going. And its very nice thing to help people making them to get what they want from your website.
    Thank You.

  • hi
    I from Iran
    thank u

  • Hi,I like the way you treat people,Thanks

  • I finally got so frustrated with the way my modest but vital little Dell ran that I lugged it to a local guru who gave it a tuneup and has the thing running in all ways better than new out of the box. He also recommended CCleaner (called CrapCleaner at the time) and I’ve used it ever since. It’s a great tool and at the right cost = nothing! You tips on altering BIOS are very appealing; I may work up the courage to try doing this. Some folks are afraid of big dogs; I have a very big German shepherd, but I fear messing with BIOS!

  • GRob

    Good site! I had performed the Do Not Clear Virtual Memory registry hack on my on work computer but forgot what I did. I also had not documented my changes (bad boy!). I was glad to find this on your site as I plan on implementing it on another work computer. Some may view this as a security risk but if you are running full disk encryption there really is not much risk involved.

  • N. Kateus

    on February 26th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I finally got so frustrated with the way my modest but vital little Dell ran that I lugged it to a local guru who gave it a tuneup and has the thing running in all ways better than new out of the box. He also recommended CCleaner (called CrapCleaner at the time) and I’ve used it ever since. It’s a great tool and at the right cost = nothing! You tips on altering BIOS are very appealing; I may work up the courage to try doing this. Some folks are afraid of big dogs; I have a very big German shepherd, but I fear messing with BIOS!

  • Robert swin

    Great place, and I dig what you’ve done with the drapes…. no really
    thank you for all your time given to everyone that uses this site. When instead you could be charging for your greatly appreciated services.
    ! digit !

  • bhangar

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  • Isea Wean Ear

    These are the worst tips ever. Whoever uses these are noobs

    • yougotowned!

      fuck you

  • Hannah Davis

    Went through these tips and they look great! I’ve read similar ideas from other sites in the past but one thing I just wanna add is that we can actually reduce as much as 30 seconds booting time if we just change the setting by running msconfig and changing the default value from 30 to 0. I’m not sure if many readers knew it already, but honestly I didn’t know that before, not until I’ve read it. For those who would like to know the trick, here I found a good tutorial on how to do it. http://www.speedypc.org/how-to-speed-up-windows-boot-time.html

  • MIke S

    I recommend these registry changes too:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
    HungAppTimeout 1000
    WaitToKillAppTimeout 1000

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control
    WaitToKillServiceTimeout 1000

    HKEY_USERS\DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop
    HungAppTimeout 1000
    WaitToKillAppTimeout 1000