Speeding Up Your PC's Boot Time

I frequently hear apocryphal stories about Macs booting much faster than Windows boxes. There's a great set of Mac boot time benchmarks on the Silver Mac site that provide solid empirical data to back up those claims:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/08/speeding-up-your-pcs-boot-time.html

I’ve got an iMac that I just let sleep when it needs a nap. :wink:

Actually, my iMac boot time was similar to the one you listed above, and so as a rule, I don’t shut it down but just let it sleep.

On my Dell PC (running XP), I use NOD32 for my antivirus needs and it seems to be considerably less of a resource hog than other ones I’ve tried, especially the McAfee suite that came preloaded. It was like running with a cinder block tied to your leg.

Oddball sleep sounds great. I thought of it myself as I was reading Jeff’s descriptions of Sleep and Hibernate, and the pitfall of Sleep. I’d say one should always put Oddball sleep by default :slight_smile:

I boot 4-5 times a day, but it is not due to not knowing how to use hibernate and sleep. It is due to OS instability. Memory usage creeps up even when nothing is running, the machine begins behaving oddly, etc, and a boot fixes it.

Great info on MSCONFIG. Albeit, already very well known for the intended audience here than the average user.

I can’t stand it when a simple app is installed and it feels it should start upon PC startup by default. If I had wanted it to start, I would have made it start! - when I want it to. :slight_smile:

Odd, from poweron to desktop interaction my Fiesty Fawn is dramatically faster than my XP…

To be clear, the standard convention for “boot time” is the time from initial power on to the time we can finally interact with the desktop.

Does that include the login process?


I would think it does include the login process(or no logon for that matter - starts right into the Desktop) because once logged in MSCONFIG performs those startups Jeff was talking about.

One really nice thing I have found with Vista is that you can select hibernate and close the lid on your laptop and it actually hibernates. The same laptop with XP would go to sleep when the lid closed, so when you opened it again it would finish hibernating.

If you reboot daily, something is wrong with you anyways. I haven’t rebooted since may and I don’t plan on rebooting anytime soon either. At most I’ll hibernate (but my computer is usually busy while I’m away or asleep anyways). We live in 2007, not 1997. Asides from installing new drivers or certain very rare security patches, there’s no reason it reboot a Windows PC if you have some basic ideas of how to maintain an OS (that means, for example, not installing spyware).

My experience with hibernate and sleep options has been pretty dismal. Frequently they just “freeze” the computer. Laptops seem especially prone to problems, which is odd since they need it most.

the third-party motherboard BIOS-- something Microsoft has no control over.

Right, 'cause Microsoft are just one of many players in the PC platform space.

If you want to really see whats starting up on your computer run AutoRuns from Microsoft (formally a sysinternals program; they are windows OS gods).

a href="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/Autoruns.mspx"http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/Autoruns.mspx/a

My Apple IIgs booted in a brisk 5 minutes… maybe more.

Right on!

It’s been a blessing ever since I’ve learned to use msconfig. When I worked in college, we constantly had to tweak with student’s computers when they got filled with Spyware and msconfig helped so much. It was practically the first thing we did since it probably needed to be done in any case and fixing someone’s computer could potentially take several reboots.

Msconfig is so helpful that I even use it on my own machine after installing applications. For example, when I install Winamp or iTunes, I’ll uncheck as much “run at startup” boxes as I can. Even after doing that, there will be one or two that will not be an option. So, after installation is complete, I’ll go into msconfig and see if anything else can be turned off. Even though I know Winamp and iTunes isn’t Spyware, I know it affects my boot time and if I don’t use it frequently, I don’t need it running.

Get a 4 gig ready boost speed usb drive and stick it in the back of the box. Your comp will come out of Vista’s hybrid sleep and hibernate much faster.

I love the hibernate function, and I used to reboot maybe once a month or so. Unfortunately, I now have two operating systems on the same box, one for work and the other for personal use. Because I need to share files between tho OSes, I have a partition that is mounted on both. I can no longer hibernate because that would corrupt the file system on that partition. It’s too bad because every time I switch OS, it takes minutes instead of seconds :frowning:

Sorry to be pedantic, but you can’t speed up boot time. You can speed up booting, or you can reduce the boot time, but what you can’t do is speed up time. Not whilst sat in front of your PC anyway.

Unfortunately many of us Vista users cannot use hibernation/sleep due to a bug that appeared in Vista between the Beta version and the release.

“Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the “Applies to” section.”

a href="http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928135/en-us"http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928135/en-us/a
a href="http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929734/en-us"http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929734/en-us/a
a href="http://neosmart.net/blog/2006/vistas-hideous-wakeup-support/"http://neosmart.net/blog/2006/vistas-hideous-wakeup-support//a

Hotfix is available, but you must make a special request. Service Pack 1 should contain the fixes for the general public - whenever that will be!

I run AVGfree and it doesn’t seem to slow the system down.

As for an OS I think the Mac OSX (and other unixes) are way more easy to understand and follow common computer science theories and technologies. I’m still amazed about the fact that Windows still uses drive letters, a technology copied from CP/M ano 1976.

As for the startup it’s pretty easy to grab the Darwin source code and read up if one are interested and here is a description for those interested