by Fred Langa for Windows Secrets Newsletter
4 Free Tools for Improved Startup Times
Four free tools offer safe and certain ways to pare your boot times to the minimum.
The process takes a little time and effort, but if you follow the steps outlined here, better boot times are all but guaranteed!
PC startup times are clearly a hot-button issue for many Windows Secrets readers. In the July 12 Top Story, “House Call 2012: One family, four PCs,” a passing mention of a semi-automated, boot-time improvement tool brought a flood of e-mail that continues to this day.
Using that tool — Soluto (free; site) — I trimmed the boot time of one House Call PC by 25 percent. But Soluto is not a panacea, and it has too many serious drawbacks to merit a general recommendation for routine use.
In fact, Soluto requires so many caveats that I devoted the entire Aug. 16 LangaList Plus column to discussing Soluto’s pros and cons. I also showed how to use it — when it does make sense to do so.
But that raises a question: If not Soluto, then what’s the best general-purpose way to optimize boot times?
The solution isn’t automated, but it is tried and true. It’s also relatively easy, though it will take some time.
In this article, I’ll show you how to analyze and optimize your PC’s startup, using any of four different startup editors — all free. As Soluto does somewhat automatically, you’ll be manually selecting which apps are loaded when Windows boots. (The fewer the apps loaded at startup, the faster the boot time.)
These editors differ in complexity and power, but all use the same basic step-by-step process. Because of that commonality, I suggest you read this article through to the end before doing anything to your PC. That way, you’ll have a complete overview of the options available, and you can select the right tool for your needs and abilities.
This excerpt appears with permission from Windows Secrets Newsletter.