Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Speed Up the Startup Process

Although startup is a complex process and the time required varies from computer to computer, you can often reduce the startup time. To optimize settings that might improve startup time, follow these steps:

  1. In the computer's BIOS settings, set the computer to boot first from the Windows boot drive. If you need to boot from removable media in the future, you will first need to change this setting.
  2. In the computer's BIOS settings, enable Fast Boot, if available, to disable time-consuming and often unnecessary hardware checks.
  3. If you have more than one boot menu item, reduce the boot menu time-out value using the Boot tab of the Msconfig tool. Alternatively, you can use BCDEdit to reduce the time-out value, as described in the section titled "How to Change the Boot Menu Time-Out" earlier in this tutorial.
  4. Clear disk space if free disk space is below 15 percent and then defragment the hard disk. Although defragmentation happens automatically by default, defragmentation is less effective if free disk space is low.
  5. Disable unnecessary hardware using Windows Device Manager.
  6. Use Windows ReadyBoost to cache some files used in the startup process to a USB flash drive.
  7. Remove unnecessary startup applications.
  8. For services (other than those included with Windows) that need to start automatically but do not need to start immediately, use the Services console to change the startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start). If services are set to start automatically but are not required, change the startup type to Manual.

For detailed startup performance troubleshooting, examine the Applications And Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Diagnostics-Performance\Operational Event Log. Events with IDs from 100 to 199 provide startup performance detail in the event of long startup times. In particular, event ID 100 indicates the startup time in milliseconds. Other events identify applications or services that are causing a startup performance degradation.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Configuring Startup and Troubleshooting Startup Issues
  2. What is New with Windows Startup
  3. Boot Configuration Data
  4. BCD Stores
  5. System Recovery
  6. Windows Boot Performance Diagnostics
  7. Understanding the Startup Process
  8. Power-on Self Test Phase
  9. Initial Startup Phase
  10. Initial Startup Phase for BIOS Computers
  11. Initial Startup Phase for EFI Computers
  12. Windows Boot Manager Phase
  13. Windows Boot Loader Phase
  14. Kernel Loading Phase
  15. Control Sets
  16. Values for the Start Registry Entry
  17. Value Descriptions for Type Entries
  18. Other Registry Entries in the Servicename Subkeys
  19. Session Manager
  20. Logon Phase
  21. Important Startup Files
  22. How to Configure Startup Settings
  23. How to Use the Startup And Recovery Dialog Box
  24. How to Use the System Configuration Tool
  25. How to Use BCDEdit
  26. How to Interpret BCDEdit Output
  27. How to Back Up and Restore Settings
  28. How to Change the Default Operating System Entry
  29. How to Change the Boot Menu Time-Out
  30. How to Change the Order of Boot Manager Menu Items
  31. How to Create an Entry for Another Operating System
  32. How to Remove a Boot Entry
  33. How to View and Update Global Debugger Settings
  34. How to Remove the Windows 7 Boot Loader
  35. How to Configure a User Account to Automatically Log On
  36. How to Disable the Windows Startup Sound
  37. How to Speed Up the Startup Process
  38. The Process of Troubleshooting Startup
  39. Startup Troubleshooting Before the Starting Windows Logo Appears
  40. How to Start the System Recovery Tools
  41. How to Run Startup Repair
  42. How to Use BootRec.exe
  43. How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
  44. How to Use System Restore
  45. How to Manually Repair the Boot Sector
  46. How to Manually Update the BCD Registry File
  47. How to Manually Replace Files
  48. How to Reinstall Windows
  49. Startup Troubleshooting After the Starting Windows Logo Appears
  50. How to Restore the Last Known Good Configuration
  51. How to Enable Boot Logging
  52. How to Start in Safe Mode
  53. How to Identify Failing Drivers and Services
  54. How to Analyze Startup Problems in Safe Mode
  55. Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc)
  56. System Information
  57. Error Reporting Service
  58. How to Use Device Manager to View or Change Resources
  59. How to Analyze Boot Logs
  60. How to Roll Back Drivers
  61. How to Temporarily Disable a Service
  62. Troubleshooting Startup Problems After Logon
  63. How to Temporarily Disable Startup Applications and Processes
  64. How to Disable Startup Applications Using the Shift Key
  65. How to Disable Startup Programs Using the System Configuration Utility
  66. How to Disable Startup Applications Configured Using Group Policy or Logon Scripts
  67. How to Permanently Disable Startup Applications and Processes
  68. Manually Remove the Entry