Tuesday, February 2, 2010

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Make Your Windows 7 Boot Faster Throughout Its Life

Throughout the years, all Windows versions have shared a common problem: they degrade in performance over time and boot more slowly the longer the computer is used. Microsoft addressed this gradual sludgification somewhat in Windows Vista, and even more in Windows 7. Compared to Windows XP there are certainly some improvements. 
For example, unlike XP, it’s actually possible to take an aging Windows 7 install, clean some things up, and get it back in tip-top shape. With XP, you’d eventually be forced to reinstall the entire OS in order to regain lost performance.
Boot-up speed, of course, is a primary concern. In order to speed up the time it takes for your PC to return to life each time you sit down in front of it, you can take a number of steps:

Remove unwanted startup items: Over time, as you install more and more software on your computer, the number of small utilities, application launchers, and, most annoyingly, application prelaunchers (which essentially make it seem like those applications start more quickly later because large chunks of them are already preloaded) that are configured to run at startup multiply dramatically.


Remember you can remove unwanted startup programs manually as well as automatic using some software. if you wish to do that manually type msconfig.msc in the Run prompt (the place marked in the following screen shot) and then go to startup to  clear the unwanted programs.
You can look at the startup tab for various programs that load during the boot process of Windows 7. There you can un-check various program that you dont want to load during windows startup.
What we saw so far is by using the build-in tool that is available with windows. Well, There are several ways you can cull this list, but the best one is to use Autoruns, a Microsoft Sysinternals freebie (technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx).

To cull the list of startup applications, download and open Autoruns (Start Menu Search, and enter http://live.sysinternals.com/autoruns.exe) and click Run.
You’ll be presented with the scary-looking window shown in Figure below.
Figure: Autoruns at first glance looks daunting but it’s actually very simple to use.

Before attempting to make any systemwide changes, click File - Run as Administrator. This will restart the application under administrative credentials to give you full access to startup entries on the system. After dealing with the User Account Control prompt that appears, click the Logon tab to view a list of programs that execute right after you log in. By clicking Hide Microsoft and Windows Entries in the Options menu, you can narrow the list down to just thirdparty gunk.


Using Disk Clean-Up In Windows 7
Finally, if you’d rather disable than delete, simply uncheck the entries you wish to disable and you’re set. Later, when you feel comfortable without the gunk, you can return to Autoruns and delete it once and for all.

  • Do a little cleanup: There are a number of things you can clean up on your PC that will have mild effects on performance. One of the more effective is Windows 7’s hidden Disk Cleanup tool (Start Menu Search, and type disk clean). This little wonder frees up hard drive space by removing unused temporary files. (Free hard drive space is important for keeping virtual memory and other applications (like Adobe Photoshop) running optimally. Virtual-memory optimization is covered in just a bit.)
  • Don’t shut down the PC: This one may seem obvious or even humorous, but think about it: why are you shutting down the PC anyway? Windows 7 supports advanced power management states, including Hybrid Sleep and Hibernation, and these states enable your PC to “shut down” and “power on” far more quickly than actual shutdowns and power-ups. We examine Windows 7’s powermanagement functionality in Chapter 17, but don’t be thrown by the chapter title: the power-management information there applies to both desktop PCs and mobile computers.
While Autoruns sports a dizzying array of other tabs, such as LSA and Winsock Providers, KnownDLLs, and Drivers, we suggest you limit clean-up activities to the safer Logon, Sidebar Gadgets, and Scheduled Tasks tabs. As Autoruns provides an unbiased view into the internal wiring of various Windows components, you could inadvertently and irreparably break Windows.

Using Windows Defender:
Windows XP and Vista users can use the Software Explorer feature of Windows Defender to remove unwanted startup items as well. This feature, alas, was removed from Windows 7, because Microsoft believed that it detracted from the main function of Defender (the removal of malware).
Figure: The Disk Cleanup utility can clear out unneeded files.

While all the performance tools are available individually throughout the system, Windows 7 introduces a nice list of available tools, if you can find it. To unearth the listing, first type performance info into Start Menu Search and press Enter. 
Start Menu Search box is one of the most convenient ways to find things on your computer. The exact location of the items doesn't matter—the Search box will scour your programs and all of the folders in your personal folder... Read more to know how to use start menu search
In the Performance Information and Tools view, click Advanced Tools in the left-hand pane. You will now see a listing, of all available performance-related tools within Windows. You can automate Disk Cleanup using another hidden Windows 7 utility—the Task Scheduler. This process is documented in Windows 7’s Help and Support: Search for Schedule Disk Cleanup to learn more.

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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