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How To Reduce Boot Time

One of the biggest advantages of ultrabooks would have to be that such systems can boot the OS in approximately 30 seconds or even less in some cases. However, this isn’t the situation with the regular mainstream laptops that need about a minute and a half in order to boot Windows. The reason for this is that unlike ultrabooks that come with fast SSDs, regular notebooks have considerably slower hard drives. Add to this the fact that on a hard drive there might be a lot of pre-installed (and mostly useless) software, it’s no wonder why it takes so long until the OS is up and running.

The good news is that the owner of a standard laptop can do a couple of things in order to lower the boot time. The first thing that you might want to do is to make sure that the laptop’s BIOS will boot off the internal HDD first. Usually, the BIOS on most of today’s notebooks is configured to first boot off the optical disk drive and after that from other devices, like a USB flash driver, before trying to boot from the hard drive.

In order to change the configuration of the boot priority, you will have to enter the BIOS menu which is usually done by pressing one of the F buttons or the Escape key during the boot process. After you enter the BIOS menu, you’ll have to go to the Boot menu and then put the Internal HDD to the top of the list so that the next time it will boot straight from the hard drive, rather than trying to find an OS on the optical drive or other storage devices, before analyzing the HDD.

Some of the more recent laptops come with a function known as Quick Boot. When a laptop is turned on, the BIOS has to perform a bunch of tests – like counting the amount of RAM – which require a few seconds to be completed. By activating the Quick Boot function, the laptop can skip the testing and start booting the operating system right away.

If you have been using the laptop for a while now, most likely it has been affected by an annoying malware or even by a pesky virus. Malware, spyware and viruses can have a negative effect on the laptop’s booting time, as well as affecting the security of the notebook. Even Macs are nowadays being affected by such problems so it’s important to have an anti-virus program installed on your computer. We would recommend performing a full (and lengthy) scan so that you will be able to get rid of all that harmful software. A fine example would have to be Microsoft’s Security Essential which is an efficient and free tool that you might want to take into consideration.

If your laptop came with a lot of bundled apps, most likely some of the software is slowing down the boot process because every time you boot Windows, the operating system is going to have to load more programs. The higher the numbers of these apps, the more time it will take until the OS will be alive. You might want to uninstall the software that you are not using, as well as disabling others from starting along with the OS. You can do this by opening the Start Menu in Windows and then type & run msconfig in the search box. Navigate to the startup tab and then have a look at all of the items in the Startup for finding out which you can uncheck.

You also have the possibility of disabling some of the laptop’s hardware that you might not need, such as the webcam, Bluetooth or the optical drive. For doing this you’ll have to access Device Manager from Control Panel and from there on you must perform a right click on the device that you would like to disable. Once you do this, the next time you boot the operating system, Windows will not load its drivers, translating into a faster boot time.

Another way of lowering the boot time of the operating system would be by hiding the fonts that you don’t use. Not a lot of people know that it can take up to several seconds for Windows to load the fonts. This operating system comes with no less than two hundred typefaces, including here the fonts from languages from all over the world. By disabling some of the unused fonts it will not have an effect on your Windows experience.

Windows 7 comes with the Event Viewer tool which allows the user to find out how long it takes to boot into the OS and what are the apps that are causing the biggest delays. If you want to have access to Event Viewer you’ll have to go into Control Panel > System and Security tab > Administrative Tools. Now you will have to perform a double click on the Event Viewer in order to fire up this utility. While most of the boot delays are caused by the important functions, some might be related to nonessential apps which can be disabled to speed up the OS boot.