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Help reducing boot times

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a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2009 4:43:42 AM

Many of you helped me pick out the parts for my new system and i love it. But now we have reached the stage for tweaking and refining and that is where i need help. Right now i would like to reduce my boot times a bit, never thought i would want to do that on this machine considering i once made and ate a sandwich while waiting for my old p4 to boot. Any suggestions are welcome, i realize i likely have a bit of a hard drive limitation right now but that will be fixed once the full version of Win 7 is available via MSDNAA.

Current system specs are:
Phenom II 955
Asus M4A79T Deluxe
4GB Gskills 1333MHz DDR3 RAM 8-8-8-21 1.6 volts
Seagate 7200.10 250GB(ancient, windows is loaded on this)
WD Caviar Black 1TB(20GB free to install windows onto when its released, got this last thursday)
EA500
XFX 4850
Lite on DVD burner(ancient)

One thing i have noticed that i think may be slowing me down is that it seems to post twice, it takes the monitor and GPU a second to initialize so im not sure if it shows the ASUS splash screen twice but the monitor initializes to a white _ flashing in the top left then about 5 seconds later the ASUS screen pops up for a few seconds, then it starts loading windows. Any ideas what may be causing this? Boot order is set to the seagate first, so thats not the issue, i also reduced the time it should wait for me to hit a button to enter bios to the minimum.

I have no issue with tweaking settings here and there, i just dont want to be tweaking at random. Im also not opposed to OCing a bit but right now i dont have an aftermarket cooler for the CPU so the level are limited but i doubt my boot time is currently limited by a CPU bottle neck.

Any help is appreciated, if you need more info just ask.

More about : reducing boot times

August 27, 2009 5:06:53 AM

FYI Full version 7 is on MSDN, I got a technet subscription and running retail win 7 now.

Uncheck unnecessary thihngs in the msconfig/starup so everything dont start up that you dont need.

Disable any ports in bios that your not using.

Best way to make a huge boot difference is buy a Intel 2nd gen ssd.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2009 5:22:34 AM

Don't turn off your computer. :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2009 5:28:30 AM

Well as my entire build only cost 735 including shipping the intel SSD is just a tad bit out of budget.

Can you be more specific by turning off ports i dont need? Last computer was an HP so there wasnt much in the way of bios settings to work with. Just a general idea of what area i should look under in the bios would be helpful.

I just check it seems it is available via MSDNAA already, sweetness! Going to download it once i get back to school, 3mb/s dsl vs 400mb/s fiber optic, its worth the 2 day wait.

Thanks for the obvious answer jsc, while it is undoubtedly the best way to reduce boot times to 0 my computer is unfortunately in the same room that i sleep in and it can make it a bit toasty, i already undervolted a bit which helped but its still a nice little space heater.
August 27, 2009 6:19:54 AM

Msconfig, boot - Advanced = boot with max processors and change the timeout to 5 instead of 30.

dont touch the memory or you'll be sorry.
August 27, 2009 4:11:11 PM

I actually am making my own guide of exactly how to make your computer run like 3x faster and boot way faster by tweaking windows. Its for xp btw. Anyway to increase boot time, first I would virus scan (eliminate any infections), next I would go to your start-up processes in registry and delete all unnecessary start-up proceeses. For example when you install itunes, it gives nasty processes like ituneshelper.exe and bonjourservice.exe which nobody really needs and windows has to load all of this into your ram during start-up which really slow things down. I would defragment your hard drive, as well as do a boot time defrag for all your services and start-up apps. Next consolidate your free space and put all your data on the hard drive edge and then move your entire master file table (MFT ZONE) next to your directories in your filesystem. One of my computers is an 4 year old compaq presario with a 7200rpm old drive, a Pentium 4 2.4ghz single core processor, 1GB of 400mhz ram and it boots around 27seconds after my tweak :) 
-I have a lot of other good tweaks but they just increase overall performance, not boot up time.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2009 4:22:56 PM

well right now since the windows 7 install is about 2 weeks old i know its not random services loading up, all it has installed is firefox, trillian, steam, and hawx so it doesnt have all the random crap slowing it down yet. How can i make sure that the windows files are on the edge of the drive? That sounds like it will make the biggest difference, and im going to be reformatting in a couple more days if that will make it easier.

It really seems that the majority of my boot time is being eaten up by POST and waiting for windows to start loading, it only takes a windows a few seconds once it starts, im going to go tinker around in bios later today and hopefully trim some boot time off.

I look forward to reading your guide when you finish it.
August 27, 2009 4:29:48 PM

Your current HDD, where Windows is installed, is an old standard (7200.10). It probably uses the 3-4 platter setup, and is way slower (it terms of read/write speed) compared to Seagates newer 7200.12 single platter, higher density HDDs. As mentioned above, try defragging this HDD in safe mode with your page file disabled (this will defrag the page file as well.)

Depending on the BIOS manufacturer, there might be an option for a "quick boot-up" or "quick post".... something to that nature... make sure this is enabled. Good luck.
August 27, 2009 8:41:45 PM

Well...to push everything to edge of your drive you need a file placement optimizer. I personally use and highly recommend Ultimate Defrag by Disk Trix. There is a payed version and a freeware. The freeware is excellent and does everything you would need, the paid version has some additional bells and whistles that aren't necessary. Anyway what this software does is basically show you your hard drive a nice looking image. It shows each and every sector, it shows where all of your data is, and what kind of data is in the sector:
-Moving
-Contiguous
-Fragmented Files
-Compressed Files
-Free Space
-Page File
-MFT Zone (Master File Table)
-Locked
-Directories
-Inter-block Space

-The programs allows to defragment but it also has an option called consolidate. This is where is basically it puts all of the free space in the middle/center and moves all data on your hard drive to the very possible edge. It some other features also like specifying which files should be on the outermost tracks (you can put your Windows Folder or boot files on the outermost tracks and then have them be accessed way faster) I will give you a link to its download and some instruction websites. Its fairly simple and nice. Remember when you consolidate, always enable put directories near MFT which will make it faster.

The Program: http://download.cnet.com/UltimateDefrag-Freeware-Editio...

Guide: http://www.trap17.com/forums/Guide-Configure-Ultimatede...

-There are thousands of other softwares that helps speed up your PC, like registry cleaners and other utilities.

--Learn it, Use it, Enjoy it
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2009 9:49:32 PM

start > run > type "msconfig " > when the dialog opens click on start up tab

And theres a list of programs that have decided to start with windows .
Uncheck anything that is not
1/ windows or a windows service
2/ anti-virus
3/firewall

The rest can start when you choose by clicking on them , and not just because the vendor thought it would make their program open faster if it was already loaded in RAM . Office suites are the worst abusers , followed closely by any software made by apple and adobe

a c 122 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2009 10:30:21 PM

One of the big contributors to a long boot time is running the extended memory test during the POST. You can check in to Advanced BIOS Options in the boot menu.
August 28, 2009 1:27:16 AM

really?...i actually didn't know that slowed boot time that much. Would disabling this be safe? What are the cons or risks of it?
!