Optimizing Windows startup

Mail. More Windows optimization questions.

From: ChiefZeke
Subject: Re: Items to consider
To: Dave Farquhar

Dave,

Would things be a bit faster if the user opted to start programs via the ‘RUN’ function of the Registry rather than via the Startup folder? I have seen this option mentioned in a couple of magazine articles.

Jerry

I imagine they would be slightly faster, since the file and path names, etc. would be stored in registry keys all in one place as opposed to individual icons, one per program, scattered all over the place.

You might also use run= strings in win.ini instead–I suspect that technique would be faster still, being a flat text file rather than a convoluted database.

Now, whether doing this would make any noticeable difference on a modern PC is another question. We may be talking shaving fractions of a second off your boot time. I imagine the difference would be more noticeable on marginal machines (though I’m not very eager to re-commission my 486SX/20 to try it). I just saw a 486DX4/75 laptop today that takes 1.5 minutes to boot Windows even without any items in any of the startup places and a fully optimized msdos.sys–a decked-out modern system similarly configured could boot in about 15 seconds. I can’t imagine your system needing much more than 20 seconds to go from POST to desktop (I’m not familiar with modern Western Digital drives like you have but I imagine their performance must be comparable to the Quantums and Maxtors I use).

This trick dates back to the Win3.1 days, and it was a really good idea way back then–the startup group actually consumed system resources, plus valuable entries in the Windows directory, so eliminating startup and placing items in win.ini could seriously improve a system’s performance back then. Today, Win9x has much better resource management, hard drives and CPUs are much faster, so you don’t hear about it as much anymore.

Very little else for today. I found my copy of the Lost Treasures of Infocom (both volumes) this week, including Bureaucracy, a text adventure I was never able to beat. I found a walk-through that got me past the part that had me stuck.

It’s a whole lot faster on my PC than it was on my Commodore 128 (which was the machine I originally bought it for, what, 11 years ago?). Amazing how much fun a 12K executable paired up with a 240K data file can provide… (And I’m running this on a dual-processor machine with 96 MB RAM and an 8.4-gig hard drive, both due to be upgraded? Something’s wrong here…)

One thought on “Optimizing Windows startup

  • July 24, 2003 at 11:01 am
    Permalink

    >>..a direct lifting of Kildall’s Z80 code…
    I still have a few CP/M manuals, back then computer users were often “computer enthusists”, but with spare money and time.
    The “source code” for most any CP/M program including the BIOSes, was well published with nothing left out.
    It was a time of intellectual computer enthusists freely helping each other program better software.

    Well, sure some companies didn’t publish their codes.

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