Three Methods to Make Your Windows Laptop Start Faster

Paul Mah
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Extend Your Laptop's Longevity

Follow these practices to stay far away from the repair folks.

We've all encountered the situation in which our laptop takes forever to boot up - much to our chagrin as important clients or bosses wait on. Toting a tablet isn't always feasible, especially when performing a demonstration via a non-Web interface, or when there is significant amount of data input involved.

 

Thankfully, a plethora of new technologies designed to help laptops and desktops start up faster is just over the horizon in the form of the new ultrabook and devices based on the Ivy Bridge platform. Given that you may be waiting until the release of Windows 8 laptops later in the year before committing to a purchase, however, are there ways to get your existing Windows laptop to start up faster?

 

I've highlighted three methods below.

 


Reduce the number of startup Apps

 

One of the biggest culprits of system slowdowns can be attributed to drivers or modules installed by software applications that are no longer needed. Even the fastest system will soon grind to a halt given sufficient abuse on this front, which is why a periodic reformat and reinstallation of Windows is the usual advice given by system administrators.

 

Users who are disinclined to go through the hassle of a reinstallation would be glad to know of a powerful tool that can be used to weed through every startup module and driver. Called Autoruns for Windows, it allows savvy users to identify startup applications that are no longer used, and eliminate them from the startup queue. When used judiciously, this can help skip problematic modules to significantly speed up system boot-ups.

 

A quick warning though: Avoid modifying components if you're not sure of what it does, as it is entirely possible that you may end up inadvertently disabling critical modules.

 

Make use of sleep mode

 

One simple trick of getting a laptop powered up in the shortest possible time would be to place it into "sleep" mode instead of switching it off. Most laptops can exit sleep mode within 3-5 seconds and be ready for operation shortly after, and is essentially what all tablets do. Indeed, I don't switch off my laptop anymore, and have configured all my laptops in the last three years to enter sleep mode when the lid is closed, and to "wake up" when the lid is opened.

 

Switch to an SSD

 

Finally, the fastest method of speeding up both a laptop's boot-up time as well as normal operations would undoubtedly be to upgrade to a solid-state drive (SSD). Prices of SSDs have continued falling, and manufacturers have released higher-performing SSDs at the same (or lower) price points. Moreover, the cost of an interim upgrade can be lowered even further by purchasing a smaller-capacity SSD rather than attempting to match its capacity to the size of our existing hard disk drive (HDD). And if that's not enough to convince you, some research has pointed to how <strong>SSDs are a cost advantage in business laptops</strong>.

 

I have been using a 120GB SSD for about three years now, and have found it to be adequate for my needs. The trick is to offload space-guzzling audio and video files onto a portable HDD or a network-attached storage.

 

Do you have other methods of helping your Windows laptop start up faster? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Apr 20, 2012 2:39 AM Sami Sami  says:

Adding RAM (the memory used to run all your applications) to any laptop is one of the best ways to boost performance. You can do it yourself on the majority of laptops. At the bottom of the laptop, you will find the access cover to unscrew and access the RAM modules, pushing outward on the tabs at the side, will release the memory modules. Memory modules are sensitive to static electricity, so make sure to ground yourself first.To find out what type of RAM you have, you can download the free app called Speccy, from piriform.com. This will give you the details of the type of RAM you currently have. And what you need to purchase to increase your RAM, either by adding more RAM, if only one of the usually two slots is occupied, or replacing the existing modules with higher value ones. You can also go to the web site  crucial.com, then run the scanner to find out what you have and get some recommendations on what to purchase from their web site. Typically , 2 Gig RAM will be enough for Windows XP, and 4 Gig minimum for Windows 7. The 32 bit versions of Windows (XP, and 7) can only use up to 3 Gig. The 64 bit versions do not have this lower limitation. 8 Gig is recommended For Windows 7, if you have many applications to run simultaneously.

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Apr 26, 2012 4:33 AM password management password management  says:

We really facing many starting problems while deal with any laptop or computer, these issues are quite frustrating but this post delivers a positive approach among the laptop users whom are suffered from these issues, really a impressive post having all sorts of details.

Reply
May 6, 2012 12:46 PM Paul Mah Paul Mah  says: in response to Sami

@Sami Most new laptops come with 4GB to 6GB of RAM these days, which is the reason why I advocate an upgrade to an SSD versus upgrading the RAM. Nevertheless, thanks for your tip on how to upgrade the RAM though.

Reply
May 18, 2012 3:52 AM hsevna hsevna  says: in response to Sami

hello! sami, i'm using dell xps L502x which is having 6gb ram. i have no problems with it but only thing bothering me is its booting time.. its taking longer time from 40-60 sec plz help to make my laptop boot faster and i'm my os is windows 7 ultimate plz reply me as soon as possible

Reply
Dec 3, 2013 8:09 AM Lee Lee  says:
i think it is much better to put the laptop on hibernate rather than sleep mode. this way you make your laptop battery last longer. Reply
Jan 17, 2014 4:48 AM gaurav gaurav  says: in response to Lee
hibernate, is good idea. Reply
Aug 11, 2014 11:14 AM nazman nazman  says: in response to Lee
I disagree - my first computer was a Commodore 64, back in the early '90s. Through the years, I've owned at least one computer with each successive OS. There has always been one consistent factor with hibernation: computers hate to wake up after they go into it. Sleep is fine, but over 20 years of experience has taught me: turn off hibernation. Reply

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