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Windows XP / 2000 Startup Tweak Guide (Page 4/5)

Posted: November 19, 2001
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

Manually Removing Startup Programs (cont.)

Playing in the registry is a bit more advanced than the Start menu, so BE SURE to back up your registry before you modify any values. To open the registry go Start, Run, then type "Regedit" (and hit Ok). Choose File, Export, then choose All at the bottom. Save the file to your hard disk. You may need it later.

Navigate to:
From here you should see a list of the programs that start when your PC turns on. Ignore (Default), and now you can delete any entries that you are positive you don't need. My fresh install of Windows XP Professional had nothing in this key, so don't be afraid to delete something just because it sounds important (that's what back-ups are for!).
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/RunHere you should find quite a few entries. Do not touch "KernelFaultCheck" and "MSCONFIG". Any other entries can be modified or deleted, if you know what you're doing. Be careful though! I recommend you leave "CoolSwitch" on for Windows XP. This is the neat Alt-Tab feature that shows a preview of the programs you're alt-tabbing to and from.

Fast Boot ("bootvis") - XP Only

This is a tweak for Windows XP that can result in a much faster boot time. However, some people have noticed it slows their boot time down, or the benchmark is inconsistent. Regardless, it's still a rather neat tool so I felt it should be mentioned here.

If you run Windows XP, download bootvis here (look for BootVis.exe Tool)

Once you've unzipped Bootvis, run the .exe and you'll notice several checkboxes on the left. I only selected "Boot Activity". Then I chose "Trace", then "Trace Next Boot". When you reboot it will tell you how long it took to boot everything up. My PC took 35 seconds the first time I tried it. I had it down to 27 seconds after choosing the "Optimize System" feature under the trace menu and various other tweaks. I imagine it could go faster, but I was happy enough with that. My services took about 15 seconds before optimization.

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