Near-certain ways to improve PC startup times

Fred Langa

Four free tools offer safe and certain ways to pare your boot times to the minimum.

The process takes a little time and effort, but if you follow the steps outlined here, better boot times are all but guaranteed!

PC startup times are clearly a hot-button issue for many Windows Secrets readers. In the July 12 Top Story, “House Call 2012: One family, four PCs,” a passing mention of a semi-automated, boot-time improvement tool brought a flood of e-mail that continues to this day.

Using that tool — Soluto (free; site) — I trimmed the boot time of one House Call PC by 25 percent. But Soluto is not a panacea, and it has too many serious drawbacks to merit a general recommendation for routine use.

In fact, Soluto requires so many caveats that I devoted the entire Aug. 16 LangaList Plus column to discussing Soluto’s pros and cons. I also showed how to use it — when it does make sense to do so.

But that raises a question: If not Soluto, then what’s the best general-purpose way to optimize boot times?

The solution isn’t automated, but it is tried and true. It’s also relatively easy, though it will take some time.

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.