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Windows XP Startup Options to Boost Speed

written by: Thomas P. Walton•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 8/13/2009

Are computer programs running during the startup of your operating system that you suspect are slowing your system down? Learn how to disable these menaces in Windows XP.

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    XP Performance and Maintenance

    The performance of your operating system can decline over time. With time and use, programs eventually load slower, execute slower, and take time to terminate. It can be frustrating for users who jump through all the hoops of proper machine maintenance. But be patient. Like anything else that is worth doing, computer maintenance takes time. So, let us take a closer look at what might be going wrong with your computer.

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    Hidden Programs

    There are hidden programs that work on your computer (some of which can slow your system down). Your computer might be running some of these programs at startup. These could be programs that normally do not make the startup of Windows XP feeble. But, as the system gets running, and you’re in the midst of multitasking, you may find that these startup programs can inhibit your runtime operations (slow applications).

    You will see some of these startup programs indicated by an icon on the taskbar (located at the base of your screen), but others never show up unless you go looking for them. Let’s cut to the chase here and halt these programs that sneak in during startup.

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    Click on the Start menu. Click on “Run”. A popup window with a text box will appear. Use this text box to type commands for executing programs.

    Type the following command: msconfig. Hit the Enter key on your keyboard. The configuration screen is then displayed.

    By default the screen’s focus is on the General tab. Click on the Startup tab to bring up a list of programs that are executed at the startup of Windows XP. You’ll notice that all the programs have a check box next to them. Most of these are probably selected.

    To stop a program from executing during startup, deselect the check box next to the program. Click on “OK” when you’re done. This will remove the program from those that run during startup. However, some programs are coded to add themselves back into the startup sequence if you remove them. For these programs you need to look at more sophisticated tools.

    Simply restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

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    Other Tools to Help Manage Startup