How To Use Startup Delayer
As Lamar says in his excellent article about faster booting, the first step is to get rid of as much startup junk as possible. I think I’ve done that. Yes, I could eliminate something like Foldershare, or even Live Mesh, but that defeats the point of the software. It is supposed to be automatic so that I don’t have to remember that I need to sync my files. At the same time, I don’t need to be syncing my files right this second. If they sync in a minute or two, that is fine.
That is the whole concept behind Startup Delayer. With this utility, I could actually let some more items into my startup process. I could delay them by 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and even a few hours. With a little creativity, I could use Startup Delayer as a system timer. For example, I could set two hours after boot to launch an application with my call list for the day.
Using Startup Delayer is easy. You can click the pencil or right click and choose edit for each program. Then you set how long you want it to delay. Or, if you just want to make everything a little more orderly, you can choose the “Space Evenly” option. What it does is to take every startup program you have and delay it so that each one is spaced by an interval you choose. For example, you could set every program to be spaced by 10 seconds which means your first program starts right away, the second 10 seconds later, and so on.
For me, I like a bit more control, and I know that some of my programs take longer than others to get started. So, I went the manual route. I would love to kill or delay ctfmon.exe but Microsoft insists on running it despite the fact that I don’t use its functions. (Yes, I know I can tweak some things and get rid of it, but it isn’t really one of the problems.) Even more annoying is that Microsoft won’t let me delay the H/PC Connection Agent. This is the ActiveSync utility for my cell phone, and it is junk. But, as long as it is installed, Windows freaks out if you try to take it out of startup.
This gives me a chance to talk about errors. Windows XP didn’t find its beloved H/PC Connection Agent, so it ADDED IT BACK IN (‘Til the end I grapple with thee…) Fortunately, Startup Delayer is a well coded piece of software and it detected these shenanigans and alerted me to the fact that now there were two H/PC processes, my delayed one and the new on Windows put back in to “fix” the fact that H/PC wasn’t running at startup. We’ll deal with these two later, but for now, I’ll just have to leave those two turkeys alone.
So, the question is, how do we set up Startup Delayer?
Basically, we want to make sure that nothing starts too soon, and then for maximum efficiency we want everything to wait to start until the previous program has finished. Also, I want things to start relatively soon so I’m not trying to use something before it is ready.
The hueyTray is my monitor calibrator. All this tool does is monitor the room light and adjust the monitor brightness. This is important in my home office where I love the natural light I get during the day, but where it is darker at night and I don’t want to be blinded by my monitor. It is small and starts fast. It also doesn’t need the network, so it goes first at 1 minute.
Next, the virus software should be running right away, but we want to make sure that the network is ready first, so it goes next after a 90 second delay. Then, it is Windows Live Share turn. This is a test / proof of concept thing I’m working on. I might shorten the interval based on further testing, but for now, I know that 2:20 will get anti-virus fully started before Mesh starts going. Lastly, we have Dropbox, my new can’t live without it online file storage. (I’ll get a write up of this online soon.) By 3:10, Mesh is online and ready and Dropbox is in the clear. Considering there is no way I’m looking to upload files a mere 3:10 after system startup, I’ll never even notice the delay.
Recommendation (4 out of 5)
So far, Startup Delayer works so well, I’m looking at letting some other programs back into my startup sequence. I especially recommend this product for slower computers and for laptops that have a few more internal systems that need to come online (wireless network, power management, USB devices, etc…)
Startup Delayer is free from r2 Studios.
This post is part of the series: Ask The Readers
What kinds of issues does one of the technical experts at Bright Hub chew on when he isn’t writing brilliant articles and dispensing advice. Well, one issue is his hubris. The others are here, followed by their answers.