Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ed Bott: Tip of the day: Troubleshoot slow startups. Part 1

Ed Bott is a major guru of windows-dom.  We all face the gradual malaise that seems to overcome our Windows machines.  Here is part on of a two-part post on how to troubleshoot slowly booting Win machines.  In part 2 he goes over using msconfig to dig a little deeper into the innards.


What should you do if your system is taking longer than it should to start up? Don’t start randomly tweaking system settings. Instead, go through basic troubleshooting to see if you can narrow down the problem. This week, I’ll list five separate steps you can take to quickly narrow down the source of the problem.

One cause of slow startups is a program (or programs) trying unsuccessfully to load or make a network connection when you log on to your user account. To identify this sort of problem, create a new user account and log on using that account. If the new account starts up normally, you can start looking more closely at what’s happening in your user profile.

To create a new account, follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel and double-click the User Accounts icon.
  2. Click Create a new account.
  3. Type a name for the new account and click Next.
  4. In the Pick an account type dialog box, leave Computer administrator selected and click Create Account.

Log off (Start, Log Off, Log Off) and then log on using the new account. The first time you log on, you’ll experience a delay as Windows creates the files for your profile. After completing this step, shut down your computer and restart. When you reach the Welcome screen, choose the new account you created.

If you experience a slow logon, you can rule out any problem with your profile and focus on hardware-related issues or overall system settings.

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