Vista - slow load up and shut down

Some advice would be helpful,  starting up can take 4-5 minutes and shutting down in excess of 2 minutes, can I do something to improve this ?


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Last updated March 9, 2019 Views 34,115 Applies to:

A great many things influence the speed and performance and available space of your system - mostly the existence of various files and what's loaded on the system.  There are ways to handle this in Vista (and you should follow all the suggestions) - and of course the amount and type of RAM and the speed of your processor and motherboard (but I'm just going to discuss software solutions here - you can go to your computer vendor/manufacturer for hardware solutions if any are available (I, for example, am maxed out at 2GB RAM by my motherboard and there is no better motherboard available for my model of laptop).

One very important thing to begin – do NOT use any Registry Cleaner or Registry Booster software no matter what it says (scans will tell you you have thousands of errors just to get you to download and install the program or worse, buy it) or where you got it (even safe sites sell these products but they are not worth the headaches they can cause).  Most do nothing of value and some can do great harm (to the point where you need to do a clean install to fix the problem – and that’s not even counting the fact that many such programs are actually malware in disguise).  Vista keeps the registry clean on its own quite well and doesn’t need any help.

To improve your speed, do Disk Cleanup using: Delete as much as you feel comfortable doing.

Also do an Optimization: Do all the procedures.

Go to Start / Search options and type in msconfig and enter and then double click on the program icon that appears.  Go to the startup tab and uncheck any program that you don't need starting at startup.  That will probably be the majority of items there - if not most of them (some are needed like the AV program but most are there to make opening the source programs faster and make you think they're more efficient).  This will free up a lot of RAM and help a lot in making your system faster (though perhaps not so much that you'll be able to notice the difference - but maybe depending on how much unnecessary stuff is loading at startup).  Even better, get Autoruns from and use it instead as it is a MUCH superior product to Vista's msconfig.  When I did this on my system I was able to remove over 90% of the listed items and it showed a noticeable change in startup and when working on the computer throughout the day.

You can accomplish some of these tasks (and more that aren't entirely related) by using (which also searches for malware).  I do this on a monthly basis just as a part of normal maintenance and I suggest you do the same (except for the registry cleaner – no not even Microsoft’s own product is entirely safe and the product has been removed from the paying marked for reasons unknown though it’s still available here for now but probably not for long).  Make sure you select a full scan - it will take a few hours (mine can take around 5-6) but can work in the background so start it when it has enough time to complete.

You also want to have good AV and AS programs on your system (so no malware is operating in the background draining resources).  Windows Defender is a good AS program.  The new, free Microsoft Security Essentials is an excellent AV/AM program that has one of the least impacts on system performance and resources according to reliable sources and it does the job very well.  If you're using MSE, you don't really need Defender (but you would with any other AV program).  I would also suggest downloading and running it monthly to catch anything that MSE might miss.

If you follow this advice and do it periodically (at least monthly) then I believe you will have as fast a machine as it is capable of going given the hardware.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

Lorien - MCSE/MCSA/Network+/A+ --- If this post helps to resolve your issue, please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Helpful" button at the top of this message. By marking a post as Answered, or Helpful you help others find the answer faster.

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