If you’ve already read our blog post about Ways to Make Your PC Load Faster, then you probably appreciated how much time you save every time your PC starts up. But what if you want to push your PC even further than that? What if you want to shave several more seconds off of your load times? If that sounds like something you’re interested in, read through some of the following advanced ways to make Windows load faster.
If you’re not a PC power user, then you may not have heard of the BIOS. The BIOS is your motherboard’s default menu screen. It appears before you ever install your operating system and controls some of the most basic functions of your PC. While messing with some settings can be dangerous for your PC, other settings can easily increase the speed of your computer and reduce the time it takes to load.
When you first power on your computer, a screen should pop up which describes how to enter your BIOS. This can be something as simple as pressing the ‘Delete’ key, or it could be a button like F12. Pay close attention to which key the system tells you to press, and then tap it quickly to enter the BIOS.
While BIOS menus differ according to your motherboard, it should be easy to find a setting that says ‘Boot Priority’ or ‘Boot Order’. Here, make sure that your hard drive (whichever one Windows is installed on) is the first thing to boot. Some BIOS menus even have a ‘Quick Boost’ option that automatically moves your hard drive to the top of the list for you. Consult your motherboard manual to find any additional tweaks you can make in your BIOS menu.
Over the last couple years, SSDs have become more and more popular. Instead of using moving parts (like a normal hard drive), SSDs are basically solid (hence the name). While they offer much less space at a higher cost, they are incredibly fast. If you want Windows to load as quickly as possible, then you will need to install it on a SSD.
Fortunately, Windows 7 can fit on a relatively small SSD. The entire installation takes up under 20GB of space, although you should partition your drive to create some breathing room. Of course, if you want to speed up your startup time even further, you can install all of your commonly used programs on the SSD, although this can quickly get expensive.
One of the lesser known aspects of the Windows startup sequence is the time it takes to ask the network for an IP address. Instead of wasting away your boot time scanning for an IP address, you may want to tell your PC to use a static IP address. This can shave several seconds off your boot sequence, but there are a number of other benefits as well. To find out how to give your PC a static IP address, read this helpful guide.
This step sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. If you dual-boot Windows, or if you have it on a separate hard drive partition, then it may display a Boot Manager window whenever it starts up. By default, this boot manager chooses the default selection after 30 seconds, which is a long time to wait.
Using the BOOT.INI tab in msconfig, you can change this timeout value to 3 seconds, significantly reducing the time it takes for your PC to start up. This is a simple fix to make but it can be an absolute lifesaver for those who dual boot their Windows operating system.