My computer has been slow to open even though my antivirus is updated. What can I do?
Other Causes of Slow Computers
Updating the virus protection software and scanning your system regularly are excellent first steps in dealing with a slow computer. Once your system is clean, and you are reasonably sure that it is virus and spyware free, then it's time to move on to more advanced steps such as restricting startup programs and adjusting your BIOS settings. For example, BIOS runs a bunch of tests before allowing Windows to load. It may even have a pre-determined "timeout" setting that is set for an excessively long time. Once Windows loads, Windows may take a while to fully load because of all the programs it has been instructed to open at each boot up. We can change these settings. Don't worry, it's not too complicated.
BIOS Quick Boot Option
Check your computer's BIOS to see if a "quick boot" option is available. BIOS is the system that first runs before the operating system loads. It tests the hardware and lets Windows know what the computer has onboard and how to communicate with all of its components. Some of the options, such as loading a splash screen, can take a long time. When booting your computer, look for onscreen instructions telling you how to enter BIOS
Say Hello to MSCONFIG
Let's start in the System Configuration utility known as MSCONFIG. Go to Start > Run and type in: msconfig. Click the Enter button. If you have Windows Vista, click Start and enter msconfig in the Search box. Click the icon once it appears. The System Configuration utility will launch. You'll see several tabs. We'll start with the Boot tab first.
Changing the Boot Timeout Length
By default, BIOS looks for new hardware and software at each boot up, waiting a full 30 seconds before moving to the next step. Change this setting to a lower number such as 5 or 10 seconds and you will speed up the boot sequence accordingly.
Adjusting Startup Programs
Now, click the Startup tab. You'll see a list of programs that Windows loads each time it starts, regardless of whether you want to use these programs or not. This is good for some programs, such as antivirus software that must run constantly. But it's terrible for performance and startup times, especially when rarely used programs are loaded such as QuickTime or Adobe Reader. Removing unnecessary programs from this list won't remove the program; it will simply stop the program for launching with each start. You can still use the programs on an as-needed basis.
Turning off Indexing
While you're at it, you can disable indexing. Indexing speeds up searches on your computer but at a cost in performance. If your computer is slow overall, disabling this service will free up resources. Click the MSCONFIG's Services tab and find the Indexing Service in the list. Double-click the service, find the Startup type, select Manual, and select Stop. In Windows Vista, you can adjust indexing by going to Start and entering Indexing Options in the Search bar. Click the icon and remove the locations that you do not want indexed, or even the entire hard drive if so desired.
Hopefully some of these tips will speed up your computer's start time. Another option is to disable user passwords if your computer requires a password each time. Of course, you would need to balance your security situation with your need for speed. Let us know if you want help disabling this function.