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If you do not normally reboot frequently then you should not bother with this page

If you FREQUENTLY REBOOT your computer then you can gain some precious seconds, and alleviate some of that horrible delay!

Many of these items are also discussed in other Sections of THPC, especially in BIOS, Memory, and System.

FASTER REBOOT     Windows 9x

SHIFT Key     Windows 9x

When you must reboot Windows, then hold down the Shift key when clicking Restart. This reboots from the Windows is now restarting . . . message. It bypasses the early part of bootup (POST) and is a considerable time-saver.

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DESKTOP Shortcut     Windows 98

Create this shortcut on your Desktop. It will execute a FULL reboot of your computer without ANY of the annoying prompts/questions. Its like Ctrl-Alt-Del (twice) and works with Windows 98, and later.

Open Notepad, and Copy and Paste in the following line.
Change windows, twice, to the name of your Windows directory (make NO other changes!)

start windows\rundll32.exe windows\system\shell32.dll,SHExitWindowsEx 2

Save the file as reboot.bat, note the .bat extension (remove the .txt part if Windows adds it)
Drag, with right-click, the file from Explorer to your Desktop and select "Create shortcut(s) here"
Now rename the shortcut as "Fast Reboot" (use a slooow double-click)
Finally, right-click the shortcut, and make sure the batch file itself will close: select Close On Exit, select MS-DOS mode, and deselect Warn Before Entering MS-DOS Mode.
Double-click "Fast Reboot" to reboot quickly - immediately, and without ANY prompts!

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FASTER BOOT     Windows 9x

Quite a large number of operations occur during the bootup process. Many of these can be adjusted, or eliminated altogether, thereby shortening this painfully slow process.

Unfortunately the gain achieved is usually quite moderate, so, if you do not reboot frequently then simply don't bother with these suggestions. The speed gain is only of practical use to those who have a need to reboot quite often.

The suggestions include alterations to the BIOS, system files (MSDOS.SYS, Config.sys, Autoexec.bat), startup programs, the Registry, and others.

The bootup speed of your own computer depends on these as well as the physical power of the system (CPU etc).

Caution is advised especially if making any BIOS alteration that affects the Hard Disk(s).


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MSDOS.SYS      Windows 9x

MSDOS.SYS supplies starting instructions to the OS prior to Windows' loading. In most cases a =1 represents Enable while a =0 (a ZERO) represents Disable

First make a copy of MSDOS.SYS e.g. msdos.bkk. In the event of any problem, just rename msdos.bkk back to msdos,sys, and all will be well. MSDOS.SYS is found in the root directory of the Windows drive (usually C:\)

Remember: To edit MSDOS.SYS in Notepad you must remove its Read only and Hidden attributes (Right-click the file in Windows Explorer, and click Properties).

This file MUST be at least 1023KB in size, so do not remove any of the Xs you see there.

These alterations are made in the [Options] section of MSDOS.SYS. Any suggested setting can be added if not already present.

Note: The setting BootDelay= does NOT apply to Windows 98


Alter, or edit in, these in the Options section of MSDOS.SYS. The lines to enter are below in Bold. First, a few brief explanations:

BootDelay=0 or 1 or 2 (default=2). This sets the number of seconds the system waits before starting Windows - time to press a function key -This is not supported by Windows 98

Logo=0 or 1 (default is 1, enable). Enables/disables the Windows animated logo.

AUTOSCAN=0 or 1 (default =1). Enables/disables the automatic scandisk that occurs if Windows shuts down incorrectly.

DBLSPACE=0 or 1, DRVSPACE=0 or 1. Use 0 if you are not using Disk Compression

NETWORK=0 or 1 (default=0). Use a 1 ONLY if running on a network.



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While editing MSDOS.SYS you may wish to make other alterations/additions:

BootGUI=1 or 0. A 1 (default) boots into Windows GUI. A 0 boots to DOS prompt

BootKeys=1 or 0. A 1 (default) enables the startup option keys.

BootMenu=0 A 1 displays the Windows Start Up Menu - no need for [F4] or [F8]

BootMulti=0 A 1 puts "Previous Version of DOS" at bottom of the menu [F8}

BootMenuDefault=1 or n where n is your menu item of choice in multi-boot

BootWin=1 (default) or 0. A 0 will boot into old ver of DOS without Windows

DisableLog=0 (default or 1. A 1 enables creation of bootlog.txt during Startup


Network=0 or 1 (default=0). Use a 1 ONLY if running on a network


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BIOS [1]      Windows 9x


A BIOS setting enable/disable a search for floppy drives every time the PC is booted up - you can see the floppy light flicker before the system boots.

Save a couple of seconds of bootup time by disabling it. You may wish to re-enable it for some types of problem troubleshooting. Otherwise disabling it is safe enough.

Disable this setting in your BIOS (enter your CMOS)

Right click My Computer.
Click Properties - Performance - File System
Click the Floppy Disk tab
Uncheck Search for new floppy drives each time your computer starts
Click the Oks

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BIOS [2]     Windows 9x


Early in bootup the system must identify on the source of the Operating System (Windows). The majority of computers are setup with a default boot sequence of first the A: drive (floppy), and then C: if the OS has not been found.

For many users this is a complete waste of time. The sequence can be changed in the BIOS settings, giving priority to the booting Hard Disk (usually C:)

Making this change also avoids boot sector Virus Infections from Floppy Disks!

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BIOS [3]      Windows 9x     


Many BIOSes have an option to slow the booting by a couple of seconds. This is sometimes necessary to prevent the Hard Disk(s) being called into use before it is ready. Needless to say overall bootup time is expended.

You can try disabling this setting in your BIOS and gain maybe a couple of seconds. Some users may find they actually need it.

Look for something called Boot Delay or Power-on Delay or similar.

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BIOS [4]     Windows 9x


Many newer BIOSes have QuickBoot (or Quick Post).

If you enable this, then some bootup tests will be bypassed and bootup will be faster.

There will be a slight increase in the chances of a hardware problem not being detected on bootup - one that would have been identified, perhaps!

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Again many BIOSes have a feature which allows you to turn OFF the bootup memory test saving some time.

If you are happy with the performance of your RAM, then try switching it OFF.

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During the bootup process, and after POST, the OS, a variety of files, and software, are installed or installed and run. Obviously the more there is, then the slower the bootup time taken.

In this context you will see the advantage of having a slim installation of Windows and its associated applications and Startup programs

Read Startup in the Memory section to learn how to prevent large and/or unnecessary programs running automatically and unnecessary items being installed.

Windows 95 users can go to Start - Settings - TaskBar - Menu tab - Remove - down to Startup folder

Windows 98 users should use msconfig to view greater details than are shown in the Startup folder (Start - Run; type in msconfig)

Remember that all those unused DLLs, Fonts, Drivers, INF files, VxDs, and many others are part of the Windows package. And make sure your hardware items are installed ONLY ONCE - check items like modem, sound card, monitor (use Device Manager).

YES! Windows grows and slows over time. For best cure - RE-INSTALL IT yearly!

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THE REGISTRY     Windows 9x

Clean-up that Registry

More additions are made to system.dat (the Registry file) EVERY time you install any item of software (unless it is very old, 16-bit). You may, or may not, have an uninstall option for these. Whether or not you do, it is rare for ALL the added Registry entries to be removed! These add up over time. The result is a bloated Registry containing very many entries that are no longer required.

This bloated Registry is loaded every time you bootup and, after a period of time, starts to have a noticeable impact on bootup time. It also slows the general running of software. Windows grows and slows.

The best answer is a regular (yearly, twice yearly!) re-installation of Windows itself (and all the headache that involves for many users)

The next best alternative is to use at least THREE Registry slimmers - these are utilities that search the Registry for unused entries and remove them. There are many free utilities out there and, mostly, they work in different fashions and with different degrees of success. Therefore it is best to use more than one. The result will be a small, more efficient, and quicker-loading Registry - and faster bootups and smoother running!

Utilities used by THPC are:
RegClean Free, 782KB, Microsoft, Partial cleanup of Registry
RegMaid, Free, 256 KB, Microsoft, Cleans stray OLE entries out of the Registry

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CONFIG & AUTOEXEC     Windows 9x


If you never (that's unlikely) use anything other than a Windows environment, then you can safely rename (rather than delete) these two files. Windows does not use or need them but, if present, it will run them. Removing them will marginally improve bootup time, and also release a few hundred bytes of memory.

Otherwise open these files in Notepad and REMark any redundant lines you find there. In particular, remove any calls to drivers you do not require (especially to a CD_ROM, or sound card, if you never use it from DOS)

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

Copyright © LarryM 1998-2015