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Removing startup programs can often give a huge gain in performance. Do not run what you do not really need.

When you bootup your computer, it is likely a number of programs, utilities, additional Win functions start running - even if you are unaware of this. They will utilize CPU time, eat up memory, reduce resources.

Basically they are causing your computer system to slow down.

It is highly likely you can cope very well with them all switched OFF, and using them ONLY when YOU yourself decide to use them. The anti-viral and firewall software are possible exceptions, though you must ensure they are not trying to do too much all the time (like testing every file before it's used!).

This is equally true for systems with oodles of RAM as those with insufficient RAM. In the latter case the speed gain can be quite dramatic.


Remove 'autostarting' larger and non-essential programs

Some of the software you install is set to run every time you start the computer even if you will not need it at that time. Removing these items will make more free main memory available for your other programs and will produce a, sometimes very considerable, overall speed boost.

Major culprits include System Agent, Find Fast, Active Desptop, Office Startup, MediaPlayer, RealPlayer's StartCenter, NetMeeting, Active Movie, Animated cursors and icons, and many others - they may be useful, but they utilise buckets of memory and resourses! For instance, it is said that Norton AV and Norton Utillites together reduce performance by up to 28%!

There are three main places where these items may be found:
mainly in the Startup folder and the Registry, and possibly in Win.ini.

To determine where they are, press and hold down the Ctrl key while booting-up, until the desktop appears. The applications THAT DO NOT open are in the Startup folder.

You can often prevent programs from starting with Windows through the program's Options.

Small gains may come from editing the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files.

Get rid of the memory hogs. You can leave them on your hard disk, and they can still be used when required. It is only the Shortcuts to these items that are removed.


98 Use Windows 98/ME's Configuration Utility

MSConfig will sometimes allow you to 'permanently' remove an item from Startup. MSConfig is primarily for troubleshooting and will remove an item from starting on bootup, only temporarily or perhaps permanently depending on circumstances.

MSConfig must not be used if the software has an option to disable the startup. You must first check the program for a 'Switch off Startup' option or something similar. Otherwise the program may be re-enabled in MSConfig the next time the program is run and it's likely to pester you!

Try these methods (in this order):
1. Right-click the item on the Taskbar (if its there) and look for a Startup option that you can switch Off.
2. Look in the programs Options for a similar Option. You may need to look in all the options.
3. Try MSConfig (Select Start Run. Type in MSCONFIG, and press Enter. Click on the Startup tab)
4. Use a freeware utility like Startup Cop (next).

Note: Selective Mode is used (see General tab) when MSConfig is used to disable an item. If a user changes this back to Normal startup, then all disabled items will be re-enabled. So leave it at Selective Mode when MSConfig makes that alteration.

Windows 98's System Information tool gives an even more detailed list of auto-starting programs.
(Start • Programs • Accessories • System Tools • System Information)
Select Software Environment • Startup Programs to view any programs automatically launched by the Registry. For removal, consult each application's help file.


Use a free Utility

Startup COP
This is an excellent free comprehensive utility from PC Magazine and is much liked by many users.
Startup Cop works with Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000/XP.

Startup Cop helps you handle problems with programs that are automatically launched at startup by listing them and letting you disable, enable, or delete them. You can save the list of programs that are currently enabled or disabled as a profile that can be restored at a later time.

Get it (freeware; 529KB Zip file; view, disable, enable, delete startup programs). Home page: PCMag

This is an another free, and easy to use utility you can use to view, and remove, selected items in both the Startup folder and the Registry.

You will be presented with a list of programs and their origins (from Startup or from the Registry). When you remove an item, it is just a Shortcut that is deleted - the program itself is left unaffected, and can be run when required.

Start Editor (freeware; v 3.5; 446KB Zip file; view, add, or remove startup programs)

POLICY EDITOR      Intermediate Users


Some may prefer a hands-on approach and can use Windows 95's Policy Editor
Click Start • Run and type in Poledit.exe. If it is not present, you will find it on the Windows 95 CD-ROM
In Poledit, click on File • Open Registry • Local Computer • System

RUN box:
If checked, then highlight RUN, and then Show
Record the details on any item you wish to remove, and
then Remove it
Click OKs, and then Exit    [An item can also be ADDed]

As above (if checked)

We are not involved with this, and it is best left alone

REGISTRY     Advanced Users


Advanced users may prefer to edit Registry themselves:

Manually Edit the Registry

! Backup the Registry first (see the Safety page)

Run Regedit (_Windows\regedit.exe). Locate and disable them by removing their program strings from the following two keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows \ Current Version \ Run

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows \ Current Version \ RunServices
Whichever program you're trying to remove should have a telltale entry that you can delete. Close the registry, and reboot to test. If things should go wrong, reinstall your Registry.

Note: You can ignore the RunOnce Key - it is not involved with Startup files

Startup FOLDER     Intermediate Users

95 or MANUALLY EDIT the Startup FOLDER

Intermediate users may prefer to edit Startup themselves:

Manually Edit the Startup folder

Right-click on Start
Select Contents • Programs • Startup folder
Remove the icons of the non-essential. Very often this is sufficient

If you have Profiles enabled, there may be more than one Startup folder; use Find to locate Startup and check in the folders found

EDIT WIN.INI & SYSTEM.INI    Intermediate Users

Edit Win.ini

98 Use the Configuration utility (above)
Look in Run and Run Services if they are Checked.
Ignore the Run once item

95 Select Start • Run. Type in win.ini.
Look at the lines beginning with Load = and Run =
Place a semicolon (;) at the start of the line you want to exclude
Save and Exit
Remove the semicolon if you want that item back again

Do likewise for System.ini.

! Backup win.ini or system.ini first
Win.ini is loaded into memory at boot-up so you can save a wee bit by removing all the 'remarked' (the semicolon) lines when you feel comfortable doing so - back it up first.

EDIT AUTOEXEC & CONFIG.SYS     Intermediate Users

Remove what is not needed now

It is likely you (we all do) install Windows 3.1 or DOS software. These may try to place unnecessary programs or configuration lines into your Autoexec.bat and /or Config.sys files.

These unnecessarily utilise memory (and may even cause incorrect operation). Common examples are Share.exe and Smartdrv.exe neither of which is necessary for Windows 95/98 (which itself does not need either Autoexec.bat or Config.sys). Make sure you look for any 16-bit real mode drivers. Remove any reference to a mouse or CD_ROM driver if you do not need them (for DOS programs).

Locate Autoexec.bat in the root directory, and open it in Notepad. Type REM followed by a space at the start of the line you want to exclude. Click on File and Save. Reboot.
• Apply the same principle to Config.sys in the root directory.

Both these files are loaded into memory at boot-up so you can save a wee bit by removing (renaming) the two files altogether - provided you do not need them for DOS programs! Recommendation is to KEEP THEM (slimed down) - for the Home PC.


Turn them all OFF

Such programs, like task schedulers, run in the background. They are running silently but still utilising memory you need (and also utilising your CPU's resources).

Switch them OFF.

Stay in control of your own computer.

Make Shortcuts and run them yourself when it is really appropriate.

You may wish to keep the anti-viral program running!

USE KEYS      All Users

Use the keyboard

If you want to prevent Startup programs loading without permanently removing them then try the following.

Hold down the Control key (Ctrl) while Windows 95/98 is loading. This will stop items in the Startup folder from loading on boot-up. Hold it down until the desktop appears. McAfee's VShield will still load - its a Registry setting.

Alternatively you can press, and hold down, the Shift key when the desktop or wallpaper first appears and BEFORE you see the Taskbar. Keep Shift pressed down until Windows is finished loading (the desktop is complete with a pointer).

Both methods prevent programs loading from the Startup folder thereby saving you that amount of memory. When next you start Windows without holding the key, they will be loaded as usual.


Remove the anti-Viral startup !

If you are really pushed then you can prevent your anti-viral program from running on startup - it is probably using 1MB, or more, of memory while running in the background.

Select that choice in the program's Options. Should you do so, then you should 'hit' any new file with that program. This method is used routinely by many users who claim they never have any viral problems. Remember the vast majority of viruses are perfectly harmless.

At the least, you should check your anti-viral program to see if it has a memory-resident component that monitors system activity and automatically scans suspicious files - all that scanning slows your system. Disable this option and compensate by manually running a full virus checkup weekly.

Please note: This Site does not try to gain more usable memory in this manner and is NOT recommending it. This possible Tweak is included only because the memory gain is substantial - it's for your information only.

'ENDITALL'     All Users

95 95 Installing software

Installation of sofware can go WRONG, and lead to problems immediately or later. Often this is caused by background operations that interfere with correct installation. Vshare is just one example. Sometimes the only way to ensure correct installation is to check what's running.

EndItAll is from PC Magazine who say:

" If you are serious about keeping your Win98 installation in tip-top shape you'll employ one of the tricks that experts use.
It is simple but effective: Close all running application, even the background stuff, before installing software. Sounds simple, but most folks aren't aware that often many programs are running in the background.
We have a solution for you. EndItAll will allow you to terminate all non-essential programs for:

1. installing new software,
2. running finicky games, or
3. writing to CD-Rs that need a big buffer. "

EndItAll can also be used prior to gaming!

Get it EndItAll (freeware, 353KB Zip file; close all non-essential programs)

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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.

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