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How To Decrease Boot time of Windows XP

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How To Decrease Boot time of Windows XP

This is a guest post by Sumesh who is a tech-inclined student, and blogs about blogging, WordPress and software at TechZilo (RSS feed), and about all things Apple (the company) at Apple Lens (RSS feed).

Windows XP is still one of the most popular OS, despite the launch of Vista and Mac OS X. The reasons are simple – the next gen OS are way too advanced for the average user. Windows XP is pretty stable now, a break from the frequent patches every week, or the service-packs.

Here’s a fact that would probably surprise you – Windows XP is faster than Vista in booting time. XP is notorious for not booting in lesser than 25 seconds, no matter what the hardware. I tested this theory on a computer with Core2Duo E6600, 2GB RAM and 320GB SATA HDD, but still do not get any thing less than 26 seconds.

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As a Windows XP user, you’d be facing the same dilemma. In fact, you’re more likely to have ~30 second times. How can you decrease it? Here is a simple fix.

Go to Start>Run, and type “msconfig“(without quotes). In the dialog that opens, click the BOOT.INI tab, and tick(check) the NOGUIBOOT option, under Boot Options. That was easy, wasn’t it?

What this fix does is, to disable the graphics during booting. That way, you can optimize your system and shave off 2-3 seconds off the boot time. You might laugh at the 2 seconds, but optimization is a tricky business, and every bit counts. You can also see my 4 tips for improved PC performance.

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at You can find Nirmal on , and .



  1. Davin Peterson

    November 14, 2007 at 1:18 am

    You can do the same in Windows Vista and when you boot it will show the hidden boot screen that Microsoft turned off by default.

  2. Innovations & interesting Ramblings

    November 14, 2007 at 9:32 am

    nice tip…yes this is one way to optimize and it is only the water drops that make an ocean…

  3. Pavan Kumar

    November 14, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    even that removing few unwanted applications from startup also improves the boot time drastically… that can be done using startup tab of msconfig as explained earlier and also removing unwanted shortcuts in startup folder

  4. Madhur Kapoor

    November 15, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Cool Tip but i prefer the GUI

  5. HiFi Guy

    November 16, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    The best way to optimize the boot is to use an I-RAM :mrgreen:

  6. Haris

    November 18, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Cool! Thanks 🙂

  7. nirmaltv

    November 20, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    You are right, If we remove unwanted applications from start up (msconfig), then it will speed up boot time.

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