Sometimes, the most impressive performance gains come from the simplest actions. In this analysis of techniques for speeding Windows Vista boot times, the biggest individual gain usually comes from tweaking a single startup setting—namely, the boot screen timeout setting easily available through the Vista System Configuration utility.
Check the System Configuration Settings
Here’s how to check—and change—this setting:
- From an administrative login or account, type
msconfig.exe into the Vista Start menu search box. This launches the Vista System
Configuration utility (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 System Configuration dialog box.
- Click on the Boot tab, shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 The Boot tab.
Notice the timeout entry highlighted in blue at the center right. By default, Vista sets this value to 30 seconds, which means the system waits 30 seconds for you to choose which operating system to boot even when there’s only one option available.
- Reset this value to 5 or 10 depending on how nimble-fingered (and -witted) you are. You’ll need to act fast when booting Vista if you ever want to invoke a different boot option. I usually set it to 10 on my systems.
That’s all there is to it. Congratulations! Depending on which value you select, you’ve either shaved 25 (5) or 20 (10) seconds off your previous Windows Vista boot time.
Frankly, this is as easy as it gets when speeding the Vista boot time. All the other options we’re about to explore seldom deliver this much improvement (though in extreme cases, resulting improvements will shave an even greater number of seconds off the usual boot time), and all require more work.