When we take on a new client, we are often amazed by the amount of time that some users waste, sitting at their desk, staring blankly at the screen while their computer boots up. Some customers have even reported that their computers used to take FIFTEEN minutes to fully boot up and become usable when switched on in the mornings.

There’s only so much time you can spend getting your breakfast and making a coffee before your computer’s slow boot time becomes a roadblock to your productivity in the mornings.

Sound familiar? –  Read on to discover our 3 Top Tips to improving the situation:

1: Change which programs launch on Startup to decrease boot time

One of the main reasons for a slow boot time is the number of programs which run on startup. You can edit this by running msconfig from the search box in your start menu, or by going to control panel and selecting “see which processes start up automatically when you start windows”. This screen will list the processes that run on startup, as well as the impact they have on startup. Look for anything with high or medium impact. Make sure you don’t disable anything if you don’t know what it does.

2: Disable any hardware that you don’t use

Windows loads and prepares all of that hardware every time it starts. If you have floppy disk drives, CD drives, Bluetooth controllers, modems and other pieces of hardware that you don’t use, these will unnecessarily lengthen your boot time. Be aware that if you disable a CD drive, you will not be able to boot Windows from a CD if you ever need to. You can go to the Device Manager in the start menu to manage which hardware and drivers load on startup.

3: Make sure Antivirus is up to date

Never performing system scans and never updating your antivirus software causes it to load automatically on startup and attempt to install updates or perform a system scan. This will slow you down considerably. If everything is up to date, it will still load, but no action is needed so the impact on startup is not so high.

Note: If you are one of our clients we take care of all antivirus scans and software updates for you, so you do not need to worry about this.

If you need an upgrade, check for these three things

If all the tweaking of settings still is not enough, then you probably have a very old computer that just isn’t going to recover, no matter what you do for it (besides giving it brand new and upgraded components). When replacing PCs or components, look for the following to ensure high speeds are maintained in future:

1: Solid State Drives are the way forward

Solid state drives (or SSDs) are much, much, faster than traditional style hard drives (HDDs). Replacing your existing hard drive with an SSD will make a very noticeable difference to your computer’s speed. Data and programs can be accessed almost instantaneously, so even if you have a load of programs running on startup, they can be accessed considerably quicker, cutting down your boot time dramatically

SSDs are much faster, lighter, quieter, cooler, more energy efficient, and more durable. They are more expensive than HDDs but in the long run are more cost efficient. This is due to their lower energy usage and far higher Input/Outputs Operations per Second (IOPS).

2: A Faster Processor speeds up the handling of data and tasks

Your processor (or CPU) takes care of handling all of the data that you need to process. When you want to calculate thousands of VLOOKUP formulas in excel, watch HD quality video, or apply lots of renders and filters to a large image file, your processor will handle the work. If you are getting a new PC, or upgrading your PC’s processor, look for a minimum of 3.0 GHz processing speed and four cores for fast performance of most everyday office tasks.

3: More RAM enables you to do more simultaneously

RAM (Random Access Memory) is not the memory that your computer uses to store data, it is the memory that it uses to run programs. The more RAM, the faster your computer will perform whilst performing multiple memory intensive tasks, or running multiple programs that require a lot of memory (e.g. Adobe Photoshop). 4GB of RAM should be more than enough for most everyday office work, but if you do a lot of web/graphic design work, you may need more.

Getting the right advice

Don’t worry, we won’t leave these decisions up to you unless you want us to! We give all of our clients free technical advice and ongoing technology consulting to ensure they order the correct PCs or components for their needs. If you want to make your business more productive, get started by implementing these 25 things!