Why does my Windows 98 system take so long to startup?


Why does my Windows 98 system take so long to startup? It didn’t always use to take this long!

-Frustrated in Phoenix


This question was answered on August 11, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Often referred to as liveware or carbon based issues, the primary cause of the slowdowns is BTMATC (Between The Monitor And The Chair); its YOU! Most users have a tendency to load software and utilities with no regard to the eventual outcome and then blame the manufacturer of the computer In my 15 years of servicing computer systems, easily 75% o all problems are software related The more programs you install, the slower the system will become (even if you uninstall them!) Every program that you install into a Windows based system modifies the Registry in order to run by adding keys to it The registry keys are processed every time you start your computer, so the more you have, the longer it takes Most uninstall programs do not remove these keys for safety purposes, so even if you remove the program, the residual effects remain

In the future, you should avoid installing any program that you truly do not need Dont install a program that is supposed to fix a problem that you dont have All-in-one fix-everything utility programs can cause as many problems as they fix Most of the so-called fix programs that you cant live without actually already exist in Windows (especially if you have the latest version, 98se) Dont let your computer savvy friends convince you that you just gotta have this program just for the sake of having it.

Many programs automatically place items in your startup, which means they are always running in the background If you have lots of icons in your systray (bottom right next to the clock), they are likely loading at startup, which further increases your load times and is also a common cause for Windows shutdown problems Float your mouse pointer over the top of each one to see what they do If its a program you no longer use or need, uninstall it.

A very helpful utility that is built into Windows 98 is called the System Configuration Utility It allows you to see everything that is loading when you start your system To access the utility, click on Start/Run and type in msconfig

Caution: Before making any changes, click on the Create Backup and dont make more than one change at a time Click on the Startup tab at the top to display everything that is loading at startup Remove the checkmark in front of an item to tell it not to load during startup This utility is also a great way to track down those error messages at startup By using the Diagnostic startup option, you can pinpoint the exact item that is causing an error message during startup For other troubleshooting techniques, click on the Help menu and select Help Topics.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on August 11, 2000