Although many people leave there computers on all the time or hibernate/sleep their machine, there are still many of us who switch on from a cold start daily. An SSD will make the boot up process quick, but if you have a hard drive this will take a good bit longer. You can optimize the boot process by disabling startup items etc, but if you choose to still have many programs that start with Windows or load themselves into the system tray, getting to a usable desktop could still take a while.
The issue with having a lot of programs that start with Windows is before one program has finished loading, Windows is already starting on the next one. This in turn increases the load on the CPU and causes the hard drive to thrash around because of trying to load several files at once. So when everything is being asked load almost all at once, you can see why there’s an even greater slowdown than if they were loaded in an orderly fashion. The most logical solution would be to try and force Windows to load startup programs in a sequence rather than altogether, and one way is by delaying a program from loading for a period of time. The theory is simple in that if you stagger program loading, each program will load itself faster and reduce overall stress on the system during this time and in turn increase responsiveness.
Here are a couple of ways for you to delay your startup programs.
1. Startup Delayer by r2 studios is an interesting program because while most other startup delaying software goes with the common method of using a timer to start each program, this one goes a slightly different route. As mentioned above, startup programs loading all at once causes high CPU and hard drive usage which causes somewhat of a bottleneck, so what Startup Delayer does is load one item and then waits for activity of both CPU and hard drive to drop to a certain level. When this is reached, the next program is loaded, and so on until the process is complete.
As a result of this method, system responsiveness is increased during this time and your programs will be loaded faster as a result. If you still want the other way of setting a delay time before a program loads, Startup Delayer can do that also. After installation the program will ask how you would like your programs to start with the use of a simple slider. More to the left and programs will load as quickly as possible much like a normal start process making the system less responsive, more to the right and each program will need to be fully loaded and the system reach the set idle state before the next startup item is processed.
Then you reach the main interface where it’s simply a case of drag and drop the startup item from “Normal Startup” into “Delayed”. The order they are arranged to will determine in which order they are launched at the next boot, so perhaps any security software should be set as a high priority in the list so it starts first. Clicking on a delayed item will allow the editing of the disk and CPU idle percentage, or setting a manual time delay of seconds, minutes or even hours. Dragging an item to disabled will prevent it from starting up altogether.
There are a few advanced options which can be set for a startup program such as choosing a different priority and launching a program only if an internet connection is present. 2 tabs are available for viewing system services and running tasks in which you can stop the selected process. The option to add a running process to startup is sadly disabled in the free version as are the scheduled launch, backup and restore and also startup profile options. The premium version to enable these is $20.
Compatible with XP / Vista / 2003 / 7 – 32-bit and 64-bit.
2. JokerSoft Startup Delayer might have the same name, but is a different program, and a freeware tool which goes for the more traditional delay timer method and enables you to set a delay time between the launch of every program to avoid a slowdown caused by overloading the CPU and hard drive. When you install and run the program, go to the File menu -> Import startup programs and from there you can choose to import the startup entries into the program. It’s recommended to make a backup beforehand using the button provided.
Once they’re loaded into the main window, you alter the loading order by using the arrow buttons and each delay time between program launches can be increased or decreased. You can also edit the window size, process priority and whether to disable the item from starting. The Interface option at the bottom, if selected will show a loader window during startup from which you can see the programs being loaded and can stop the loading process at any time.
Once the programs are set to you liking, save the sequence after which you will be showed a list of saved sequences and once you put a tick next to one and click OK that will be what loads the next time you start Windows. If you selected the Fast! interface for instance, you will see something like this appear on your desktop at next boot:
The one thing slightly annoying about the program is the donate window which appears whenever you close the program or use an interface window. Windows XP users will need Microsoft .Net Framework v2 installed on their system for Startup Delayer to run.
JokerSoft Startup Delayer is by no means the only tool to be able to delay startup programs by using a timer, there are quite a few around including WinPatrol, Anvir Task Manager and Glary Utilities to name a few.