On my meanderings around the web, I noticed a quasi useful app over at TechCrunch that promised among other things, to help decrease the amount of time taken for a computer to start-up. Soluto’s premise is simple – the less programs you have starting with your computer, the faster it will start. The program analyses everything that boots up with your computer and groups them into three categories:
No-Brainer (remove from boot – advised based on Soluto’s application research)
Potentially Removable (basically for advanced users who understand what the processes actually do, and can make educated selections)
Required (System start-up items that cannot be removed – essential windows components, etc.)
Beyond giving these suggestions, Soluto gives descriptions of what the applications do in specific, so you can read up on them, before disabling them (I do not suggest disabling things willy-nilly, if you don’t fully comprehend what they do). The really neat feature is the ability to see what other Soluto users have done, in relation to specific applications. You can see whether other users selected:
1) Pause (implies the application will not start with your computer)
2) Delay (implies that the application will eventually start, though after core services have been loaded, to allow you to start using your computer ASAP)
3) In boot (implies that the selected application will boot with your machine as usual).
To give you a bit of an idea whether this is actually worth your time, here are two screenshots, showing boot time before and after I went through my start-up apps.
Before optimization (time: 1:38):
After using Soluto, and selecting “pause” or “delay” where appropriate (time: 1:05):
I ultimately shaved over 30 seconds off my boot, which isn’t too shabby, considering I didn’t really lose any noticeable functionality. In the name of science, I repeated the test on my desktop PC, and saved about 20 seconds. All in all, not too shabby. Some of you out there may be groaning, angrily telling me that MSCONFIG has been able to do this for years. This is true, but it ignores the fact that this program allows delayed application start-up, ties you in with statistics from other users of this application, and provides meaningful information on what application XYZ123 actually *does*. Not bad on the whole.