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My PC is slow to boot ...

My PC is slow to boot ... By Loosecannon - Last updated on Sunday, March 25, 2012
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Category: Studio 1-15 Tutorials / General, Pinnacle Studio 21 & S16-S20 Tutorials / General  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Sunday, March 25, 2012
Created on Monday, March 5, 2012 1:58 PM
 

Over the years our PCs have become burdened with increasing numbers of programs and utilities that slow the loading time during Windows startup. Moreover, as Rémy Fehlmann reminded us in his tutorial  "Optimize your computer before you start editing", our computers require regular preventive maintenance.

Step 1 : Points to Check

The first items that are generally advised to consider are :

  • Programs: sorting and deleting those that are obsolete, or no longer used or needed;
  • Fragmentation of hard disks: defrag the disk drive(s) (except if you have an SSD drive);
  • Registry: clean and repair the registry, everyone knows that it tends to deteriorate over the years. You must use a dedicated utility, Windows does not include this feature.
  • Formatting the hard disk system: only for the brave, format the OS hard drive and reinstall everything: it's very effective as it resolves most problems, but it does not always solve all problems. Indeed, there may be another reason for the slowdown that is far more insidious: the hard drive is about to crash. Read errors occur more frequently leading to repeated readings. Generally speaking, reading problems happen frequently, but they are transparent to the user because the system provides for multiple readings. In reality, a hard drive crash has already happened to many of those who use their computers extensively.
Step 2 : After Checking Everything, Take Action !

When you see these slowdowns, it's time to take action. Do not immediately assume the worst case, because a check/repair of the hard drive can often be sufficient to repair the few bad sectors causing the slowdown. This operation is simple to perform.

Do a hard disk check, by going to: Computer (or Desktop) and select C disk. Select Hard Drive System
Right click on C disk: click on Properties. Item Properties disk system
Tools tab, select « Check Now... » The Tools tab of the properties for the system disk

Or from the command prompt use the « chkdsk /f /r » command

Start Menu, then "Run..." For Windows 7, search for the Run command.

The start menu with run item

Type the name of the program: chkdsk /f /r in the 'open' field: now, click OK.

Entering the program to run

In all cases, verification will be done on the next reboot, because it is the system disk. Depending on the hard drive size and number of errors encountered, verification may take a long time. This check ensures good or bad health of the hard drive system. If the system disk has no error, repeat the check from time to time. If the system disk has errors, try again a few days later and if new errors are found then it is advisable to buy a new hard drive for replacement. If you wait too long, you can find yourself in a situation where cloning the hard drive becomes questionable or impossible.

Copying hard drive to hard drive can not be done to the system disk, you must make a clone and it must be done with a utility like Norton Ghost or Acronis or other available software. First, make a clone of system hard disk on an external hard drive for example, buy a new hard drive, and clone the new hard drive. If you have an open slot to put the new hard drive in your computer, you can skip the copy on an external hard drive and clone it directly. Then remove the old hard drive and put back into position. The cloned disk, with the current software must be reinstalled on the original computer. Some of these programs have options for cloning and search files with errors, bad sectors recognition, copying the master boot sector (MBR). Read the User Guide for your software.

In the case of my HP PC running Vista, I put in a new hard drive and it cuts the boot time by a factor between 2 and 3, same for my wife's PC running XP (the first cloning had imported errors on the source hard disk so I was forced to clone a second time).

Step 3: Prevention ?

If you have some basic computer skills, you should check the Event Viewer from time to time accessible from the Administrative Tools Control Panel. You will find interesting things about the life of your PC. Some events should draw your attention and make you think seriously about quickly investing in a new hard drive... Especially if you find "Error" alarms (white cross in a red circle) in the "Application" and / or in the "System" tabs. If the properties of these alarms mention the word disk, or sector or write ... Warning, danger!

{Thanks to Loosecannon for the fine-tuning}

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