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My WinXP computer takes a good 10 minutes to get to a usable state. Most of the activity will stop if I leave it at the log in screen, so I think it is some system level (as opposed to user level) programs.

Is there a program that will tell me what drivers/programs are loading?

Bonus: Is there a program that will show the amount of time/resources each program is taking?

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The tag is good, but you should also explicitly mention that it's a Windows XP system in the question. – pjz May 4 '09 at 12:39
Near duplicate question:… – Joel in Gö May 5 '09 at 7:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You should try autoruns for windows from sysinternals. Using autoruns, you can disable many unneeded startup junk.

This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.

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Seems that BootVis does exactly what you want.

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Dodge the problem - use hibernating/sleep mode. I use it all the time and forget what is a boot time. This should work assuming you don't make many reboots.

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I tend to have network problems when I do this, it seems some drivers don't like hibernating too much. – Matthew Farwell May 4 '09 at 15:38
Sometimes I have problems with sleeping, but never with hibernate. I guess I'm lucky to have drivers good enough :) – ya23 May 4 '09 at 18:47
I find hibernate/sleep mode to be pretty hit and miss with WinXP. About 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 times it'll simply not start up and you'll have to do a reset so it's essentially a crash. Not good. – cletus May 8 '09 at 21:33
@cletus, The issues with Hibernate are caused by motherboards that do not properly support ACPI, not WinXP. I use Hibernate no problems with my ASUS and Gigabyte boards. – Ash May 9 '09 at 3:44

Once you've checked what apps/services are loading, look to your device drivers. Old/corrupted drivers add a LOT of boot time. (These will not necessarily provide any errors to let you know they're misfiring.) If the PC is a major brand, just look up the make/model and grab everything from the driver list provided. Innocuous looking things like "chipset driver" can add a great deal of zip to your system. If you're comfortable with it, look to BIOS and other firmware updates, if applciable.

Also, the sad fact is that XP degrades over time. I highly recommend that anyone with the technical ability to do so should simply backup, wipe, and reinstall their desktop OS every 2-4 years.

Sure, it sounds painful, but this ends up taking me far less time than trying to apply enough duct tape to keep the thing hobbling along at a decent speed.

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A good defreg will help.

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