Archive for September 8th, 2008|Daily archive page

Working hard, or hardly working

Not me you undertstand, but my work PC.

I’ve moaned in the past about the poor startup times.  This morning I was determined to get to the bottom of this, as there were a couple of startup programs which I wanted to install, Gmail Notifier, and Get Dropbox specifically.

So these are the steps which I’ve taken.  I know in an ideal world I would have done each of these steps, then had a stopwatch to time the reboot, then made the next incremental change… but life’s too short.

  1. Cleared up my desktop, including deleting a directory I’ve had there for years called ‘Junk From Desktop’.  I tend to use my desktop as the dumping ground for things which aren’t useful just yet, but may be some day.  I’ve been ruthless, and cleared it out, I now have just 9 icons.
  2. Removed OpenOffice.  I’m not sure, but I think many of my startup problems started when I installed this, it’s possible that my machine simply isn’t powerful enough to run this well.  So it’s back to Microsoft Office for me – ho hum.
  3. Removed any applications I’d not used for six months.  This took a while, but I’ve now got a much leaner Programs menu!
  4. Ran Glary Utilities.  As usual this found a whole load of registry and other issues.  I think I’ll set a month reminder in my calendar to run this, as it does seem to make a difference.
  5. Empty Recycle bin.  No problems here, and I now have 13.5 Gb free space.  Not much I know, but given that the hard drive itself is only 40 Gb, it should give enough elbow room for swap files etc.
  6. Remove from FireFox any addins which I wasn’t using.  This wouldn’t change the boot-up time (would it?), but it has dramatically reduced the time FireFox takes to load.

All this done, and I rebooted (a couple of times ‘just in case’).  The difference has been dramatic, and I now have a bootable system within 2 minutes – in the past it was between 10 and 15 minutes before I could do anything ‘useful’ (i.e. fire up a browser or Outlook).  And this is with the extra applications installed in the start-up menu.

Whilst all this was going on I had my trusty MacBook by my side, checking emails etc. So I now feel much happier about using my work PC.  The final step of this ‘refresh’ will me bringing my old keyboard from home into work (with my name written all over it to ensure it doesn’t get taken away at any time).