a computer is overloaded with too many programs loading at startup, the
performance of the PC suffers noticeably. Stopping Programs from
loading into memory is one of the most effective ways to tune up your PC. The reason for
this is simple and can be described in an analogy.
Your computer is made up of many components. Three components
that are directly related to the PCs performance are your computers
memory, your hard drive, and your computers CPU.
Imagine you are
sitting at your desk (you probably are). Now imagine that the memory
within your computer is your actual desk's surface, the area where you
spread out your paperwork. The PC's hard drive is the filing
cabinet. You are the CPU. When you sit down at your desk to do
work, you get your paperwork out of the filing cabinet and spread it
across your desk surface. The more files you get out of the
filing cabinet and spread across your desk, the more cluttered your desk
becomes. Too much on the desk and you can't get anything done, you
have no more room to work. So you begin working out of your filing
cabinet, which is much slower than working off of your desk surface.
This is similar to what your PC does. When a program is started, it loads
from the hard drive (filing cabinet) into memory (desk). The CPU
(you) works with the files in memory. When the PC uses up all the
memory, it begins to swap memory space off of your hard drive (swap space
is a chunk of hard drive space that is uses as memory, only much, much
slower than actual PC memory).
The bottom line is you only have so
much memory in the PC. Unloading as much as possible from memory
gives the PC room to work and frees up resources to work more efficiently.
There are several main areas where programs are loaded into memory
when you boot up a PC. The most obvious place is the Startup Program
group in the Start menu, which you can see easily. Beyond that is
the registry. The Registry is usually the main place where programs
load at startup. A few other places like the win.ini file, the
autoexec.bat file and through starting programs manually, which sometimes
open other programs are other ways programs load. Lets examine a few
startup locations and go over how to manage these areas.