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Too Many Programs Loading During Startup

When 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.

Can I just get more memory?

You can.  But the CPU (you in the analogy) can only do so much at one time.  Too many programs demanding processor time (your time) bogs down the computer simply because it has too much to do.  The only real answer is to reduce the number of programs loading at one time.

How does the PC load programs at startup?

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.

Startup Program Group in the Start menu - Examining and Removing Items from the Startup folder
Uninstalling Programs - Can uninstalling programs improve performance? and .. How to uninstall programs
Editing the Registry How to Edit the Registry
Additional Areas: Win.ini, System.ini, autoexec.bat - What are these files and how to examine examine and edit them
Piggybacked Programs - When one program loads, sometimes addition, un-necessary or un-wanted  programs are loaded along with it.  The most common culprit of that is your web browser, which is a prime target.  How to deal with this.


Common Causes of a slow PC
So what causes a PC to run slow?  There are many causes. Read about some of the most common here.
Editing the Registry
The Registry is a database of nearly all the settings for Windows operating system and most of your installed applications. Learn how to edit and clean it yourself.
Removing Spyware
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Removing Viruses
Learn about viruses and find out how to scan and remove them for Free.


Removing Browser Highjacks
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Top Ten ways to keep your PC healthy
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