Quick Boot Tweaks
There are several, very simple tweaks that can be performed that will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes your computer to boot up. Not only that, but several of them will also increase the speed of your system as well. To begin with, there are four main files which all versions of Windows use to a varying degree while booting up. These four files are autoexec.bat, config.sys, system.ini, and msdos.sys. For the most part, unless you are running a command-line virus scanner, autoexec.bat should be empty. However, the other files can be modified to increase system boot time and performance.
For example, adding the line stacks=0,0 to the config.sys file can significantly speed up a computer. However, the two files I really want to focus on here are system.ini and msdos.sys. Within system.ini, add the following lines under [386Enh]:
LocalLoadHigh=1 - This setting tells the computer to load everything the operating system needs into upper memory by default, freeing up as much conventional memory as possible (the first 640K). Microsoft would like us to believe that this no longer effects the system, but they are lying.
DMABufferSize=64 - This setting tells the computer to leave as much memory available for DMA data transfers as possible, speeding up not only the boot process but the system in general.
There are some even more exciting settings available within the msdos.sys file for optimizing the boot process. Before you can modify the msdos.sys file (which is a hidden file, by the way, so you'll have to set Windows to show hidden files from within Windows Explorer), you will need to remove its read-only attribute. To do this, right click on the file, enter its properties menu, and uncheck read-only. Now that you've done that, open the file in notepad and add the following lines:
Logo=0 - This setting turns off the silly Windows splash screen during startup. Disabling this will shave a few seconds off your boot time.
Drvspace=0 - This setting turns off support for Drivespace-compressed FAT16 drives. Since no one uses this anymore, it is safe to disable. Disabling it will not only speed up your boot time, but it will also free up some extra resources as well
Dblspace=0 - Same as above, but this time for Doublespace-compressed FAT16 drives.
DisableLog=1 - This setting disables the log file which Windows creates by default when booting up. Disabling this will shave a few seconds off your boot time, and since no one ever uses the log file for anything anyway, it won't be missed.
AutoScan=0 - This line disables the automatic scandisk that is run if the computer is improperly shutdown - saving a bunch of time if you are constantly restarting your computer using the power button instead of the 'correct' way. Sadly, however, this doesn't appear to work with Windows Me.
Applying these tweaks should dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for your computer to start up or reboot. Hopefully, these tweaks will help your computer boot up faster, and give you a slight performance boost as well.