One of the banes of modern computer life is booting up, the process that happens to your computer when you switch it on.
On my office desktop computer running 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate, it takes well over five minutes from the moment I turn the machine on to the moment when realistically I can start using it.
That’s well over the average time in the UK – and significantly more than the global average – according to Soluto, an Israeli software and web service company whose business is all about improving boot times (and some other things).
The lengthy start-up typically increases over time as you add and remove programs, fiddle with things, misconfigure other things, tweak this and that, and maybe add or remove some hardware.
It’s one reason why I tend to start over with everything about once a year, savouring the first week or so after a fresh install when things take just a couple of minutes to be ready for you.
Today, though, I’m enjoying getting to the PC in less than three minutes after turning it on instead of the more than five minutes I’ve resigned myself to each time until another fresh install thanks to Soluto.
What Soluto does when you first use it is analyse your computer’s start up, looking at every program and service that runs when the computer is booting up to determine the most efficient and optimum way all of those things work together, to get your machine in a ready-to-use state in the shortest practical time.
Then each time you boot your machine, Soluto’s monitoring gets to know your computer better, making further recommendations on programs or services you can remove from boot, delay running until the bootup procedures are complete, or leave in the process.
It can all add up to significant time saving. In my case, Soluto’s getting-to-know-your-PC procedure has now got me to the state of a ready machine in less than two minutes, a further one minute improvement from its initial use yesterday, about six bootups ago as I speed up the learning process.
It’s done it, basically, by sorting out the kinds of things that are tricky for you to do unless you are very knowledgeable about your device’s inner workings and know exactly how to tune every program, app or service that runs on bootup.
I’ve not uninstalled anything – often a route you go down when you experience a slow computer – or stopped using a program. All that’s happened is the computer start-up procedure has now become much more efficient in three ways:
- I’ve removed many apps from the bootup process entirely (31 in fact) based largely on Soluto’s guidance and the generic metrics they show on what other users do, saving over 3 minutes;
- Essential apps and services – mostly related to the computer’s operating system and connected hardware devices – run as normal during boot up; and
- Other programs I need but not until the computer’s completed booting-up are delayed until after that point.
I first heard about Soluto in early 2011 when it launched in beta. I tried it then and was impressed even though it was indeed beta. Today, it’s evolved impressively into a tool that, in my experience, works well and is one you can have confidence in using.
Soluto’s database in the cloud grows over time as more users share their experiences. I can see how it could especially help inexperienced users in guiding them on choosing what to boot, what to tweak and what to skip.
The service does a lot more than tune-up your computer’s boot process, though. Here’s Soluto’s full list:
What can you do with Soluto?
- Manage multiple PCs from anywhere.
- Shorten PC boot time and get your PC started fast.
- See which apps are crashing and hogging CPU.
- Remotely install and configure useful apps like Skype and Dropbox.
- Customize your default browser, homepage, and search engine.
- Keep your PC up-to-date with silent software updates.
- Catch hardware issues before they cause problems.
- Defrag and clear disk space to keep things running smooth and fast.
- Help others get more out of their PCs too.
Whether you use just one or perhaps a handful of computers – a desktop and a couple of laptops, for instance – or you administer a network embracing iPhones and iPads as well, Soluto has an option with different plans ranging from a free one (the one I’m currently using) for managing up to 3 devices to the enterprise-level of up to 200 devices.
If you want to save time every time you start up your device – desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone – Soluto might have a solution for you.
Now I need to change my early-morning custom of making a pot of tea while the office desktop computer boots up. There’s no time any more!