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1. Getting Started > 1.1. Startup and Shutdown

Startup and Shutdown

Start up and shut down faster, get yourself a new startup splash screen, and get rid of useless error messages. After you read the hints in this section, you’ll never again settle for sitting down at your PC and fumbling for the On button.

Instant Startup

Windows XP seems to take a few light years to start up. Happily, you can change that. The secret? Don’t shut down your computer. Instead, put it on Stand By, a kind of deep freeze your PC can recover from almost instantly. A nice bonus of Stand By is that you can leave your programs running—meaning they’re standing at attention when you pull your computer out of hypnosis.

To invoke this handy trance, choose Start Turn Off Computer Stand By (instead of Start Turn Off Computer Turn Off). In Stand By mode, your computer appears to be turned off, but in fact uses a trickle of power to stay just barely on (the system stores everything in its short-term memory, or RAM). Then, when you use your mouse or keyboard, it springs to life almost instantly rather than going through the normally lengthy startup procedure.


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