Speeding Up Windows XP Boot Up and Shutdown After having Windows XP loaded on my laptop for some time now, I noticed that the boot time and the shutdown time were not as quick as I would like. So after some research and help from www.Google.com, I was able to come up with some solutions in order to speed up both processes. Prefetch There are several ways to increase the boot time. First Windows XP has a Prefetch directory located in the Windows directory. The use of the prefetch directory is to hold cached information regarding recently accessed files. Application as well as boot files are cached here. You can delete all the files within the Prefetch directory as seen in the below image that will allow faster boot times due to less file cache reading. Another tweak you can perform regarding Prefatch is a registry entry. If you are not familiar with editing the registry, please see the Microsoft knowledge base article here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;TR;322756 Within the registry, you can set prefetch to function in several different ways. Prefetch can cache applications, boot up files, both, or you can disable it completely. To improve boot speed set the following value in the registry to a value of 2. HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher If you are uncomfortable with editing the registry, download the following file here (Prefetch_Registry.zip). Unzip it. Then double-clicking the resulting .REG file to insert the entry into your computer’s registry. It will set the value to 2. This should help you on your way to a speedier startup and shutdown in Windows XP.