Categories Windows Vista

Speed up Vista startup by disabling scheduled tasks


The task planner, as its name suggests, directs Vista to execute certain tasks at a specific schedule, with specific conditions. For example, automatic defragmentation programming every 1st of the month, downloading TV programs for Windows Media Center, or creating a system restoration point.

Many planned tasks are performed at Vista’s start-up, which greatly slows down its start-up. So I suggest you turn it off as much as possible according to your needs and configuration.

To open the Task Scheduler, open the start menu and click on Control Panel.

In mode Classic Display, double-click on Administration tools, then again on Task Planner.

Vue générale du Planificateur de tâches
General view of the Task Planner

Basic presentation of the Task Planner

In the left-hand side, the tree of the tasks planned on your computer is displayed, filed by folders (click on the small arrows to unroll each folder).

Arborescence du Planificateur de tâches
Task Planner Tree

Click on a folder to see the scheduled tasks it contains in the central part of the window.

Deactivating a planned task

To disable a task, click on the file in question (for example, Defrag), then make a right-click on the desired task, and choose Disable.

Désactivation dune tâche planifiée
Deactivating a scheduled task

Now let’s go through some of the files that deserve our attention.

Explanation of tasks

Bluetooth

Click on the folder Bluetooth. 1 task presents:

  • UninstallDeviceTask

Disable this task if you do not use Bluetooth devices.

Defrag

Click on the folder Defrag. Two tasks are present:

  • ManualDefrag : allows you to manually defragment hard drives on your PC
  • ScheduledDefrag : automatically defragment hard drives according to a pre-programmed programming.

For my part, I preferred to disable these two tasks and use third-party defragmentation software O & O Defrag, faster, efficient... (to learn more about defragmentation, software to use... see article Optimise Windows Vista (part 4)).

Media Center

Click on the folder Media Center. 5 tasks present:

  • ehDRMInit : manages DRMs in Media Center
  • mcupdate : check if Media Center updates are available and, if so, install them.
  • OCURActivate
  • OCURDiscovery : automatically searches for new TV tuners connected to your PC, saves them, and configures Firewall exceptions as well.
  • UpdateRecordPath : manages the recording settings of a program.

Windows Media Center, which allows among others to watch TV on its computer, is an important factor in slowing down the opening of a Windows session.

If you are not using Media Center at all, disable all of the above tasks.

Otherwise, leave these tasks active. However, the search for updates can be defined to that it runs less often.

To do this, make a right-click on mcupdate and choose Properties.

Propriétés de la tâche mcupdate
Mcupdate Task Properties

On the tab Trigger, click on the button Change. In the part Settings, check the box Every month.

Fenêtre du déclencheur de la tâche planifiée mcupdate
Mcupdate scheduled task trigger window

On the right hand side, select the months and days of the task execution (e.g. every 1st of the month will suffice). Click on OK two times.

MobilePC

Click on the folder MobilePC. 2 tasks present:

  • HOTSTART : subject of a future article (patience...)
  • TMM

Disable TMM, unless you are using a Windows Mobile phone. For more information on this task, see the article Eliminate white screen flashes at start-up.

Shell

Click on the folder Shell. 1 task presents:

  • CrawlStartPages : determines the new locations to be indexed.

To disable if you do not use the Windows indexed search. I strongly advise you to consult the article Optimise Windows Vista (part 1) to set the Windows indexing service.

Sideshow

Click on the folder Sideshow. 4 tasks present:

  • Autowake : manages power to your SideShow device
  • GadgetManager : manages the synchronisation of SideShow device gadgets with your computer.
  • SessionAgent : manages the various user accounts present on a SideShow device
  • SystemDataProviders : manages a whole bunch of system settings associated with a user session of a SideShow device

SideShow Device Definition (Windows Vista Help and Support):

Windows platform that uses add-ons or gadgets, to transmit information from your computer to devices.

SideShow devices are quite rare at present. View this article from Clubic learn more about this technology.

So, disable these 4 tasks if you don't have SideShow devices.

SystemRestore

Click on the folder SystemRestore. 1 task presents:

  • SR : automatically creates system restoration points

If you are a confirmed user, sure of what you are doing on your computer, disable this task that will optimise the overall performance of the system in a rather sensitive way.

Windows Error Reporting

Click on the folder Windows Error Reporting. 1 task presents:

  • QueueReporting : processing of queued error reports.

Leave this task enabled but let’s set it there so that it runs less often.

For this, make a right-click on the latter and choose Properties.

On the tab Trigger, click on the button Change. In the part Settings, check the box Every month.

On the right hand side, select the months and days of the task execution (e.g. every 1st of the month will suffice). Click on OK two times.

WindowsCalendar

Click on the folder WindowsCalendar. 1 task presents:

  • Reminders — user name : warns you of a task to be performed in your calendar.

Disable there if you do not use the Windows Calendar.

Conclusion

This tutorial should allow you to gain valuable seconds at the start of the session, but also globally. Indeed, not all planned tasks will be performed at startup time.

Note: if you notice any problems in applications such as Windows Media Center... reactivate the scheduled task(s) in question (right-click and then Enable on the desired task).

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