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Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

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    Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors
    How to Change the Number of Processors Used at Boot Up in Vista
    Published by Brink is online now
    13 May 2008
    Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    How to Change the Number of Processors Used at Boot Up in Vista

    information   Information
    If you have a multiple core CPU (Ex: Intel Core Duo or Quad CPU) or multiple CPUs, then this will show you how to change the Number of Processors that will be used during boot up for troubleshooting and debugging purposes to be able to determine if there is a problem with a single processor/core, or for a programmer to test their code against a single core while running on their multi-core system.
    Note   Note
    Vista will use all your processors by default at boot up without this Number of Processors setting box checked. Using all of your available processors (cores or CPUs) durring boot allows the computer to boot faster only because a multiple core CPU or multiple CPUs can handle and do more at once than a single core or CPU. Multiple cores do not actually increase the speed, but only increase the number of processor cores working on the job which in turn has the job finish quicker. If you do not have much running at startup, then you may not notice much improvement in how long it takes to startup.
    Tip   Tip
    People have reported that by checking this setting and selecting all of their available CPUs, they have seen a performance increase in boot up speed despite the Note above . See the example below. If it does not help, then you can do step 7 to undo this and go back to the default settings.
    warning   Warning
    Selecting a lower amount of processors to use at boot up than you actually have can increase the amount boot up time causing a longer boot.

    EXAMPLE: Boot Up Time Before and After
    NOTE: This is the before and after boot up time for my computer after I changed it to use all 4 cores. For fun you can post your results here: ReBoot Time
    Name:  Before_ReBoot-Time.jpg
Views: 157156
Size:  9.4 KBName:  After_ReBoot_Time.jpg
Views: 156921
Size:  9.3 KB

    Here's How:
    NOTE: Before you do this, you should see what your current boot up time is so you can compare it to what it will be before and after applying this.
    1. Open the Start Menu.

    2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type msconfig and press Enter.

    3. Click Continue in the UAC prompt.

    4. Click on the Boot tab. (See screenshot below)

    5. Click on the Advanced options button.
    Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors-step1.jpg
    6. To Change the Number of Processors at Boot -
    A) Check the Number of processors box, then click on the drop down arrow and select the number of available processors (cores or CPUs) you want to have used at boot up. (See screenshots below step 7)
    NOTE: To test to see if this can speed up your boot time or not, then select the highest number listed for all of the available processors to be used at boot up and check the Detect Hal box.
    B) Click on OK.

    C) Go to step 8.
    7. To Restore the Default Number of Processors at Boot -
    A) Uncheck the Number of processors box.

    B) Click on OK.
    Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors-step2a.jpgBoot Advanced Options - Number of Processors-step2b.jpg
    8. Check the Make all boot settings permanent box and click on OK. (See screenshot below)
    NOTE: If you do not check this, then you will Selective startup dotted instead of Normal startup under the General tab. You can still make changes again by checking this again after any changes.
    Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors-step3.jpg
    9. Click on Yes at the confirmation window. (See screenshot below)
    NOTE: You can restore or make changes to this again later if you want. I will confirm it. Just remember or write down what you had set (checked or unchecked) before if you wanted to restore back to those settings later.
    Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors-step4.jpg
    10. Check the Don't show this message again box. (See screenshot below step 11)
    NOTE: You will not see this again after checked.

    11. Click on the Restart button.
    NOTE: If you checked the box and want to restore this Restart box, see: How to Restore the System Configuration Restart Prompt in Vista
    WARNING: This will restart the computer immediately. Make sure you save and close anything open you do not want to lose.
    Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors-step5.jpg
    12. After you have started back to the desktop, you can check to see what your new boot up time is for fun.
    That's it,
    Shawn



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    Brink's Avatar
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    Applies to

    All Vista Versions
    64 Bit & 32 Bit


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  3. #1
    TimUnrue's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Thank you so much for this tip!!!

    It nearly cut my startup time in half:

    Before:

    After:

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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  5. #2
    Brink's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Your welcome Tim. That's a great improvement.

    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #3
    swarfega's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Hi.

    I try to load msconfig but I cant edit or change any settings. I click on a check box say and nothing happens. In boot tab the square box is empty.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #4
    Brink's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Strange Swarfega,

    Do you have UAC turned On? It should be. Are you running this from within a administrator account and not a Standard one?

    You can try running a sfc /scannow command to see if it can find and fix any bad system files that may be the cause. This tutorial will show you how to.


    System Files - SFC Command

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #5
    swarfega's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Hi, I have uac turned off and created a true admin account which Im using now. I ran the sfc command and it didnt find any errors.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #6
    Brink's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Swarfega,

    Open the Start menu and right click on Computer and click Properties. Under the System section, look to see if your CPU is properly identified as being a Core 2 Duo CPU 3 GHz.

    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #7
    swarfega's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    it is correctly identified

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  11. #8
    Brink's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Well, I must admit that I'm stumped on why your msconfig does not show any available options for you like the examples in the tutorial.

    You might also post this question in the General Discussion forum and Vista General newsgroup to see if someone may know of a solution to this problem.

    Sorry,
    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  12. #9
    sidney1st's Avatar

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    Re: Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors

    Swarfega,
    Try running regedit and the task manager, are they working well?

    Sid.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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