A colleague at work talked to me about getting a new laptop as he said his was getting very slow and thought it was not worth getting cleaned. I asked him to have a look at it and it actually had reasonably good spec for a 6 year old computer, such as a Intel Core2Duo T6670 with a similar PassMark score to current entry level laptops and it had Windows 7. He was interested in Windows 10 and sure enough there was the 'Get Windows 10' icon in the task tray, but kept getting stuck at the "Preparing to download..." screen.
I had an unused 240GB SSD as I recently upgraded my desktop to a 480GB, so I suggested that I could give his laptop a fair improvement just by replacing its hard disk with an SSD. He already seen how his workplace desktop significantly sped up, but didn't have high hopes for his laptop as it was roughly 6 years old. I figured if this worked out, this would also let me sell my used SSD without having to put it on eBay and an SSD migration is generally a fairly straight forward 1:1 copy with Linux.
When I booted his laptop, I was really surprised to see just how slow it started up, especially bringing up the web browser. While it did have a few unnecessary start-up items such as Skype and the Java updater, I have no idea how he managed to find the patience for it even if it took half as long to start up and launch its applications.
So using a stopwatch, I timed how long it took to reach the logon screen, followed by the desktop, Chrome browser, Internet Explorer and Word 2010 open. I picked these three as he had the Three icons in a row in the task bar. It's worth noting that I ran CCleaner before this, which itself was a tedious wait.
Timings with the original hard disk, rounded to second:
- Log-on Screen: 1:28
- Desktop: 2:38
- Chrome: 4:49
- Internet Explorer 11: 11:37
- Word 2010: 14:28
As per the title of the thread, this laptop took almost 14.5 minutes from powering on to having Chrome, Internet Explorer 11 and Word 2010 all fully open.
Internet Explorer is actually a pretty good test to see when Windows has finished loading all its services as it will not load the homepage until most of the Windows services are running. This is also the reason I launched Chrome first as the laptop was so slow starting up that Internet Explorer took over 10 minutes from a cold boot to display the homepage! Even Microsoft Word took 3 minutes to load.
At this point, I did a 1:1 copy of the hard disk to my SSD using a USB bootable Linux stick. The only preparation I did was shrink the last partition by 30GB as the Internal hard disk has a 250GB capacity and the SSD has a 240GB capacity.
I then allowed the laptop to boot, go through its 'Found new hardware' and reboot. I then powered it off and back on, timing the same stages as above:
- Log-on Screen: 23s
- Desktop: 39s
- Chrome: 1:05
- Internet Explorer 11: 1:45
- Word 2010: 2:01
Straight away - that's an improvement! Let's see if we can do better...
I then had a look at what start-up processes I could remove and uninstalled Java and a few old clean-up utilities.
I then powered it off and timed the start-up stages again:
- Log-on Screen: 18s
- Desktop: 29s
- Chrome: 44s
- Internet Explorer 11: 1:04
- Word 2010: 1:11
While I'm sure there are more tweaks that could be made, 71 seconds is still a very impressive improvement over 14.5 minutes!
Now it was time for the Windows 10 upgrade. I tried the Windows 10 icon, but it just sat at "Preparing to download...", even when I left the laptop aside for a few hours. In fact, it's the one time I actually wanted to proceed with a Windows 10 update that it just didn't want to budge. It was similar for the Media Creation tool where it reached the stage "Checking for updates" and just went no further.
For curiosity, I disabled Windows updates and re-ran the Media Creation tool and this time it went through the full upgrade process just fine. Once in Windows 10, it then downloaded its updates automatically.
Once the updates were complete, I then did one final last timing. I admit this is with Windows 10's 'Fast start-up' enabled (enabled by default), but figured it's still realistic as this is how the laptop would be typically powered up apart from sleep mode and rebooting.
- Log-on Screen: 13s
- Desktop: 20s
- Chrome: 29s
- Microsoft Edge: 33s
- Word 2010: 36s
Not bad for a 6 year old laptop - From powering on, booting to having Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Word 2010 open all in 36 seconds.
I'm sure a newer PC could do better, but for someone who just mainly uses their laptop for checking e-mails and web access, it's better than another laptop thrown away as e-Waste.