LoadFast is a Windows 95/98 utility to speed up the Startup process or any time you want to load many programs at once. It works by sensing disk read activity and executing the next program when the disk reading stops for a user specified interval. Starting many programs at once, as Windows does on startup, is slower than running them in sequence, especially when running large programs on systems with large amounts of memory. The user specifies the directory that contains shortcuts to the programs to execute on the command line.
Recommended for automating and speeding up the execution of large programs commonly run at startup (e.g. Netscape, IE shortcuts, Eudora, Photoshop, etc.) on systems with large amounts of RAM (>512MB) by running them sequentially instead of all at once.
Download Loadfast 1.1 zip file
RELEASE NOTES Version 1.1 - 01/12/2001 * Instructions match actual order of command line parameters. * It actually works as advertised now. There was a bug in the 1.0 release build which caused the bytes read to be 0 all the time. (This bug didn't exist in the debug build which was not posted.) * Thread signal is not reset until main thread is ready to execute the next program. * Prints which program it is currently executing. Version 1.0 - 12/31/2001 Released the first version. SUGGESTED INSTALLATION 1. Copy loadfast.exe to somewhere on your system, e.g. "c:\Program files\Loadfast\" 2. Create a Shortcut to the loadfast.exe file and copy it to your "Startup" folder in your Start Menu. (You can use the File->New->Shortcut command in Explorer to create a new shortcut.) 3. Create a new folder in your Start Menu called LoadFast. 4. Move all your shortcuts except loadfast from the Startup Folder to the new LoadFast folder. 5. Right Click on the loadfast.exe Shortcut and select "Properties". 6. Edit the "Target:" field to say for example: "c:\loadfast.exe" c:\windows\startm~1\programs\loadfast\ 350 In this line the first part is the name of the program to run (loadfast). The second part is the directory containing the programs, shortcuts, or files to run. The last part is the time in milliseconds of no disk activity before executing the next program. IMPORTANT CAVEATS The directory name cannot have any spaces and must end in a \. The interval milliseconds must be strictly greater than 0 or less than 2000. DEVELOPED FOR WINDOWS 98 (DOES NOT WORK ON NT/2000). THIS IS A CONSOLE APPLICATION (NO GUI) ADVANCED INSTALLATION You can also automate running programs listed in the Run keys of the Windows registry. You can find the keys here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run Just create shortcuts for each program and then delete the keys from the registry. (Make sure to back them up first!) DISCLAIMER Author will not be liable for any damage or loss of data caused to the user from the use of this program. LICENSE Emailware (FREE) - You can use this software free for any use without limitation. Please visit: http://www.somacon.com/software and leave me a message regarding your opinion of the software. HOW IT WORKS Loadfast is multithreaded. There is a thread that checks the performance monitor registry keys for bytes read from the filesystem at each interval specified by the user. Whenever 0 bytes are read during the interval (indicating no disk activity), the main thread is signalled to execute the next program in the user specified directory. The files are executed using the windows "start" command, like: "start c:\windows\startm~1\programs\loadfast\netscape.lnk" DOES IT WORK Theoretically it should. In my own ad-hoc testing it seemed slightly faster; perhaps saving 3-5 seconds off a 2 minute 15 second startup. Keep in mind that windows itself takes 1:30 to startup and then loadfast is running for the remaining 45 seconds loading the programs. The hard drive definitely thrashed less and the overall impression was a cleaner startup. The only way to tell is if you time your computer. I tried a couple cases but was getting inconsistent results due to large variations in network latencies. Regardless of the time savings, the psychological effect is great enough for me to use it. My setup on Jan 12, 2002: Computer: Pentium III 750, 626 MB SDRAM, 17GB 5200 rpm HD Shortcut: D:\LoadFast.exe c:\windows\startm~1\programs\loadfast\ 100 Startup Programs: Register IP.lnk Eudora.lnk Mozilla.lnk MSN Messenger Startup.lnk POW!.lnk ps2rate.lnk eBay Somacon.url Scan Registry.lnk Somacon NYIP.lnk