The first step in optimizing your system is startup. There are numerous applications that provide partial or total control of your startup items. The difference between partial and total control is the way that a startup manager handles the items. A complete solution, in my opinion, should provide startup item management and startup monitoring. Let me explain this a bit. To optimize your startup list, you must follow a few unwritten rules. Depending on everyone’s need and the amount of items in a list, a startup manager must be able to create an order, so that “big” applications that require a lot of RAM memory can start first or last. Another aspect that a smart manager should include is delay. Delay between items can save a lot of time and boost system startup.
To be more helpful, a startup manager must also provide startup monitoring. This is not an absolutely necessary trait and does not define all startup manager applications (in the end, a manager will deal with the existing items), but a lot of aggravations can be wiped if such a feature is provided. Yes, every manager will display the items, but it is of much help to have the possibility to deny certain entries, then to have them removed manually. This happens especially with potentially dangerous items. Not every application announces, or, better yet, lets the user deny a startup entry.
Absolute StartUp application was designed to be a startup manager that offers control over the items from Windows startup. It comes with a 30-day trial period and costs $29.95. A Lite version is also available for 14.95$ but offers less features. The application does not require much to run, and can be installed on every Windows version.
The test was made using Windows 7. Absolute StartUp follows the basic rules of startup management. It will allow the user to enable, disable / add or remove entries. The main window is where all action takes place.
A bundle of options are provided for every item. It is not wrong to say that the “Absolute StartUp” name can also stand for “Absolute Control.” Every aspect of startup management is backed-up with a feature. For every item, the user can create a startup schedule, to run the application in a specific day, or only on weekdays, on weekends, at time, after delay (adding a delay for item will increase the time that startup list is loaded but it will gain resources), after program (very efficient to create groups of applications that are related and not apply delay), at Internet Connection, or controlled (this option makes the use of hotkeys). An unknown entry can be searched using Google or the Base option. The developer provides a downloadable Dangerous Programs Database file. The last update on this file is 02.21.2007 (as stated here
Besides startup schedule, Absolute StartUp is equipped with the so-called “Programs sequence.” This option will let the user reorder the startup list. To complete the startup management process, the application also includes a monitoring system. After closing Absolute StartUp, a small process called "AS Mon" is still running. This process will monitor startup for any new entries and alert the user about a new presence. Allow or deny the new entry. All items are categorized upon location, depending on user or registry.
Absolute StartUp can also manage startup services. IE Extensions (Browser extensions, Toolbars, Browser Helper Objects, and Menu Extensions) are locations that many tools tend to create unwanted entries in. The monitoring system will alert the user of any new entries in this category.
All options and monitoring systems can be saved using a complete back-up and restore solution. On-line Configuration Upload is a feature that can help the developer populate Dangerous Programs Database file. First, I was tempted to say that you can back-up your startup configuration to on-line servers, but restore option lets you select only locally stored folders. An Optimization wizard can sort items in Dangerous, Not required and User’s choice. All programs can be reordered upon name.
A small option worth mentioning is called “Freeze startup configuration.” This little tweak can help you if you missed the New Entry alert window. New items will be copied as disabled items or to internal recycle bin. The User Interface comes in multiple languages. A few management and monitoring options are provided in Options window.
The looks of the program can also be changed from this section. All items from the main window can be printed within a startup list. The items considered dangerous can be managed from Hazard window. This window lists the dangerous programs database. The application comes with a great on-line and offline Help file. If any error occurs, the developer provides within the interface a small contact form.The Good
Absolute StartUp provides a complete startup management solution with the possibility to add / remove items, enable / disable items, create a schedule, add delay after every item, change the order, and, most importantly, a monitoring system. It enables the user to manage startup services, to monitor IE extensions and startup libraries. All configurations can be saved using backup and restore system.The Bad
Although it offers so many features, and all options worked flawlessly, Absolute StartUp does have some issues. The price is not really ok, because we can find almost the same functions in free applications (WinPatrol
), Dangerous Programs Database was last updated on 02.21.2007, so it is not that trustworthy and the optimization wizard is more like a sort function but under a different form.The Truth
If you are looking for a professional startup management and control system, you might want to try Absolute StartUp. It follows the basic rules of startup managers and comes with an extra monitoring system. Besides the 30-day trial period, it includes a few more limitations like paste from clipboard or restore from Recycle Bin, but will not alter the programs’ functionality.Here are some snapshots of the application in action: