Our Helproom editor explains how to speed up a PC running Windows Vista.

QUESTION My Windows Vista computer takes a long time to start up and a restart is always required. Upon bootup, the following error message is reported: 'AMD;CCC-AEM Capturing Window is preventing your restart'. What does this mean and how can I fix it? Geoff

HELPROOM ANSWER Slow startups are usually caused by unnecessary programs being configured to launch with Windows. Type msconfig into the Start menu Search box and press Enter. Take a look at the Startup tab on the window that appears. Any application listed here that isn't required from the second your desktop loads can be temporarily disabled by deselecting the box beside it (you can re-enable them later if you change your mind).

Next, check the Services tab. Be sure to select 'Hide all Microsoft services' before you begin deselecting items. This will prevent you from disabling vital services. If you aren't sure what programs and services you can disable, run a Google search on their names. However, if you still aren't sure and would prefer an automatic tool, we recommend Soluto.

Another trick, which has been reported to speed up booting on PCs running multicore processors, is to force Windows to use all your CPU cores and allow it more memory during the bootup process. As before, type msconfig into the Start menu Search box and press Enter. Select the Boot tab and choose 'Advanced Options'. Select the maximum number of processors available under 'Number of processors'. Also select 'Maximum memory'.

Click Ok and reboot to make your changes. These changes will last for just one reboot, allowing you to see whether startup times improve. If the changes are successful, repeat the process and this time be sure to select 'Make all boot settings permanent'.

The error message you're receiving isn't related to your slow startup problem. Rather, it relates to your graphics card driver software – in particular AMD's Catalyst Control Center.

To get rid of the message, uninstall the software for your graphics card (Start, Control Panel, Programs and Features). Next, download and install the latest version from AMD's website.

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