Author Topic: How To Use MSCONFIG  (Read 2574 times)

Offline NI4NI

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How To Use MSCONFIG
« on: April 04, 2005, 07:16:09 PM »
How to use MSCONFIG

Built into Windows 98, 98SE, ME, and XP ("but what about Windows 95, NT, or 2000? See below.") is a special tool called the "Microsoft System Configuration Utility" or simply "MSCONFIG."  Designed to help you troubleshoot problems with your computer, MSCONFIG can also be used to ensure that your computer boots faster and crashes less.

Most people know that the more programs you have running on your computer at once, the more likely it is that your computer will either run slowly or even crash.  What most people don't know is that every time you boot your computer a whole mess of "hidden" programs load in the background.  Some of these hidden programs are essential, but most aren't.  Turning off some of these hidden programs can significantly increase your computer's performance and reliability.

Here is how to use MSCONFIG on Windows 98, 98SE, ME, and XP to disable some of the unnecessary programs that automatically load on start-up.

1. Go to Start > Run



2. In the Run window type MSCONFIG




3. This launches Microsoft's System Configuration Utility. Click on the Startup tab (the tab at the far right).


If you use Windows XP, you'll notice that the Microsoft System Configuration Utility screen looks a little different than the one in Windows 98, 98 SE, or ME. But it still works the same.  Click on the Startup tab (the tab at the far right).



4. This takes you to a page with a list of "startup items." Startup items are programs that are automatically loaded every time you turn on your computer.   Some startup programs are absolutely necessary, others are simply a waste of RAM.

The only startup items you absolutely need are:

    * ScanRegistry
    * TaskMonitor
    * SystemTray
    * LoadPowerProfile
    * Your antivirus program (trust me, you won't have a hard time figuring out which one is your antivirus program.  It is pretty obvious.)

Since you need these startup items to be running all the time in order for your computer to work properly, make sure there is always a check mark next to all of these startup items.

If you don't see one or two these items in your list of startup items, that's cool.  For example, some people may not have a LoadPowerProfile while others may have two.  The big thing to remember is that you don't want to uncheck any of these files if you have them.

The rest of the startup items, however, are completely optional.  Whether you leave these optional startup items on or turn them off is completely up to you.  A good rule of thumb is to disable only those programs that you recognize and don't need to have running all the time. When in doubt, leave it on. Or, better still, check Black Viper's list of startup programs.
Remember, disable only those programs that you recognize and don't need to have running all the time.  When in doubt, leave it on.


Disable only those programs that you recognize and don't need to have running all the time.

Windows XP is a little different. In Windows XP, all of Windows essential programs are loaded through something called "Windows Services."  This means that most of the startup items you see in XP are completely optional and can be turned off.  Still, the rule of thumb applies: disable only those programs that you recognize and don't need to have running all the time.  When in doubt, leave it on.





5. Click on the OK button.

6. A message will pop up telling you that you must restart your computer before these changes will take effect.  Click on "Yes" and your computer will automatically reboot.  When Windows re-starts you will see a warning about the changes you made, put a check in the box that says don't show this at startup.
   




7. That's it! Your computer should now boot faster and crash less.

And if you ever want to turn on any of the startup items you disabled with MSCONFIG, just run MSCONFIG again.

What about Windows 95, NT, and 2000?

MSCONFIG is not (quite) available for Windows 95, NT, or 2000. But don't panic. The free "Startup Control Panel" program at http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml will work just as well. And if you have Windows NT or 2000, you can also download the official, Windows XP version of MSCONFIG at http://www.thetechguide.com/downloads.html - It's the last download on the page.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2006, 02:29:41 AM by NI4NI »

Security

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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2005, 07:04:28 AM »
great step by step guide!  ^thanks
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by Security »

ol pilot

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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2005, 08:23:16 PM »
Win 2000 didn't come with the MSCONFIG utility for some inexplicable reason.  But not to worry!  You can copy it (msconfig.exe) from the Windows/Sys 32 folder of a WIN XP or 98 computer onto a disc (a floppy will do) and then copy it into the Windows/Sys 32 folder of your Win 2000 computer.  Works like a champ.  You can also find it as a free download utility on PCWorld.com.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by ol pilot »