1. The article [Q192926] discusses the Clean-boot troubleshooting process and procedure to perform a Diagnostic Startup and refers to methods of reducing behaviors that may occur because of the system's environment. Many behaviors that occur when Windows or programs run occur because there are conflicting drivers, terminate-and-stay-resident programs (TSRs), and other settings and programs that are loaded as part of the boot process and these files and programs help create the environment that is used by the operating system when the computer starts. The computer's environment includes -- but is not limited to, the settings from the following files:
a. Static VXD errors:
(1) If it is suspected there is an error with a static x.VXD file, follow the above instructions and after answering Yes to Load all Windows drivers?, follow the below instructions:
(2) Note each static x.VXD file loading and respond with No to avoid loading any. Below is an assumed list:
Vnetsup.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Ndis.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Ndis2sup.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Javasup.vxd - Microsoft Java
Vrtwd.386 - Clock
Vfixd.vxd - Video Phone helper
Vnetbios.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Vserver.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Vredir.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Dfs.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Ndiswan.vxd - Microsoft Networking
Msmouse.vxd - Microsoft Mouse
(3) If the problem no longer occurs when responding with a No response 100%, repeat the procedure and respond with a Yes to 25% of the VXD files. Once the problem occurs, isolate that percentage where occuring and then respond to them with a Yes one at a time to identify the particular static x.VXD causing the problem.
Note: Once the responsible file is identified, delete the incompatible static x.VXD folder/file from the following key in the registry:
b. CONFIG.SYS file:
(1) The Config.sys file is provided for backwards compatibility with MS-DOS-based and older Windows-based programs and may not be present on your computer. It loads low-level MS-DOS-based drivers, many with a system (.sys) extension.
(2) If you find an error in the Config.sys file start MSCONFIG as indicated above and click the respective tab. Remove the check mark from the box based on the notes you compiled.
Note: When you click to clear an entry in a file, a remark statement is placed at the beginning of each line. For the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files, rem tshoot is used, followed by a space. For the System.ini and Win.ini files, tshoot is used, followed by a space. These remarks are removed when you click to select an entry that was cleared previously. When you click to select an item in the Startup tab, the registry entry is restored to its original location.
(3) Depending on the type of entry you are correcting there are several things to consider:
(a) Is the device activation critical or can it be eliminated?
(b) If necessary for system operation is the error due to pathname, a corrupt or missing file?
c. AUTOEXEC.BAT file:
(1) The Autoexec.bat file is also provided for backwards compatibility with MS-DOS-based and older Windows-based programs and may not be present on your computer. It loads MS-DOS-based programs, often with .com and .exe extensions.
(2) ditto the procedures for Config.sys.
d. SYSTEM.INI file:
(1) The System.ini file contains information about your computer's settings for specific hardware. This file must be present in the Windows folder for Windows to start. It is used to load various drivers including sound and video adapter drivers. It may also contain additional 16-bit drivers for hardware does not use 32-bit drivers.
(2) Ditto the procedures for Config.sys.
e. WIN.INI file:
(1) The Win.ini file contains information specific to the overall appearance of Windows. This file must be present in the Windows folder or it is re- created by Windows, is read at startup for backwards-compatibility with Windows 3.x, and many of the settings are duplicated in the registry. When you clear the Process Win.ini File check box in the System Configuration Utility, a generic version of the Win.ini file is created.
(2) Ditto the procedures for Config.sys.
f. BOOTLOG.TXT file:
(1) Create a Bootlog.txt (hidden file in the root of C:\). When starting the computer, use the Startup Menu to create a one-time Bootlog.txt file. Please be advised that Windows will boot much slower during the process.
Note: When examining this file in any text editor -- Notepad in Windows, or simply typing the following command at the MS-DOS prompt and then pressing Enter (clicking the icon in front of MS_DOS Prompt in the top colored bar provides MS-DOS commands), look for lines ending in LoadFailure which may indicate either a device or software problem.
(2) The article [Q127970] discusses the hidden Bootlog.txt file located in the root folder, describes content, and explains certain items that may be indicated as a Load Failed which does not necessarily indicate a problem.
(3) The article [Q118579] explains the root folder text file Msdos.sys set with Read-Only, System, and Hidden attributes, that this file is set to be at least 1,024 bytes in length, and describes the [Options] section that contain the settings and their meaning. Instructions are contained which allows a user to set certain options which creates the Bootlog.txt file during boot.
(4) It is recommended that "Boot Log Analyser, Vision 4 Ltd" be downloaded from this link and used.
3. LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Return the "System Configuration Utility" (MSCONFIG) to Normal Startup, follow these steps:
a. On the General tab, click Normal Startup, and then click OK.
b. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click No.
4. Supplemental reading:
a. "Description of the Disk Cleanup Tool (Q186099)."
b. "Troubleshooting Windows 98 Startup Problems (Q188867)."
5. What are those dumb "Startup" tab items or those strange one which keep coming back?
Note: Some Ensoniq sound cards and perhaps some other devices, may have options in their properties which may circumvent any attempt to turn them off through the use of MSCONFIG or any other utility. Check their properties thought Device Manager and see if you can locate any settings which will cause their reiteration to be restored when trying to turn them off unconventionally. Options of this sort are simply reinstated if the program (software) finds that it isn't resident.
a. The "Fee" based "Startup Cop", PC Magazine's utility, version 1.01, provides a pretty comprehensive path to where items reside.
b. Written by Mike Lin, the utility "Startup Control Panel" is well worth investigating.
c. "Starter" is yet another free startup manager that allows you to view and manage all the programs that are starting automatically whenever Windows boots. It lists all the hidden registry entries, as well as the common Startup Folder items. You can choose to safely disable selected entries, edit them or delete them altogether (if you know what you're doing). Expert users can even add their own entries.
d. The following sites give a pretty conclusive view of what items are and you can use their recommendations at your own risk: