General discussion

What programs that open at my start up can be turned off?

Here is a list of the things that have checks next to them when I go to run then type in "msconfig" and go to the tab that has the things that load up at start up. Which of these can I uncheck.

Also, I unchecked the AIM, and MSMSGS and hit apply then restarted my computer and went back into "msconfig" and it seems like it created a new one with the same path. Is this normal?

AOLSP Scheduler
Nero Check
SBC Self Support Tool

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Thanks, but that site only lists a small portion...

of what appears on my computer. Anyone familar with these files and may be able to tell me. I used that list I was just given in the last post and solved some of them, but half of them aren't listed in there. Thanks.

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The only ones. . .

you need are Explorer and systray. Everything else is fluff. Go to my site below and scroll down to the Software link. Download and install Starter. Great program to show what is running, where it's located on the HD, will allow you to disable it, and delete it if necessary.

That said, some spyware and parasites set themselves to start with the PC. Do you have AV and anti-parasite programs running? I also have help at my site under Parasite Suite.

Good luck,

Click here to see the CNet faces, learn a little about internet
connections and data, and download free software.

Suppose you were an idiot. . . And suppose you were a member of Congress. . . But I repeat myself.
--Mark Twain

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Wayne, I Am A Little Confused

You said:

"The only ones. . .

you need are Explorer and systray. Everything else is fluff."

Wouldn't it be prudent to have virus protection and firewall protection programs included? Especially if one has "always on line" like DSL and cable?


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DC asked?

DC, "Wouldn't it be prudent to have virus protection and firewall protection programs included? Especially if one has "always on line" like DSL and cable"?

I agree with you 100% and would leave your AV & Firewall load at startup.


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Maybe "Fluff" was too general. . .

The only things needed to run Windoes are the two I mentioned. Agreed, AV programs, scanner on stand by, printer stuff, etc. are needed for the rest of the operation. I wasn't recommending closing anything, just letting him know what is needed to run. Hopefully he can find out what all that other "stuff" is and close as necessary using the little utility I mentioned. Hopefully he won't disable/close/remove anything like an AV program.


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Dana, Generally, More Programs ARE Needed.... start up and much of it depends on the operating system involved. On Windows 98, although the machine will "run" if only Explorer and Systray are CHECKED in "msconfig", I'm not sure I would call them "fluff". Others are needed to run the computer "safely". (Most don't have Explorer listed there anyway as it generally only shows up when pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete0 On Windows XP, for example, Explorer and Systray don't even show up in "msconfig". On Windows 98, I always leave the "Scan Registry" item checked as it makes up registry backups in case of a "Scanreg /restore" necessity. Likewise, required antivirus, firewall, or other security tools may, or may not be necessary depending on the situation.

It becomes a personal decision on which one's to leave and which ones to "axe". I also use the startup list from Pacs Portal which was posted by Tufenuf below.

Hope this helps.


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Deleting Programs from Startup

Instead of using msconfig use services.msc. It will
give you all the programs in the start menu. Click
on each item and it will tell you the results if you
cancel the program.


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King, Not Correct...

"Services.msc" from the "Run" line will only list the "Services" that are running. "Services" and "Processes/programs" are two different things although they do overlap in some areas. They ARE NOT all of the programs running in the start menu. Still, it is a good idea to eliminate unnecessary "Services" from start up as well. Please see my post about it further down in this thread. Here's a direct link:

In fact, there is already a "Tip" about this in the "Tips" thread. Below is a link to it as well. In the tip, there are some good links for identifying unnecessary programs AND services.

How To Shut Down Unnecessary Start Up Programs

Hope this helps.


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Actually Griff...

your picture of processes and services is not quite accurate.

"Services" and "Processes/programs" are two different things although they do overlap in some areas.

ALL services are processes but not all processes are services. EVERYTHING runs within the OS as a process.

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Ed, Thanks....My Point Is...

...the items that "Phattferd" listed in his list of "msconfig" item will NOT be found in the "Services" list.

In addition, although you are technically correct, the "Processes" list from the Task Manager does not accurately match the "Services" list found in "Services.msc" or Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services. I'm not sure it's really a "Newbie" issue...

Hope this helps.


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Hello Griff...

actually everything on your services list is also on the Task Manager processes listing--some of the names are just changed "to protect the innocent" (esserver.exe for instance is the COM Services, csrss.exe will show up as the server service, tapisrv.exe would show as Telephony Service, etc.).

If you simply count the number of STARTED services and add it to the number of started applications you will arrive at the total number of processes shown.

A possibly better picture would present if you make use of the TLIST command (although in XP I believe it is now TASKLIST) and when the list is presented select one and issue the command with the PID (the process ID number) as an option such as tlist 40 which will also show supporting modules for the specific process.

It is true that the msconfig listing will not show up in the services listing but BOTH will show up in TaskManager.

I also agree whole heartedly that this is NOT a "newbie" issue which is why I just addressed it to you. I'm just one of those "nit pickers" who prefer real accuracy in definition Wink (maybe I should have mentioned to Wayne that in reality systray is not really necessary and if ambitious and REALLY THOUGHTFUL (think CMD) even explorer can be shut down--DEFINITELY not an item for a "newbie" Devil )

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Ed, Thanks...

...As you mentioned the "cmd" line, I occasionally need to close Explorer from a command line when attempting to delete "locked" trojan/virus files on infected machines.

Yep, "picking nits" is a good thing when a thorough explanation is needed. I'm just not sure it's necessary to know exactly where all four or five "svchost.exe" processes in TaskManager came from or which services started them....until someone asks. I know I've never "counted" Services..although I have shut down quite a few..LOL And although all the process and services stuff will show up in "Task Manager", that particular location isn't the best for permananently shutting them down for start up purposes. I choose to close them from System Configuration Utility and the "Services.msc" Control Panel section.

As always, thanks again for your expertise.


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Posted by: Coryphaeus

I went to your web page. Question #1: Pics/graphics do not display for me "Five Places to go get the answers" I have five boxes each with a red X in the upper left corner.
Question #2:Your "Spyware Suite"; do I install and run each of these? Get rid of McAfee? I don't think I have a virus but also do NOT want one and I spend HOURS per day on the net. THANKS

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Hey there. . .

Q-1 - These are just small pictures for the links for D-link, C-Net Forums, Broadband Reports, PCWorld Magazine, and Symantec. If the picture did not load, two possibilities. My site is overwhelmed, or your security settings are too high. Usually you can do a refresh/reload the page and it'll be ok.

Q-2 - Install and run each of the programs listed. They will search for spyware and remove it. Keep McAfee if you're happy with it. My personal preference is Norton as I've found the updates are a little easier.



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Re:Thanks, but that site only lists a small portion
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Start up list
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Wrong website listed

The site you listed is for the taskmanager. Some entries look similar so problems might pop up. For start-up entries in msconfig use this web site. Still a good site for shutting down unnecessary programs to gain some memory.

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Phatferd, My Choices...

...may be different than your's but assuming this is your new Windows XP machine, here's what I would leave and what I would UNCHECK from "msconfig":

First, because the "1.exe" listing that you have mentioned could be a virus, please click on either or both of the links below and run the free online scans they provide:

Housecall Online Scanner

Panda Online Scanner


AOLSP Scheduler.exe: This is AOL's spyware detection program..If you're using other spyware detection programs, I would UNCHECK this one. If not, leave it CHECKED.

shwiconem.exe: Multimedia Card Reader. If you use the card reader, leave it CHECKED.

PortAOL.exe: PortAOL.exe Pure Networks Port Magic, as available in the latest version of the AOL

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Programs to turn off
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Neophyte, 'Services' VS 'Msconfig'

The site you have listed is great for "Services", but not for "Processes" which are specific programs that load at start up.. Some processes overlap into "Services" (like the svchost.exe process) but the items that Phattferd listed are program start up listings in "msconfig". They will probably NOT show up in the "Services" list mentioned in your site.

Still, the "Services" site you have mentioned is a good one and can definitely be used to eliminate some of those unneeded services at start up.

Hope this helps.


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Thanks guys

You have been a great help. the "1" thing I have no clue what that is. I have Norton's, ad-aware and spybot search and destroy and ran one of the online virus scans that was given and nothing comes up.

I have AOL and AIM on this computer. I hardly use AOL and when I do it's because I'm too lazy to log into their website to check my mail. I hate AOL and only have it because other people in the house want it.

I use Firefox with my SBC service. The only program I really want started up along with explorer and the necassary ones is my Norton's and maybe my AIM.

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Worthy look
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Here's a place to look a lot of those up...

Here's a place to look a lot of those up:
I might also suggest "Startup Control Panel" by Mike Lin. His utility allows you to analize, modify, disable [checkbox], or delete any of the items in several startup locations:
Startup (user)
Startup (common)
HKLM / Run
HKCU / Run
Run Once
Deleted - programs go to the Deleted tab when you remove them from another location. They will not run at system startup, but will merely be stored should you ever want to use them again. If you delete an item from the Deleted tab, it is removed permanently.

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URL for free util:"Startup Control Panel" by Mike Lin
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jk - Glad to see someone mention this program. I was nearing the end of the posts and was getting set to put in my 2 cents. The name of the program says it all. AFter installation, the program will appear in the Control Panel. I will note that I have had trouble installing it on several PCs at my office - not clear the reason and it seems to be a mixture of W2K and XP. It is a winner otherwise.

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Mastman and Jill, Why Use A Third Party Program?

Although I certainly understand personal preferences when it comes to computer matters, I'm not sure why you would want to install something else when there's already a similar program on the computer...On all current operating systems, there is already the "System Configuration Utility" (msconfig) which does EXACTLY the same thing. Even on Windows 2000, which doesn't have "msconfig", you can place a copy of WinXP's "msconfig.exe" in the System32 folder and it works fine. In fact, in my opinion, "msconfig" performs BETTER than the third party program you have mentioned. I've used the "Start Up Control Panel" by Mike Lin before and although it's not a "bad" program, I don't see that it adds anything to what's already on the computer.

Just to check the program again, I just downloaded it to this XP SP2 Pro machine and it was interesting that it listed each start up program by start up location, but DID NOT list those programs which had already been uncheck/turned off in "msconfig". The System Configuration shows all of the start up items in ONE TAB, while you have to check multiple tabs to find them all in the "Start Up Control Panel" program. It also doesn't list the "Win.ini", "Boot.ini", or the "Services" start up items like "msconfig".

Just curious why you think that this particular program is better than what's already there.


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MSconfig & CPL

Config doesn't just mark them, it actually moves them to another location so CPL won't list the ones config has marked disabled because they are simply not there. Obviously for this reason, when it comes to the reg settings it is better if you avoid the Startup tab in config. However when it comes to the Ini, Sys, & Bat files the average user should probably leave these alone w/out help, they could render their computer unbootable. Most of the things in CPL can be removed and your computer will at least still get to your desktop. On my system and all the ones I have worked on CPL does show a "Services" tab. It usually shows:Startup (user), HKLM / Run, HKCU / Run, Services, Run Once, & of coarse Deleted. That is one of the things I like about its interface is how it divides the different items organizing it so I can look and analyze just the ones in that section. In config it clumps all the startup reg items under one tab and you have no idea where it is kept, so good luck finding it in the registry. And unlike config where you right click the item and all you get is the usual useless ?What?s This?? button, I like the fact that you have some options, and can even edit the entry and brows the processes to see if the item is currently running. And of coarse by knowing its location you can go right to regedit and see all the details or change them if you wish. Now it is not necessarily a matter that it is better, it is a matter that it is safer and simpler for my clients and convenient for me. I still use config for the Ini files, and I edit the Config.sys & AutoExec.bat files myself because in reality there is more than one of each. However the average user not only doesn't know how to access config, but when given explicit instructions on how to do it, however simple, either cannot seem to figure it out or are afraid to try. CPL gives a control panel interface and a reference in the start menu and I always place a shortcut on the quick launch where you can quickly check for changes and brows the processes. I also usually set up the control panel right on the start menu as a menu itself, making the users feel more comfortable accessing the control panel items. I have found, when it comes to right clicking, or using the run command box, most average users are either at a loss or are afraid to try for fear of messing it all up. And several are right to feel that way.

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Thanks Jill, It's Appears Like You Primarily Use Older OS many of the things you mention are only available on older operating systems such as Window 98..."Autoexec.bat" isn't really an important file except in older versions of Windows.

I work with customers and users with all varieties of operating systems...MOre and more are using Windows XP..

It's clear what your preferences are but I would certainly suggest that you recheck some of your statements in regards to "msconfig" and "Start Up Control Panel" on Windows XP and Win2000 with "msconfig" installed. I could point out a few items but it's not really worth our time...Regardless, your opinion is certainly appreciated.

One of the first things I teach customers and new users is how to use the "System Configuration Utility"....Even BEFORE they learn how to install other programs...From the Tips thread in the "Newbies" forum:

How To Shut Down Unnecessary Start Up Programs

Not perfect... but it's certainly one of the many ways to shut down unnecessary start up programs.

Hope this helps and thanks for the information about the program.


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one simple answer

my man, have you no knowlege about google? just type in "" in the address bar, and then type in your program's name in there. It will display a list of results. have fun.

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