This document applies to Windows XP, Me, 98, and 95.
The Microsoft System Configuration (Msconfig) tool is a Microsoft software application used to prevent other software from opening with Windows. This document explains how to use Msconfig to resolve problems with the computer.
Using Msconfig to troubleshoot software issues
Msconfig helps Windows control software that automatically loads while Windows is starting. For troubleshooting purposes, use the following steps to prevent all software programs from automatically opening when Windows starts:
CAUTION:The following steps are used to prevent all startup items from opening, including antivirus software and other software that may provide important functions. Only use these steps for troubleshooting purposes.
NOTE:If the HP Boot Optimizer is installed on your PC (HPBootOp), some applications may not appear in the Msconfig application. In this case, uninstall the Boot Optimizer utility before using the following steps.Go to HP Boot Optimizer Uninstall Steps
NOTE:Using Msconfig can cause the operating system selection screen to display for three seconds; as a result, three seconds add to the overall startup time. The default setting for HP and Compaq desktop PCs with Windows XP is to not show the startup screen. To prevent the operating selection screen from appearing for three seconds on startup, edit the timeout line in boot.ini and change it to zero.
- Click Start , and then click Run .
- Type the following into the Open field: Msconfig
- Click OK .
- In the System Configuration Utility window do one of the following:
- If you are using Windows 98 and Me, select Selective Startup on the General tab, and remove the checkmark next to Load startup group items .
NOTE:Many software drivers and antivirus software depend on Config.sys and Autoexec.bat in order to work. If you experience problems after completing these steps, perform the steps again replacing the checkmarks next to Config.sys and Autoexec.bat.
- If you are using Windows 95, remove the checkmarks next to Config.sys and Autoexec.bat .
- If you are using Windows 98 and Me, click the WIN.INI tab, click the plus sign (+ ) next to the windows folder, and remove the checkmarks next to load= and run= .
- If you are using Windows XP, remove the checkmark next to Load Startup Items , click the Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft services , and remove the checkmarks next to all the items in the list.
- When finished, click OK .
- Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.After the computer restarts, a message about using Msconfig appears (Windows Me and XP only).
- To continue using Msconfig, click OK and then close the System Configuration window (do not restart the computer). To prevent the pop-up message from appearing again, place a checkmark next to Don't show this message again , and then click OK .NOTE:Once you have finished troubleshooting an issue, repeat these steps again, replacing the checkmarks, to allow startup programs and service to start with Windows again.
Explanation of the System Configuration tabs
You can also choose to select a tab within the configuration software to prevent individual software items from opening with Windows. The following list describes the tabs and the items listed inside the tabs in the System Configuration Utility window.
NOTE:If the HP Boot Optimizer is installed on your PC, some software may not appear in the Msconfig application. In this case you may want to uninstall the Boot Optimizer utility before continuing.Go to HP Boot Optimizer Uninstall Steps
Use the General tab to prevent entire types of software applications from opening with Windows. The following selections are on the General tab:
- Normal startup . This setting instructs Windows to open all software applications that are normally scheduled to start with Windows
- Diagnostic startup . This setting provides a command when Windows opens. Each software application scheduled to start with Windows is displayed, one at a time. Type a Y to open the listed software application or type an N to prevent the listed software application from opening.
- Selective startup . Use this setting to prevent software applications of a certain type from starting. Once a specific software application type under Selective startup is selected, then all software applications of that type will open with Windows. For example, select Load startup items to open all items listed on the Startup tab.
Config.sys (Windows 98 only)
This tab represents items listed inside the system configuration file. The system configuration file is responsible for opening software applications that set up and communicate with hardware components.
Autoexec.bat (Windows 98 only)
This tab represents items listed inside the automatically-executed batch file (autoexec). The autoexec file is responsible for opening DOS software applications before Windows opens. Most of the items inside the autoexec file are safe to prevent from opening with windows.
This tab represents items listed inside the system information file. The system.ini file is responsible for providing Windows with the following information:
- [Boot] - Provides windows with a list of files that opens when Windows opens. Most files are needed for Windows to operate correctly, such as the power driver, Windows sound driver, and Windows mouse driver. Do not remove the check mark next to any item that contains a Windows flag icon next to the listing.
- description] - The names and settings of items, usually hardware, that are used by Windows. These settings should not be changed.
- [386Enh] - Describes the file types that Windows will use for certain functions. Do not remove the check mark next to any item that contains a Windows flag icon next to the listing. Some software applications create a device= listing that causes communication problems with printers, external storage devices, scanners, and cameras.
- [drivers] and [drivers32] - Provides Windows the files for audio and video formats. Do not remove the check mark next to any item that contains a Windows flag icon next to the listing.
- The other items in this list set up the system environment.
This tab represents items listed inside the Windows information file. The win.ini file is responsible for providing Windows with the following information:
- [Windows] - Software applications listed after load= or run= will automatically open with Windows. Remove the check mark to prevent the listed items from opening.
- [Desktop] - Contains settings for the Windows Desktop. Do not disable Desktop. Instead, set the Windows Desktop theme to None from Display Settings.
- [Compatibility] - Contains settings used by Windows to make certain software applications compatible with Windows. Do not disable.
- Other items are settings set up the Windows environment.
Boot.ini (Windows XP)
This tab displays the boot.ini file used to boot Windows. Changes to how Windows starts can be made here.
Services (Windows XP)
The Services tab lists the programs that start with Windows, or are run periodically by Windows.
This tab represents software applications that open automatically after Windows opens. Disable individual software applications by removing the check mark next to the name and path.
For Windows XP, do not disable the following startup items:
NOTE:This list is not comprehensive. For a more thorough list of software tasks, refer to Preventing Programs from Opening When Windows Starts .
- hpcmpmgr.exe. If an HP peripheral product, such as a Photosmart, Deskjet, All-In-One, or other device is connected to the computer, do not disable the program hpcmpmgr.exe. If you are experiencing an error condition with hpcmpmgr.exe, the program may have become corrupted, or be in conflict with another system component. To resolve this issue, search the HP support site for hpcmpmgrFix.exe to find a downloadable solution.NOTE:hpcmpmgr.exe is used with HP Software Update to keep your HP peripherals current with the latest software and drivers. hpcmpmgr.exe is not spyware.
For Windows 98 and Me, do not disable the following startup items:
- *statemgr (Me only)
- hidserv (Me only)
- Keyboard manager
- Primax3d Mouse.
- SystemTray or SysTray
- Taskbar Display Controls
- Vshwin32.exe (98 only)
If a scanner is connected to the computer, do not disable HPScanpatch and HPLamp .
The following is a list of the types of software applications that open from the Start tab:
- Anti-virus software - Disable Anti-virus software only when troubleshooting.
- Keyboard managers - Disable to prevent the extended multimedia keys and volume control knob from working.
- Systems tray icons - Disable to prevent a software application tray icon from displaying on the systems tray (next to the time).
Environment (Windows Me)
This tab contains the same information in both the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys tabs.
VxD (Virtual Extended Device Driver) files are software applications that load with Windows and are extensions of basic Windows functions. Other software applications and Windows functions may require these files. Disable Static VxD only for troubleshooting.
This tab is used to check and change the current language settings. Do not use the International tab. Use International Options from Control Panel instead.
Uninstalling the HP Boot Optimizer
If your PC uses the HP Boot Optimizer, some software may not appear in the Msconfig utility. If you need to troubleshoot from the Msconfig application, and do not see the desired software listed in Msconfig, uninstall the Boot Optimizer utility. Use the following steps to uninstall the Boot Optimizer:
- Click Start and click Control Panel (in Classic View Click Start , select Settings , and then click Control Panel ).
- Click Add and Remove Programs (in Classic View double-click the Add and Remove Programs icon).
- Locate the HP Boot Optimizer program in the Add and Remove Programs window.
- Click HP Boot Optimizer and click Change/Remove .
- Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the Boot Optimizer uninstall.
- NOTE:If, after uninstalling, software tasks are still missing in Msconfig, reinstall HP Boot Optimizer as described in the next section, and then uninstall it again to display the missing software applications.
- When troubleshooting is complete, reinstall the HP Boot Optimizer.
Reinstall the HP Boot Optimizer
When software troubleshooting is complete, you can reinstall the Boot Optimizer with the built-in HP Application Recovery software. To start this software, click Start , All Programs , HP Tools , Compaq Tools , or PC Help and Tools , and Application Recovery .
Error: Access Denied
'The following error occurs when attempting to change a service: An access denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using an Administrator account to make the specified changes.
First, if you are logged into an account that does not have administrative privileges, then you must log in as administrator before you can make changes to the state of services. To verify that you are logged in with administrative rights, click Start , Run , and enter nusrmgr.cpl into the open field. Verify that the account you are using has Administrative rights.
If you are logged into an administrative account and this error still occurs, software may be preventing you from stopping the service. Some software, such as printer software, can prevent a service from being stopped. As an alternative, do not prevent these services from starting. If the service must be stopped, uninstall the software that is preventing the service from starting.
For information about Microsoft System Configuration (Msconfig) refer to
Microsoft article 310353: How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP (in English).
NOTE:One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside the HP Web site.