This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop computers with Windows 98, Me, and XP.
Many software programs on a computer open automatically and are not seen while working in Windows. Some of these types of software are necessary and cannot be changed. Some should be opened only as needed. Others might not be needed at all. One thing that all these software programs have in common is that they take up processor time and space in memory. This document explains how to determine what software programs are not needed and prevent them from starting.
Step 1: Uninstalling programs that are not needed
Removing unwanted software programs prevents them from starting and gives the hard drive more space. Do the following to remove unwanted programs:
- In Windows XP, click Start , and then click Control Panel .In Windows 98 and Me, click Start , click Settings , and then click Control Panel .
- In Windows XP, click Add or Remove Programs .In Windows 98 or ME, double-click the Add or Remove Programs icon.
- Examine the items that display inside the Add or Remove Programs window closely. The items listed are programs installed on the computer.NOTE:If the HP Boot Optimizer is installed on your computer (HPBootOp), some installed software might not display in the Add or Remove Programs window. In this case, uninstalling the Boot Optimizer first ensures all installed software displays in the Add or Remove Programs window. When finished removing unwanted software, use the HP Application Recovery feature to reinstall the Boot Optimizer. For help using Application Recovery, see the following HP support document, Using Application Recovery (Windows 9x, Me, and XP) .
- Select the items in the list that you do not want, and click the Add/Remove (98/Me) or Change/Remove (XP) button.NOTE:Do not remove items in the list that you are unsure about. The table at the end of this document contains a list of common software programs to help you decide whether to remove an item or not.
- After all items have been removed, close all open windows, restart the computer, and continue to the next step.
Step 2: Preventing background programs from loading
The following sections provide different ways that software can be prevented from opening automatically when Windows opens.
Using Systray icons to prevent programs from starting
Each of the small icons on the system tray, next to the time, represents software that runs in the background. Hovering the mouse pointer over any of these icons reveals the software program name or function. You can increase system resources and prevent possible conflicts by reducing the number of these programs that open with Windows.
Sometimes a software program provides a feature that prevents itself from opening with Windows. To see if a program has such a feature, do the following:
- Double-click or right-click an icon in the tray bring up more options.
- Look for options or selections in menus that prevent the software program from starting. Select Open , Options , or Preferences and look for anything related to starting up. If you find a setting that enables the program to start automatically when Windows starts, disable it. If the feature is not available, use the next section and the table at the bottom of this page to prevent the software program from loading.
Remove icons from the Startup folder
Some programs open with a shortcut icon in the startup folder (Startup icons). Use the following steps to show any startup icons that might be hidden and remove startup icons from the startup folder:
NOTE:Removing items from the Startup folder does not uninstall the software program.
- Right-click the Start button, and click Explore . The Windows Explorer window displays with Start Menu already selected.
- Click the plus sign (+ ) next to Programs .
- Click Startup . The shortcut icons are listed in the right pane of the window.
- To show any hidden icons, click Tools , click Folder Options , and click the View tab.Click Show hidden files and folders (Windows XP/ME) or Show all files (Windows 98), and click OK .
- Click an unwanted startup item in the right pane of the window and drag it to a blank area on the Windows desktop. Release the mouse button to drop the icon onto the desktop.
- Continue dragging unwanted icons until all unwanted startup icons are on the desktop. Click Yes to any window that display asking to confirm the removal of a read-only file.
- Close Windows Explorer and restart the computer for the changes to take effect. Delete the startup icons that were moved to the desktop after you are satisfied with the way the software programs are working.If you find that a particular software program should not have been removed from the Startup folder, double-click the startup menu item to open the Startup window. Then drag the icon from the desktop back into the Startup window.
Using System Configuration to prevent software programs from starting (Windows Me & XP)
Some software programs do not place a small icon in the System tray while running. Perform the following steps as an alternative way to prevent software programs from starting when Windows opens.
NOTE:If the HP Boot Optimizer is installed on your computer (HPBootOp), some applications might not display in the System Configuration Utility . In this case, use the steps listed in Step 1: Uninstalling programs that are not needed , to uninstall the HP Boot Optimizer, then continue with the following steps. To reinstall the Boot Optimizer, use the HP Application Recovery feature. For help using Application Recovery, see the following HP support document, Using the Preinstalled HP Application Recovery .
CAUTION: Disable only items that are known and unwanted. Disabling programs that a device needs might prevent the device from functioning, for example, no sound, losing higher colors and graphics modes, and system errors when trying to run programs.
- Click Start , and then click Run .
- In the Open field, type: MSConfig
- Click OK .The System Configuration Utility window displays.
- Click the General tab and select Selective Startup .
- Click the Startup tab and remove the checks from any unwanted startup items.If you are unsure about a startup item, write the name down and research it on the Internet or consult the table at the end of this document . Never remove a checkmark if you do not know what the task does.
- Click OK to accept the changes, and then restart the computer.
- Windows is now running using Selective Startup, which means that the tasks selected in the previous steps do not load when Windows restarts.
- For future reference, if you want the tasks to start with Windows again, select the Normal option on the General tab of the System Configuration Utility.CAUTION: If Windows or other important software stops working after removing a checkmark, start Windows in Safe Mode and replace the checkmark. To start Windows in Safe Mode, turn the computer on, press F8 repeatedly when the logo screen displays, and select Safe Mode.
Reference: Software that starts automatically and their meanings
The software programs in the following table are some of the most common software programs that open with Windows on HP and Compaq desktop computers. It does not list every possible software program that can be loaded onto the computer. If a software program is not on this list, write the name down and research it on the Internet using an Internet search site.
CAUTION:Often, a name listed below might also be the name of the virus or Trojan. Many virus and Trojans copy a system file name so that unsuspecting people delete a system file and Windows cannot open. Use virus scanning and removal software to find and remove viruses and Trojans, do not rely on this list to determine if a file is a virus or Trojan.
|Startup Program||What the program does|
|Adgjdet||SoundBlaster software program for auto detecting headphones. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Aim||America On Line Instant Messenger. Prevent from starting only if it is not used regularly. It can be opened normally through the Programs menu.|
|Alcxmntr||RealTek Monitor for AC97 audio (usually on-board). To avoid sound issues, do not prevent from starting.|
|Alg||Windows XP program called Application Layer Gateway. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Aoltray||This is the small AOL icon next to the time. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|AlwaysReady Power Message broadcast program. Do not prevent from starting.|
|A software tool used during the first power cycles of the computer to help set up software. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Ati*||Items that start with ATI are associated with an ATI video card. To avoid video issues, do not prevent from starting.|
|Allows the computer to automatically receive notifications from HP over the Internet. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Bagent||Quicken financial monitor. If you do not use Quicken or do not want to automatically download your latest stock quotes, turn this off through the Quicken software by editing Preferences. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|All these software programs are related to the Norton Antivirus software. Disabling virus-scanning software is not recommended except for computers that are isolated from any software input including the Internet, networks, floppy disks, memory cards, and CDs. Disable these startup files through Norton's program options or uninstall through Add or Remove Programs.|
|CDTray||This is the small CD icon next to the time. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|CLI||Command Line Interface. For HP and Compaq computers with ATI video cards. Related to the ATI system tray icon.|
|Createcd||This is the small CD icon next to the time. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Csrss||Microsoft Client/Server Runtime Server Subsystem. Part of Windows. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Ctfmon||CTF monitor. Used by Microsoft Office for alternative input devices. Remains open even if Office is not open.|
|Defwatch||Part of Symantec Antivirus to watch for more recent virus definition updates.|
|Delay or |
|This software program helps prevent conflicts or timing issues. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Dla||A direct access component for CD-RWs. Do not prevent from starting.|
|DlaTray||Tray icon for the CDRW. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Dllhost||DCOM DLL host process. Used to open and host other processes such as the .NET framework. Do not prevent from starting. If it appears that this process is causing problems (like 100% CPU usage), it is more likely caused by a software conflict in one of the other software applications using dllhost.|
Eh* <starts with eh>
|These software programs are all related to Media Center. This software is integrated into Windows XP. Ehshell is the main Media Center software. The other programs support tasks for Ehshell, such as recording and scheduling to download the guide. If any of these tasks are stopped, Media Center software could stop functioning or show strange behavior. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Gamechannel||WildTangent updater for Gamechannel games. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Hidserv||Human Interface Device Server. Used by USB multimedia keyboards. Safe to prevent from starting if the volume knob and the system standby controls are not used on the USB keyboard.|
|Hkcmd||Related to Intel Graphics, usually i810 or i815. This program monitors whether the Ctr + Alt + F12 keys are pressed to bring up Intel graphics options. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|HPBootOp||The HP Boot Optimizer intelligently and dynamically launches software during startup, based on available resources, to improve startup performance.|
|HP Center||Allows the computer to automatically receive notifications from HP over the Internet. Works along with BackWeb. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|HP_DLA||Tray icon for the CD-RW drive. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Tasks for HP Share-to-Web software. Safe to prevent from starting if you do not use the HP digital imaging software.|
|HP Info Express||Allows the computer to automatically receive notifications from HP over the Internet. Associated with BackWeb. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Hpqcmon||HP camera monitoring program for HP Digital Imaging software. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|HP RecordNow||Software for the CD writer. Do not prevent from starting unless the CD writer is never going to be used.|
|HP ScanPatch||This is a small program that starts up and automatically fixes earlier versions of the Scanjet 5100c software. If a Scanjet 5100C scanner is not in use, it is safe prevent it from starting.|
|HP Updates||Allows the computer to automatically receive notifications from HP over the Internet. Associated with BackWeb. Safe to prevent from starting through options in HP Updates software, but can be helpful in maintaining the latest software and drivers for your HP or Compaq computer.|
|HPLogifinder||Software for the center mouse button on Logitech mouse devices. Safe to prevent from starting if the center mouse button is never going to be used.|
|Hpsysdrv||Keeps track of system recovery information. Can be used by HP support to help troubleshoot recovery issues. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Hpwu*||Software tasks that start with hpwu are associated with HP Software Updates. HP Software Updates allows the computer to automatically receive software update notifications from HP over the Internet. Safe to prevent from starting through options in HP Software Updates, but can be helpful in maintaining the latest software and drivers for your HP or Compaq computer.|
|iPod||Related to iPod music players. Do not prevent from starting if you use or plan to use an iPod.|
|KBD or |
|Multimedia keyboard manager. This program makes the one-touch keyboard buttons functional. Disable through the Keyboard icon inside Control Panel . Doing this makes the one-touch keys useless, but the normal keys work.|
|Igfxtray||Related to Intel Graphics, usually i810. Do not prevent from starting.|
|InstallDriver Table Manager||Related to iPod services. Do not prevent from starting if you use or plan to use an iPod.|
|Jusched||Sun Java Update Scheduler. Internet monitor to find and update the Java software package.|
|Lsass||Part of Windows XP. Stands for LSA Shell. Some viruses call themselves lsass to cloak themselves. If you see lsass in the startup items of the MS configuration tool, prevent it from starting.|
|LT Daemon||Program associated with DSL modems. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Lightscribe*||Software used to compliment the LightScribe disc label burning process. If you want to use LightScribe labeling, do not prevent from starting.|
|Lsburnwatcher||Helps one create labels after a music CD is burned using LightScribe discs. If you want to use LightScribe labeling, do not prevent from starting.|
|Lssrvc||LightScribe service for LightScribe driver. If you want to use LightScribe labeling, do not prevent from starting.|
|Mcrdsvc||Media Center remote device service mainly used for Media center extenders.|
Machine Debug Manager
|Microsoft Window process debugger. Might provide helpful information if a problem occurs.|
|Mgavrtcl||This is the McAfee tray icon. Remove this using the options inside McAfee.|
|Microsoft Works Portfolio||This opens Microsoft Works Portfolio when Windows starts. Prevent this software program from starting by using the settings in Portfolio.|
|MMTray||This installs the small Music Match tray icon next to the Start button.|
|Msg32 and Msgloop||Audio files supporting the Audio card (Crystal audio). Sound might be affected if removed.|
|Msmsgs||Microsoft Windows Messenger (XP). If this is not used, prevent it from starting through the options inside the Messenger program.|
|Files that start with NAV or NV are probably associated with Norton Antivirus. Disabling virus-scanning software is not recommended except for computers that are isolated from any software input, including the Internet, network, floppy disks, memory cards, and CDs. Disable these startup files through Norton's program options or uninstall through Add or Remove Programs.|
|nVidia driver helper services for nVidia graphics cards. To avoid video issues, do not prevent from starting.|
|Nwiz||nVidia wizard for changing setting in your nVidia graphics card advanced display properties. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Opxpapp||Omnipass software that makes passwords easier to use. If you do not want this software, remove it using Add or Remove Programs.|
|Ose||Office Source Engine. Used by Microsoft Office while setting up installation files. Do not prevent from starting. Uninstall the Office software after the computer has been restarted if you do not want the Office product.|
|Osd||This stands for On-Screen Display and is used with the multimedia keyboard manager. Turn the volume knob on a Multimedia keyboard and a volume bar displays on the monitor. Safe to prevent from starting if not used.|
|These files are associated with the Windows and HP help system. HP recommends that it not be prevented from starting.|
|PS2||Multimedia Keyboard companion. If this is prevented from starting, some of the keyboard functions are lost.|
|Realsched||Internet utility that checks for Real Networks software product (RealPlayer) updates.|
|Recguard||Associated with the HP Recovery program. HP recommends that it not be prevented from starting.|
|Software programs that start with Rem are usually registration reminder programs that open the registration of a product after a certain time. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Rthdcpl||RealTek High Definition Audio Control Panel (System tray icon).|
|Rtvscan||Symantec real-time virus scan. Background task that monitors and scans files as they are loaded. Essential for good virus protection.|
|Rundll and Rundll32||This is an essential Windows file that many software programs use. Do not prevent from starting. Performance and software compatibility usually get worse if these files are removed.|
|Savroam||Symantec Antivirus Roaming Utility. Part of Symantec Internet Security. Disabling virus-scanning software is not recommended except for computers that are isolated from any software input including the Internet, network, floppy disks, memory cards, and CDs. Disable these startup files through Norton's program options or uninstall through Add or Remove Programs.|
|ScanRegistry or |
|This is a valuable Windows function that scans and fixes the Windows Registry when Windows starts. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Secureapp||Part of the Omnipass software. If you do not want Omnipass, uninstall it using Add or Remove Programs.|
|Smss||Session Manager Subsystem. Part of Windows. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Spamsubtract.exe||SpamSubtract software. Software for preventing unwanted advertising and pop-ups when browsing the Internet. If this program is not wanted, remove it through Add or Remove Programs. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Spool*||Items that start with spool are probably associated with the Windows spooling service. Do not prevent from starting, especially if a printer is attached.|
|Ssdpsrv||Used by Universal Plug and Play (for network device discovery). To remove this program, open Add/Remove Programs , select either Communications (Me) or Networking Services (XP), and remove the checkmark next to Universal Plug and Play .|
|*StateMgr||Works with the System Restore and System File Protection features. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Stimon||Still Image Monitor. Do not remove unless visual programs and products such as digital cameras or scanners are never used.|
|Svchost||This is the generic host process that other Win32 programs use to run as a system service.|
|Symantec||On HP and Compaq computers, services that start with Symantec are related to antivirus and firewall software. Not recommended to disable. If you still want to disable, it is best to do so in the options and properties of Norton Antivirus, Firewall, or Security software programs.|
|Systray||This is the system tray that contains the time and small icons at the bottom of the Windows Desktop. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Taskbar Display Controls||This is the small monitor icon next to the time in the system tray. Disable through the advanced options of display properties.|
|Taskmgr||Task Manager. Displays the tasks that are running in the background. Does not start with Windows. This is the program that opens you press Ctr + Alt +Del.|
|Updates from HP||Allows the computer to automatically receive notifications from HP over the Internet. Works along with BackWeb. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|USBMMKBD||This program makes one-touch multimedia keys functional on a USB keyboard. Disable through the Keyboard icon inside Control Panel . Doing this makes the one-touch keys useless, but the normal keys still work.|
|Vptray||System tray icon for Norton Antivirus.|
|VS***||Items that begin with the letters VS are usually associated with the McAfee virus products. Disabling virus-scanning software is not recommended except for computers that are isolated from software input including the Internet, network, floppy disks, and CDs. Disable these startup files through McAfee's program options.|
|Wcmdmgrl||WildTangent updater and starter for Gamechannel games. Safe to prevent from starting. It is best to remove the individual games using Add or Remove Programs, and then removing the WildTangent Gamechannel, Updater, and the Web driver.|
|Weather.exe||Weatherbug software. If this program is unwanted, remove it by uninstalling through Add and Remove Programs. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|WebScanx||McAfee file for scanning Internet content. Disable through the McAfee software and only if the Internet is never used.|
|Wildwire Monitor||Systems tray icon for the Wildwire modem that displays the current status of the modem. Do not prevent from starting unless a connection to a network or the Internet is not used.|
|Winlogon||Essential Windows process for managing accounts.|
|Wkdetect||Detects available updates for Microsoft Works when on the Internet. Remove if Works is not used.|
|Wmiprvse||Microsoft Windows Management Instrumentation to manage Windows processes. Do not prevent from starting.|
|Works Calendar Reminder||This displays reminders from the Microsoft Works Calendar. If this function is not used, disable it through the options inside Microsoft Works.|
|WorksFUD||Microsoft Works Marketing Feature. Safe to prevent from starting.|
|Wuauclt||Windows Update Client. Internet monitor that notifies you when a Windows Update is available. If you want to get Windows Updates manually, prevent this task from loading on the Automatic Updates tab in System Properties.|
For information about preventing programs from opening when Windows starts, see the following:
Microsoft support article - How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP (in English)
HP support document - Using Microsoft System Configuration
Uniblue's Process Library Web site - ProcessLibrary.com (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.