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Using Microsoft System Configuration (Windows Vista)

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq Desktop PCs with Windows Vista.
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:Use the following steps to prevent all startup items from opening, including antivirus software and other software that provides important functions. Follow these steps for troubleshooting purposes only.
  1. Click Start .
  2. In the Start Search field, type msconfig, and press Enter.
    The System Configuration window opens.
  3. In the General tab view, select Selective Startup, and remove the checkmark next to Load startup items.
  4. Click the Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft services, and click the Disable all button.
  5. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
    After the computer restarts, a message appears confirming some startup programs have been blocked from opening.

System Configuration tab views

You can also select a tab within the system configuration software to prevent individual software items from opening with Windows. The following describes the tab views and their contents in the System Configuration window.

General

Use the General tab to prevent specific software applications from opening with Windows. The following selections are on the General tab:
  • Normal startup instructs Windows to open all software applications that are normally scheduled to start with Windows
    .
  • Diagnostic startup starts Windows with basic services and drivers only. With this mode, you can determine if a basic Window file is the problem.
  • Selective startup allows you to choose which programs and services you want to open, and which you want to keep from opening at startup tab.
    Figure 1: General Tab

Boot

This tab shows configuration options listed inside the system information file. Some options in the Boot tab follow.
  • Safe boot: Minimal - Disables networking. Boots to the Windows user interface (Explorer) in safe mode, running critical system services only.
  • Safe boot: Alternate shell - Disables networking. Boots to the command prompt in safe mode, running critical system services only.
  • Safe boot: Active Directory repair - Like a minimal safe boot but with Active Directory enabled.
  • Safe boot: Network - Like a minimal safe boot, except the network is enabled.
  • No GUI boot - The Windows splash screen is disabled when booting
  • Boot log - Stores all information from the boot process in a file.
  • Base video - Boots to Windows user interface in minimal VGA mode.
  • OS boot information - Shows each driver name as each driver is loaded during the boot process.
  • Make all settings permanent - Changes made in System Configuration are not tracked. If you want to make changes later, it will have to be done manually. Selecting Normal startup in the General tab will not work if this feature is selected.
  • Timeout field - Using Msconfig can cause the operating system selection screen to display for three seconds; as a result, three seconds is added to the overall startup time. To prevent the operating selection screen from appearing for three seconds on startup, change the timeout line in the Timeout field to zero.
    Figure 2: Boot tab

Services

The Services tab lists the programs that start when Windows Vista starts, or are run periodically by Windows. Enable or disable programs from starting by checking or disabling the checkbox next to the program name.
Figure 3: Services tab

Startup

This tab lists software applications that open automatically after Windows opens. It also shows their current status (Running or Stopped). Disable individual software applications by removing the checkmark next to the name and path.
Do not disable the following startup items except for diagnostic purposes only:
NOTE:This list is not comprehensive. For a more thorough list of software tasks, refer to HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Preventing Programs from Opening When Windows Starts .
  • HD Audio Control Panel
  • HP KBD EXE
  • hp digital imagine - hp all-in-one series
  • HPRun
  • hpsysdrv
  • HP Total Care Advisor
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System
  • NVIDIA products
  • Symantec Technologies products
  • Windows Defender
Figure 4: Startup tab
The following is a list of the types of software applications that open from the Startup 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).

Tools

This view gives a list of diagnostic and other advanced tools you can run to improve computer performance. To run a tool, select the tool from the list and click the Launch button.
Figure 5: Tools tab
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