This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 7.
You should review the video prior to proceeding with this document.
The Microsoft System Configuration (Msconfig) tool helps identify and resolve problems by temporarily preventing unneeded software from opening when Windows is started. The following topics will help you control the actions of the System Configuration Utility window.
Begin the process of identifying and removing software conflicts by starting the computer in Safe Mode. Safe Mode loads only the most basic devices and service that will allow your computer to function.
Locating Windows System Configuration Utility
It is helpful to view the Msconfig window while learning about the following tabs. To open Msconfig, click Start , type msconfig in the search field, then click msconfig.exe when it displays in the list.
Understanding the Windows System Configuration Utility
Use the General tab to select the types of software applications that should be opened when starting Windows:
- 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. Enter a Y to open the listed software application or enter an N if you do not want to open the software application.
- Selective startup . This setting prevents 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.
Use the Boot tab to set configuration options for the operating system and advanced debugging settings:
- Safe boot: Minimal. Boots to Windows Explorer in safe mode, running only critical system services. Networking is disabled.
- Safe boot: Alternate shell. Boots to the Windows Command Prompt in safe mode running only critical services. Networking and desktop are disabled.
- Safe boot: Active Directory repair. Boots to the Windows desktop in safe mode, running critical system services and Active Directory.
- Safe boot: Network. Boots to the Windows desktop in safe mode, running only critical system services. Networking is enabled.
- No GUI boot. Does not display the Windows desktop when booting.
- Boot log. Stores all information from the boot process in the file %SystemRoot*Ntbtlog.txt.
- Base video. Boots to the Windows desktop in minimal VGA mode. This loads standard VGA drivers, rather than those specific to the video hardware of the computer.
- OS Boot information. Shows driver names as they are loaded during the boot process.
- Make all boot settings permanent. When this option is selected, you cannot roll back your changes by selecting Normal Startup on the General tab; all options that you wish to change back will have to be altered manually.
Use the Services tab to view programs that start with Windows, or are run periodically by Windows.
Use the Startup tab to view software applications that open automatically after Windows opens. To disable an individual software application, remove the check mark next to the name and path.
Use the Tools tab to select and run diagnostic tools.
Enter Safe Mode using Msconfig
The following steps to prevent normal items, including anti-virus software and other important functions, from launching on Startup.
Use the following steps for troubleshooting purposes, and then reset the configuration for Normal Startup when the PC is operating properly.
- To open Msconfig, click Start , type msconfig in the search field, then click msconfig.exe when it displays in the list.
- On the General tab of the System Configuration window, select Diagnostic startup .
- On the Boot tab, select Safe boot and click OK .
- When prompted, click Restart to start the PC in the Safe Mode.If the PC does not restart automatically, press the power button to turn the power on.
- When the PC restarts and is operating in the Safe Mode, click Start , type msconfig in the search field, then press enter to open the System Configuration window.
- On the Tools tab of the System Configuration window, select the desired diagnostic tool, and click Launch .
Once you have finished troubleshooting an issue, repeat these steps, but select Normal Startup to allow the Windows startup programs and services to start.
Safe startup settings
For Windows 7, when doing diagnostics troubleshooting, do not disable the following startup items:
Disabling other startup items for troubleshooting
The following types of software applications may be disabled for troubleshooting, but should be enabled before setting Microsoft System Configuration (Msconfig) tool to Normal Startup.
- Anti-virus software - Disable to prevent 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.