Monday, July 17, 2006

Tinkering with Registry to Control your Startup Apps

1 of the reasons why a PC startup is slow is because of the many unwanted/unused applications which are scheduled to load upon windows startup. Applications like MSN messenger, Winzip, Winamp agent, AcroTray, Power DVD Remote Control Application, and some others.

However, if you do not have an antivirus or antispyware applications, there may be some other background running programs which may be scheduled to load upon windows loadup thus causing the system to slow down or a virus to start infecting files.

To find out what programs/applications are scheduled to start up with windows, simply go Start > Run and type "msconfig".
Click the Startup tab and you'll be presented with all the executables (EXE) of the program being loaded at startup.

Before thinking that each of them is a virus/spyware/worm, simply goto Yahoo or Google and search for that EXE file for information. Use several sources before believing it. Some sites may say that the file is a virus and some may say its a harmless file.

So now the question is, how do we remove those applications from being started up with windows? And if I turn it off, will that program still work?

I'll answer the second one first, if the Executable file is either some Antivirus or Antispyware application, then it is best not to turn it off, If its some unknown file, identify it with google/yahoo and then decide if you want to have it loadup with windows.

As for removing those files, for applications which has a taskbar icon, most of it can be disabled by opening the program related and turn off, startup with windows in one of the options/preference page

For other applications which runs in the background and you think could be slowing the system down, goto Start > Run and type "regedit".

The location of those startup files will be
HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run (Most startup files will be here)

Find the appropriate executable which you do not want and simply delete the registry entry. For safety measures, always backup the keys you're about to delete by selecting the ones you want to delete and click File > Export

Save the registry file somewhere and then proceed with the deletion of those entries.

You can open Msconfig again and under Startup, those executables will not be there anymore. Restart the computer and you'll notice that those programs will not load anymore.

If there are problems with the windows startup after this registry tinkering, head to Safe Mode and reload the registry entries back and restart the computer.

If your computer is affected by viruses, the virus will msot probably plant an entry in the registry to loadup with windows on the next restart. Therefore, you could actually goto the registry, delete those entries, delete the EXE files from the location listed on the registry editor. By doing this, sometimes all you need is to access windows and to backup the files you need before formatting or do some important assignment but is blocked out by viruses/spywares. This method will most of the time solve it temporarily till you locate the virus/spyware with the appropriate program and erase it permanently.


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