What is MSCONFIG? MSCONFIG
is a special tool built into the Windows operating
system (not included with Windows 95 and 2000
- although you can download
) called “Microsoft System Configuration
Utility” or “MSCONFIG”. MSCONFIG is designed to
help you troubleshoot problems with your computer
such it being slow, frequent crashes, as well
as to remove spyware
As you may already know, running many programs
at once will cause your computer performance to
slow down. Don't forget, Windows also runs many
programs in the background that you never see,
you can use MSCONFIG to prevent some of programs
from loading at startup which can greatly increase
the speed at which your computer runs. This is
a great tool for removing spyware, trojan horse
viruses, adware and other malware.
How Can I Access MSCONFIG To Remove Viruses
To start MSCONFIG:
, then click Run
” or "msconfig
(without the quotes), in the window that opens.
Once MSCONFIG opens you will see 6 to 8 tabs (depending
on which operating system you are using) which
provide access to various parts and processes
that Windows uses. The tab you are interested
in is on the far right, it s called “Startup”.
It controls which processes start automatically
when Windows loads.
If this is the first time you are running MSCONFIG
you may notice that the list of start up items
is quite long. You will see four columns: the
first is a column of check boxes, the second is
the name of start up item, the third is where
the item is located on the hard drive and the
fourth is the registry location.
How Do I use MSCONFIG?
To remove an item from the start up menu remove
the check mark from the corisponding check box.
To instruct a process to run on start up put a
check mark in the box.
By now you might be asking, "Which processes are
safe to remove?" This is where it gets tricky.
An easy way to determine whether a startup item
is needed or not you can download Autoruns
Autoruns lists every program that will start when
Windows loads. It allows you to quickly delete
the link to the program. Many autostart entries
are crucial part of Windows XP, for example: Userinit.exe
and Explorer.exe, so don't remove these. I recommend
entering the process name in the text entry box
, which tells you if you can safely
remove the item from the start up menu.
Command or Data
Do I Need It?
Yes - this is a Windows
No! this is added by
the SOBER-S worm!
No! added by the AEBOT.K
No - From HP and related
to digital imaging - but still
After you have finished selecting or de-selecting
which processes you want to load on startup click
and then Close
. The next window
that pops up will ask you if you would like to
or Exit Without Restart
If you choose Restart
the computer will
reboot using the startup menu you specified. Then
you will see the System Configuration Utility
window open. It will tell you that you have switched
off some programs that load at startup, if your
happy with you changes you can click the checkbox
to not show the message again. If Exit Without
is selected the change made will not
take affect until the computer is rebooted (restarted).
Upon reboot you will get a visit from the System
Configuration Utility window as mentioned previously.
MSCONFIG can be very helpful in removing spyware/adware
and viruses. MSCONFIG will run in safe
. Therefore, if you have found that the
has not successfully removed the
malicious software from your PC, you can boot
into safe mode
, take a look at the startup
menu and remove any processes that do not belong
There are other areas of MSCONFIG which go beyond
the scope of this artice. A search on Microsoft.com
should bring you to the information you need.