Startup problems and Msconfig

Msconfig allows you to configure startup parameters such as, disabling applications from starting and hence, can estimate if the startup time has improved or not as to identify problematic applications! This tool is specifically designed for troubleshooting and therefore, it allows you to undo any changes. In addition, it reminds you about the changes you have made upon the next restart as to reduce the likelihood of leaving your system into maintenance/troubleshooting mode.

The System configuration tool has the following features:

 A General tab that allows you to configure a normal, diagnostic, or selective startup

 A Boot tab that allows you to modify boot parameters
 A Services tab that allows you to disable automatic services
 A Startup tab that allows you to disable startup applications
 A Tools tab that allows you to invoke various windows tools


To use the System Configuration Tool (Msconfig) Type msconfig in the search text box of the Start menu.

General - Normal Startup loads all device drivers and services, Diagnostic Startup loads basic devices and drivers, while Selective Startup allows you to specify whether you want to load system services or startup items. For example, Checking Selective startup and disabling Load startup items will stop applications from automatically starting upon the next reboot



Boot - You can set the default operating system, configure Windows for Safe Boot or boot without GUI and set advanced parameters such as, maximum memory. In addition, you can set startup system settings and configure the BCD registry file. For example, you would like to verify how some applications behave under lower memory specs by adjusting the Maximum memory in the Advanced options.



Services - You can disable the startup settings for automatic services from this tab. When you are experiencing startup problems and suspect that one service may be the cause, you can change its startup state and diagnose the problem. However, remember to restart your computer after performing changes. You can repeat this process until you find the problematic service. Finally, to disable services permanently use the services console

Startup - Here you find a list of applications that start automatically. Since, most of the times problems start with faulty applications, you can easily troubleshoot such problems by disabling the suspected or last installed application as to not auto-start upon reboot! However, remember to uninstall the faulty application from the Add & Remove Programs console or its respective uninstall link. In addition, any changes made to non-faulty applications should be reverted back!

Tools - Provides links to other windows tools. I find this tab very useful when I am troubleshooting a faulty system that for some strange reason hides tools or the Windows main GUI is partially corrupted. From this tab, you can launch these tools, as you can do from the Task Manager Application’s new task button