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Use MSCONFIG to speed up your PC

Use MSCONFIG for a faster boot-up

Computer tune upIts usually true that the more programs you have running on your computer, the more likely it is that your computer will either boot slowly, run slowly or even crash occasionally because of conflicts and badly designed software.

Every time you boot your PC a whole raft of 'hidden' programs load in the background. Some of these 'hidden' programs are essential for the smooth running of Windows and some for the ideal operation of a few programs like software firewall's, antivirus etc. But there are many more entries that are not essential and do not need to load when your computer is turned on.

Turning off some of these 'hidden' programs can significantly increase your computer's performance and reliability.

Although MSCONFIG (the System Configuration Utility) is designed to help you troubleshoot problems with your computer, it can also be used to ensure that your computer boots and runs a bit faster and crashes less.

To open this diagnostic program Click Start, click Run, type msconfig, and then click OK.

MSCONFIG The tabs at the top of MSCONFIG (the System Configuration Utility) are General - System.ini - Win.ini - Boot.ini - Services and Startup. Its this last tab that we are interested in because the Startup tab controls what programs start with Windows (the Windows XP version of MSCONFIG is shown).

When you click the Startup tag you will see a list of the programs that fire up when your computer is booted.

At the very left of the Startup tab listing is a name of what runs (the Startup Item). This is often the name of a program, just like the one that's listed in the Start Menu or Program Files folder of your computer. It may also be an executable file (.exe) that makes the program start up or even some vague reference like "run=".

In the middle is the command path of what is running at startup. This is the directory location of the file that will be running and will help you to identify Startup items that don't have clear names. Sometimes though the path isn't there - and that's not always a good sign.

On the right of the screen is the actual location in the Windows Registry, where a reference can be found for that particular Startup Item.

Some Notable Entries to Keep or Remove

Starting from the top of the list, uncheck all the Startup items that you know you don't need to run at startup - likely some of those with actual program names. Next for those Startup items that you are not sure about do a search for the file name using the QBS PC Help Google Search page. The search results may give you the clues you need to identify the suspicious program.


Scanreg, Systray and Task Monitor and any programs you want to start up like messenger, windows defender, your antivirus program and any software firewall you might have installed (note: not all PC's are configured the same and some or all of these programs may not appear on your PC).


Task Scheduler (something that few people actually use anyway), the second Load Power Profile listing if you use Power Management or both if you don't. Also check any suspicious entry as it could be a virus, spyware etc.

Once you have removed all the items from the list, click the Apply and OK button. It will ask to restart. Once you have rebooted you should notice a useful change in the speed of your system.

If anything that should be working doesn't, investigate the entries you removed and see if putting one or more of them back makes it work again.

If you found any virus, trojan, adware or spyware in your list now is the time to remove them. Now run your anti virus program and your adware/spyware removers to clean up any rogue entries.

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