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When I go to msconfig>startup, I have an unnamed file there with a blank in both the "Startup" and the "command" column. In the location it says, "HKLN\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Currentver... and I cannot see any more. How can I find out what this is and if it is safe to remove it?

EDIT: Thanks @RJFalconer, @Moab. The complete column info is: "HKLN\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\run.

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Anything in that list is "safe" to remove. Worst case, it was a driver for something that then stops working. – RJFalconer Sep 10 '10 at 20:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The HKLM hive has a few entries that run apps/services on startup:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run

Although they don't match your situation, there's also;

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Userinit
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify (runs on events, including logon)
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

Anything in that list is "safe" to remove. Worst case, it was a driver for something that then stops working or a "reboot to finish installation" that fails.

To edit entries, you'll need to use regedit:

Start, run
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Got it thanks. Upvoted your other comment. – Xavierjazz Sep 10 '10 at 21:39

At the command prompt enter:

wmic startup list full | more

Use the space key to scroll through the entries.

You can also use another program like CCleaner to view the startup services and programs. It may have a more flexible display.

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+1 for CCleaner where you can turn startup items off and on... – yhw42 Sep 10 '10 at 20:33
Thanks. Perhaps I don't understand: I went to "Run" and inserted your suggestion. The window came up and then disappeared with no result. I suspect I need to add that to the command prompt IN that window. How do I bring up that window? – Xavierjazz Sep 10 '10 at 20:33
Don't use run for that command - open a command prompt, THEN run that command. – Multiverse IT Sep 10 '10 at 20:41
To open a command prompt, type "cmd" in the "Run" dialog. – Velociraptors Sep 10 '10 at 20:55
Thanks all. When I enter @micheal's information, I simply get another command prompt. ?? – Xavierjazz Sep 10 '10 at 21:24

You can slide the column divider over to see the entire path. Hover your mouse over the line between the columns at the top and click and drag it over, never understood why MS did not fix the stupid fixed window size for msconfig in Vista or W7.

Or you can use this software to see everything set to auto run.


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+1 for linking to Sysinternal's Autoruns, which is what I use. It's a pity that you cannot use it to easily change the registry location for entries though, like you could with StartupCPL (which does not work properly on Vista and later). – paradroid Sep 10 '10 at 20:56
Thanks. +1 for column divider. Grateful. – Xavierjazz Sep 10 '10 at 21:13
SpybotSD (Advanced Mode) has a nice startup tool also. It will let you "delete" entries as well as… – Moab Sep 12 '10 at 19:44

Download Start-up Manager . I have been using it for past 10 months and I am very much satisfied. Enable or Disable Programs as necessary.

alt text

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Can this move entries from one registry hive to another, like StartupCPL could do in 2000/XP? – paradroid Sep 10 '10 at 20:58
What do you mean by another ? – subanki Sep 10 '10 at 21:09

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