I'm not sure this question belongs on ServerFault, so feel free to close it if it doesn't.

I'm running Windows XP. A few weeks ago, my computer started to automatically open the C:\Program Files\Microsoft folder at startup. I thought it was a utility I had installed that caused it, so I uninstalled, but that didn't solve the problem

I searched on Google and found a similar question, and consequently I checked my scheduled tasks, and the startup menu, but didn't find anything that looked like it was opening that folder. I also took a look at the registry keys mentioned there' but I'm not an expert on registry, so nothing struck me as odd.

Has anyone run into such an issue? Or do you have any suggestions as to what else I can do?

  • When superuser.com goes into service, you should postt this kind of question over there. Read about the trilogy at blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/05/the-stack-overflow-trilogy Jun 29, 2009 at 13:01
  • Disagree Jeff .. knowing how to manage what is automatically run on a PC is quite important to admins. How many PC's on the networks you manage?
    – tomjedrz
    Jun 29, 2009 at 13:50
  • 1
    You have something in C:\Program Files either in a run key or your Startup folder without quotes around the full path.
    – mh
    Jun 29, 2009 at 20:09
  • mh, I think you're right. I'm sorry you couldn't write an answer. Thank you for your help!
    – Lea Cohen
    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:04

5 Answers 5


Launch msconfig from the run command, change to the startup tab and see if you have an entry for C:\Program Files\Microsoft in there?

  • Thank you! I ran msconfig, and although I didn't find an entry for C:\Program Files\Microsoft, I found one for C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2008 Power Tools. I removed the power toys, and that solved the problem. Thank you.
    – Lea Cohen
    Jun 30, 2009 at 7:00
  • Excellent - glad to hear you have sorted it :)
    – Kip
    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:14

I recommend you take a look at the SysInternals tool AutoRuns: it gives you a good overview over all of the processes and services that are started during the startup process.



Another place to look:


Check your startup folder - perhaps it got 'drag-and-dropped' into there by mistake.


To have a complete view of what is launched as statup, use:


alt text

You will then see what does actually launch that directory.


Look in this locations:


  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Hard drive

  • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
  • %Appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  • Thank you, but unfortunately I can't check if your answer helps me since I don't run Windows XP anymore...
    – Lea Cohen
    Sep 22, 2020 at 5:15

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