Mysterious Startup Item

There is the tried and true ‘msconfig’, which is included in Windows and accessible via start > run, type msconfig. You might also want to try a better program than MSConfig. There is Autoruns, free from Microsoft (Microsoft recently acquired Sysinternals, so I’m not sure how much longer their software will be available. )

Simply disabling the entry won’t accomplish much if it is spyware or a virus, however. I recommend using Microsoft Defender , Ad-Aware, or AVG Anti-Spyware for a second opinion. If you are infected by spyware, disinfection is a time-consuming and difficult process. It’s often easier and more effective just to re-install Windows. The best way to disable a start-up item is to remove it from start-up via the settings within each program. I’ve seen those semi-anonymous startup items too and I don’t blame you for not trusting them—if it was reputable software, it should tell you what it is in the msconfig tab! And finding the location is a pain because Microsoft in their infinite wisdom has made it impossible to resize the msconfig window….argh!!! There is one trick you can use to try to figure out what that item’s full location is, though:

There is a line between “command and “location” at the top of the list of items. Click on the bar and drag it slightly to the left. That should expose another bar to the right of the Location option. Grab that bar, and while holding down the left mouse button to drag it, keep your mouse going to the right to open up a bunch of space for the Location tab. As you do this, a scroll bar will appear on the bottom of the window…keep moving that bar over until the scroll bar is a lot longer, to make sure you have the whole registry key exposed. Then, when you let go, you should be able to scroll over and see the whole location. It’s a kludge, but it works!



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