How many StartUp groups with Plus! ?

I was recently trying to help a distant friend over the telephone.  Evidently he downloaded a program (EXE) to his StartUp group (yes, this was dumb...but he didn't ask my opinion beforehand) or he created a shortcut to the download in his Startup group.  As you can guess, everytime he boots his PC, this EXE (an installation wizard) launches.

I was able to (over the phone) find the EXE that was being launched (it was in his C:\ root), however, now when he boots his PC, an error message appears after the animated flashlight scans for the missing file.   The error basically says, "The file that this shortcut is pointed to cannot be found".   So obviously we have a (broken) shortcut in his Startup group.

Thinking that this would be simple, I told him to open My Computer and go to c:\windows\start menu\startup

He found 4 files there, but none of them were the culprits.

I then had him search his hard disk for the word "StartUp".  This turned up MANY files/folders.  When I asked him to read off what he found, many of the found items were like:

Startup Underwater
Startup Safari
Startup StarWars

I asked him if he had Microsoft Plus! themes installed on his PC.  He answered 'yes'.

At this point it becomes muddled.  Since I do not use "themes", I'm lost in helping him.

Can someone explain whether there is some Microsoft trickery going on that allows multiple StartUp groups to exist based upon a desktop theme?   If so, how does one get to the proper StartUp group so that we can get rid of this annoying broken shortcut?
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PasciConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Can you try doing an advanced find for all shortcuts, since you know the name of the .exe file and see if you can find it that way.
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PacmanCommented:
does he really run on windows 98 ?
Or is he on NT ?
NT has two startups.

further it could be in registry.
Use msconfig.exe to check this.
msconfig has a comfortable functionality to temporary enable and disable autostart items (including registry entries).

hope this helps you
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
No, he is not using NT.

I highly doubt it is in the registry, since the Registry does not use shortcuts, but rather direct references.  Also, the program in question does not write to the Registry during the install procedure.   I am very certain that it was my friend who created the shortcut, inadvertantly...which we now can't find.

I am familar with MSCONFIG and its capabilities to disable/enable items in the Registry's Run/Run Once/etc keys, but that is not the answer to the problem.
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PLansdowneCommented:
Is there anything that refers to the start up program win.ini or system.ini (go to Run>sysedit)?

If so, place a semi colon in front of the "offending" file.
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hewittgCommented:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
and see if the file is referenced in the registry.  As pointed out by a previous expert, it may be in the msdos.sys file.  (I learned that from another expert, hope I am not stepping on toes)

Hope it helps.

Glenn
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SofttechAuthor Commented:
An item in the Registry is not the problem, nor is the win.ini or system.ini the problem.

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