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Clean Up Win XP System Configuration Utility

Posted on 2006-07-02
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
Hi experts!

I have three questions:

Question 1: I wonder whether you may kindly help me with cleaning up old applications in Win XP System Configuration Utility (Run > msconfig > Startup tab).

Question 2: After making a change in Startup items (by checking or unchecking items), System Configuration Utility would not be closed: In other words, when "OK" button is clicked, System Configuration Utility window would not be closed.

Question 3: In Customize Notifications (right-click Taskbar > click Customize button), I found tons of Past Items. Is there a way to clean up (remove) the past items?

Thanks as always!

duta

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Question by:duta
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17 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 17027568
For 1 & 2, first follow these steps:
- Antivirus with updated defs (use free AVG from www.grisoft.com if you don't have antivirus)
- Anti-Spyware etc.: http://www.lavasoft.de/software/adaware/  http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=35407  
- Check system files: http://ask-leo.com/what_is_the_system_file_checker_and_how_do_i_run_it.html

Then, instead of the System Config Utility, autoruns is better & its free:  http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Autoruns.html
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Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 17027573
To remove applications you don't want:  Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 17027584
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/PastItems.htm     Clear Past items from the Notification Area
Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
Navigate to the following key:  [HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\TrayNotify]
Backup the registry key  (File > Export)
Delete IconStreams and PastIconsStream values
Restart the computer

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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:CyberneticsConnoisseur
CyberneticsConnoisseur earned 160 total points
ID: 17027753
Hi,
If I have understood you correctly, you would like to remove the entries from the MSConfig - Startup tab that are no longer checked, but still showing up.

To do this, the solutions given above will not help.

Go to this folder path in the registry :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\MSConfig\startupreg

here you will have one folder for each unchecked item in the MSConfig - Startup tab. Delete the folders you no longer want to see and thats it, it will disappear from the MSConfig - Startup tab.

FYI, all the checked items in the MSConfig - Startup tab can be found here :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

deleting an entry from here directly removes the item from the MSConfig - Startup tab.

This is the answer to your first part.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:CyberneticsConnoisseur
ID: 17027830
for your third question, http://windowsxp.mvps.org/PastItems.htm is a good solution as suggested by callrs.

for your second question, I would like to know how you go about closing MSConfig, if it doesnt close by itself, coz it might be just a memory availabity issue.
please explain.

Carpe Diem.
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Author Comment

by:duta
ID: 17029034
TO: all:

Thank you so much for very kind, prompt response.

Question 3 has been resolved when I followed the following instructions from support.microsoft.com:


To clear the Past Items list, perform the following steps:
1.      Delete the IconStreams and PastIconsStream values from the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\TrayNotify
2.      Open Task Manager, click the Processes tab, click Explorer.exe, and then click End Process.
3.      In Task Manager, click File, click New Task, type explorer, and then click OK.

Question 2 seems to be a little too complex to explain. I have that problem with my office PC. When I made a change in Startup items, "Apply" and "OK" buttons remain dim. To close msconfig window, I had to retart PC by unplugging the power cable.

Question 3 seems to be the most annoying issue now that Question 1 has been resolved. Still there are dozens of applications in Startup tab which are unchecked.

Thanks a lot!

duta

July 3, 2006, at 12:30 am


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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 17029067
Did you try autoruns? You'll like it.
:)
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Author Comment

by:duta
ID: 17029083
TO: callrs:

Thank you so much for your kind, prompt response.

Yes, I installed autoruns. But I am not sure how to use it to remove old, past itens from Starup tab
(run > msconfig >startup).

Thanks!

duta
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:callrs
callrs earned 160 total points
ID: 17029124
  Using Autoruns to Delete Startup Entries
---------------------------------------------------
Extract the files (optionally use the great winrar from www.rarlab.com for this)
Open windows Explorer, find autoruns, and drag "autoruns.exe" to an empty spot on the quick launch bar
(If you don't have quick launch, right click Taskbar > Toolbars > Quick Launch.)

Now you can launch autoruns easily from the toolbar.

In autoruns, right click any entry you want to delete, and then click on Delete.
But be careful what you delete...maybe backup the registry (see http:Q_21903709.html) or create a System Restore point so you can revert to a good configuration in case things go wrong.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 17029126
If you want, you can just disable the entries instead of delete...
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Author Comment

by:duta
ID: 17029153
TO: callrs:

Thanks again for kind, prompt response.

I tried it. But I am not sure how I may use autorun to delete past items in System Configuration Utility.

My immediate goal is to delete dozens of past items (like AOL which I removed  a long time ago) from Startup in System Utility Configuration.

Thanks!

duta
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 17029177
Do they show up in autoruns? If so, then delete them from there & they'll disappear from startup too. If not, I'll find another way.....
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Author Comment

by:duta
ID: 17029197
TO: callrs:

Thanks again for your kind tip.

No, the old, past items (which were a long time ago removed) do not show up in autoruns.

Hope you may find other way to do the job.

Thanks!

duta
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LVL 34

Accepted Solution

by:
sramesh2k earned 180 total points
ID: 17029207
Hi duta,

See CyberneticsConnoisseur's post above to know how to remove unchecked entries from MSCONFIG startup tab.

For an automated script, see line #148 in this page:
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm
(Titled "Clear Disabled Items from Msconfig Startup")

Clean-up the MSCONFIG startup tab listings - XP:
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/msconfig.htm
0
 

Author Comment

by:duta
ID: 17029280
TO: all:

I got a working application from http://www.get-in-control.com/msconfig-cleanup which worked great.

Because both of you spent much time to help me, I would like to split the points between callrs and sramesh2k evenly, if you do not mind.

Thanks all!

duta

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Author Comment

by:duta
ID: 17029295
TO: I am sorry. I made a mistake in my last post.
I intended to split the points evenly among three of you: CyberneticsConnoisseur, callrs, and sramesh2k.

Thanks!

duta
0
 

Author Comment

by:duta
ID: 17029328
TO: all:

I chose sramesh2k as accepted answer because the link which he/she gave me the link to download the application which worked great to remove past, old items in system configuration utility's startup tab.
The site that sramesh2k gave me was : http://windowsxp.mvps.org/msconfig.htm. At bottom of the site, there is a link named "MSConfig Cleanup Utility" which is what I looked for.

Thanks a lot!

duta


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