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photoman11
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Confused about System Configuration Settings

I have a PC using Windows 7 and due to other issues, I had to make changes to the Services and Startup tab contents (in msconfig) in order to troubleshoot. Situation now is the original problem is fixed, but I am completely confused as to what should be the correct/active settings in the 2 tabs mentioned above.

For the most part, I don't know the impact, that the various services will have, whether they are stopped or running (Services); or in the Startup tab – what should be checked, not checked, or deleted.

I was considering attaching screen shots of my settings, however I cannot figure out how to enlarge the Windows and since the space is relatively small, if I increase the column size for one column, most of the other columns become unreadable.

Is there a way to actually show all information without taking 50 screenshots? Or, is it not necessary to know the contents to determine a solution?

Thank you very much for your help.
Windows 7Windows OS

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Joe Winograd

8/22/2022 - Mon
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Joe Winograd

I'm a huge fan of NirSoft's free utilities...been using many of them for many years, and a really good one is WhatInStartup:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/what_run_in_startup.html

This provides a much better view than msconfig of what is in startup.

On an unrelated note, if you'd like more info on installed programs than provided in Programs & Features, give NirSoft's MyUninstaller a spin (it's among the very best of his tools):
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/myuninst.html

Regards, Joe
photoman11

ASKER
Joe,

Interesting software utilities! I downloaded both your suggestions and (of course) do not completely know what to do with the information I now have, after running them.

For example, in WhatInStartup, there are items which I do not even recognize. One example is "CheckPoint Cleanup" that has no entry for file created or modified time. Also, the Process Path ends with: ...AppData\Local\Temp\cpes_clean_launcher.exe

If I had to categorize the 33 items listed in WhatInStartup, they would be:

-Products I recognize and need
-Products that look familiar but I don't know for sure that I need them
-Unfamiliar products that I don't know what they do, why they're there, or if they should be deleted

One example is "OpenOffice.org 3.2. I have some Open Office applications loaded on my PC, but very rarely use them. Is my assumption correct that if I rarely use the applications, I don't need this product loaded at StartUp?

As for MyUninstaller, I have 412 items listed, some being duplicates. Most have "no" in the column "obsolete" and "yes" in the column "uninstall." What does that mean? I don't know if the software is suggesting that I uninstall all of the items that have yes, in the uninstall column or what?

Similar to the other software, if the application name is not familiar, I am not sure if some part of the system needs it to run properly or its extraneous software that should be deleted. Any suggestions on how I could tell?

Thanks again.
Joe Winograd

> Is my assumption correct that if I rarely use the applications, I don't need this product loaded at StartUp?

Not necessarily. A few points. (1) There's a big difference between "rarely" and "never". :) (2) It may or may not be easy to load something after Startup, so if you're ever going to use something, let it load at Startup. (3) It's usually not a whole product that is being loaded at Startup, but just some supporting functionality, which may or may not be needed for the whole product to run. (4) Even if it's not crucial for the whole product to run, it may or may not be a feature that you need/want. For example, I use imaging software that includes a print driver. In order for the print driver to work, a module must be loaded at Startup. But if it isn't, the rest of the product works just fine...it simply means the user can't use the print driver, which is OK for lots of folks.

> Most have "no" in the column "obsolete" and "yes" in the column "uninstall." What does that mean?

From the Help menu (all of the columns are described in the Help):

Obsolete: If the value in this column is "Yes", the uninstall entry is probably obsolete, and the application is no longer installed on your computer. (JW comment: the word "probably" is important! I have seen entries where Obsolete is Yes, but I know for a fact that the program is still installed.)

Uninstall: Tells you whether the application provides an uninstall support. If the value in this column is "No", you cannot uninstall the application. Entries with no uninstall support are displayed only if you check the "Show Items With No Uninstall" option in the View menu.

> Any suggestions on how I could tell?

My personal opinion (and that's all it is!), is not to uninstall anything unless you're absolutely certain it's not needed. Application names are not always well-chosen or familiar-sounding, and uninstalling items based on their having unfamiliar names stands a good chance of sending your system into chaos. Regards, Joe
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Pramod Ubhe

The best way is to compare that settings with another computer (if you have any identical/similar).
photoman11

ASKER
Thanks everyone. Part of my problem is that I don't really understand either the Services or the Start up tab purposes, and therefore can't make any logical decisions on what should or should not be in them.

I've included the text file of WhatInStartup as suggested, and let me give you some picture of how I use my computer and which programs are relevant and not, in case that helps decide what should be kept or deleted.
 
1- the programs I pretty much use every day are: Microsoft Outlook, Firefox, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, RoboForm, Windows Explorer, APC Uninterrupted Power Supply/APC Power Supply, FB Backup, Logitech Performance mouse, Microsoft Security Essentials and Phrase Express.
2-The programs I frequently use (in addition to #1) are: Notepad, Adobe's Lightroom,
HTML Kit, Zoner Photo Sudio, Fences, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, CompanionLink Synchronize (for My Smart Phone to Synchronize to Outlook), Foxit reader
3-The programs I use occasionally (once every few weeks) are: Adobe's Photoshop, Cinta Notes, Internet Explorer, 7-zip, Olympus recorder software –DSS Player Standard (Integrates into Dragon NaturallySpeaking)
4-The programs I use, but rarely, are: Xobni (add on for Excel), iKill, Skype, Open Office, Adobe Reader,
5-Programs that I used to use, but no longer do: anything related to Palm desktop or hot sync (my old Palm smart phone has been replaced by an android Samsung smart phone)

Having said that, in looking at the list from MyUninstaller, there are probably another 20-40 applications which I use very infrequently – sort of as needed, like Google Earth and Malwarebytes. If you need more details, let me know.

I've recently purchased a new Brother laser printer and deleted an HP inkjet printer, so anything related to updating HP printer drivers is no longer necessary.

Also, I do not have another computer so any comparison is not possible.
 
As for the System Tray icons, I currently have 16, of which most have a context you option to either Exit or Hide. If you need the names of them, let me know.

Thanks again
Startup-System-Report.txt
BillDL

Thank you photoman. Having a report certainly does help, and your further explanations are very useful.  I will make up a list of what you should safely be able to dispense with and will post back later, if someone else doesn't do so first.  It would be useful if you could type out the names of your 16 System Tray icons, which should normally be visible by just hanging the mouse over them.  It's probable that quite a few will already be mentioned in the startup report and others will be Windows default ones, but maybe there are some that haven't been covered that need to be addressed.
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photoman11

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Thank you very much.

I've noticed that the content of the 16 icons changes occasionally; this time there are only 15 visible – see attached document for names.
16-icons.txt
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