MSCONFIG is not an on/off switch..

You don’t believe me? So go take a look for yourself.. 

It is a DIAGNOSTIC tool. It has never been officially designated an on/off switch, but it became common among Windows 9x users to use it as one. The problem stemmed from a small and finite block of resources in the Windows 9x family.

For instance, if a user changed the screen colours from the Windows default scheme, this took away from the resource block. If a user changed the background of the IE header, this took away from the resource block. If a user insisted upon having a screen full of icons, this took away from the resource block. If a user had multiple utilities starting up with Windows, this took away from the resource block. If a user insisted on having the MS Office floating toolbar at startup (or at all), this took away from the resource block. If the user had a firewall and/or an anti-virus solution running, this took away from the resource block. If a user had MSN Messenger or ICQ (particularly bad for grabbing resources) running, this took away from the resource block. Lotus Organizer, at the time the best selling Windows application of all time, placed an icon in startup.

The absolute worst items you could ever have in startup were programs like Nuts n Bolts. These programs had functions where the user could be warned about impending failure. All they did, in fact, was speed up impending failure by using the very resources being monitored. By now, you should be feeling sorry for the small resource block. It was being hit from all sides constantly.

Wipe away the tears, because the Windows NT family handles resources in a different way. While multiple startup items will slow a machine down, they won’t or shouldn’t make the machine crash out in the spectacular Windows 9x fashion.

OK. Ears akimbo, ecoutez bien, LISTEN dammit..

If you want to stop an application from starting up when Windows starts, go to the preferences/options of the application in question, and look for a checkbox relating to ‘start with Windows’ or some similar statement. You can right click on a startup item to find this sometimes.

The trouble with using MSCONFIG is that you may not know which entry relates to what you want to stop. In the past, some users stopped everything and, in doing so, stopped any protection the computer had. NOT SENSE!!!

And while I am on the subject of resources..

Think TWICE before going into Task Manager’s resource list and hacking away like a lunatic lost in the jungle. When your computer was new, Windows was running well. Do you remember that? There were seventy or more entries in the list and all was well, so if your computer is slow, YOU DID IT. IT IS YOUR FAULT.

Stopping everything in that list will see a variety of functions fall over, and when you come to install something else which requires a resource that you stopped, it isn’t going to work and then you will go into a Windows forum or newsgroup complaining that Windows/XP/Vista (delete as applicable) is crap. I will repeat again..


QuickTime is an example of what I consider to be a bad program, and not because of its origin. I have yet to find a way to prevent it entering startup. It always comes down the line with iTunes, and I do not like either of them. In fact, I do not like ANY program other than for security purposes which sets itself up in startup and does not give me the option to change it. For this reason, I will not entertain QuickTime on my system. I prefer and use Windows Media Player Classic 6.4.

There are, generally, alternatives available which are way more user friendly. Use your preferred search engine to locate them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *