How do I get rid of programs autolauching upon startup?

The computer (Windows 98) in my, unfortunately communal office, launches all kinds of unnecessary programs upon startup. They don’t show up with the add/remove program tool, and they are not showing up anywhere obvious, meaning Windows Explorer (probably hidden in some sub-directory). I see them with pressing Crl Alt + Delete (to see what’s running) and then I have to hit the End Task button. They’re not in the StartUp folder (at least not listed obviously).

I’m not that computer literate, but a lot of these programs seem to be shuff that were downloaded from the Net and now launch themselves in the background whenever the computer is started. Windows Help is an oxymoron.

When I hit Crl Alt + Delete on a recently installed identical computer, half these programs ain’t there, so I think they’ve come from shit people have downloaded. Programs that install and launch themselves from Net downloads stealthly is about as shocking as gambling in Casablanca.

How do I identify and get rid of them?

Use Startup Cop

Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information

Then select Tools, System Configuration Utility

You can choose which programs startup at boot here. Just be careful if you don’t know what you are doing.

Or you can do:

Start>Run> type “msconfig”>hit enter…

Again, here you can choose startup programs; but I second the caveat from hardcore… be careful that you know what you’re doing!

Only have a go at these if you are confident they are not needed and you know how to remove them without colateral damage.

The only places I know of where programs can have an entry for running every time you start Windows9x are:

In c:\windows\win.ini in the section headed [windows]
any lines starting with load= or run=

Anything in C:\Windows\Start Menu\StartUp\

In the registry. If you are not confident at using Regedit, ask a trusted geek to show you.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

and less commonly
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Does anybody know anywhere else such beasties may lurk?


With the usual disclaimers
And evasive no-blaimers
In case you’re from The Litigation
Nation.
If you mess it up don’t blame me
And don’t bother suing me
You’d be wasting your time
Coz I don’t have a dime.
:=)

You know…it’d be nice to have a way to have a notification if a thread is answered, without actually posting to the thread. Especially if you really have nothing to add, but would be interested if there were more

The Boston Globe recently had an article about this exact problem. It said that there is a utility called End It All, which you can download for free at http://www.zdnet.com. The program will display a list of all your computer’s running programs and a brief explanation of what each one does. You can then shut off all of the ones you don’t need by pushing one button. However, it only works until the next time you reboot; so it’s not perfect but it’s easier than doing Ctrl-Alt-Delete and choosing each unwanted program manually.

I haven’t tried End It All so I can’t report if it’s any good, but the IT columnist at the Globe thought it was very helpful.

I myself prefer TweakAll which has quite a few features other than just remove (and that are also useful), although I admit the main reason I have it is only to control the startup programs and for the AutoLogon (which I only use on my PC at home).