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What is $ncsp$.inf?


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#1 MaryBet82

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 07:12 PM

System: Thinkpad X41 running WinXP Tab ed SP3
I ran System Info from Word 2002 today and two files - $ncsp$.inf and $winnt$.inf - were under Software Environment > Startup Programs. Both run under NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM and both are in my System 32 folder.
I googled $ncsp$ and mostly $ncsp$.inf was simply included in SysInfo results or logs generated on malware cleanup pages. The file itself never appeared to be IDed as a problem.
There were a couple of forum pages where someone asked what the file was [but I didn't find any answers] and they included the size [333 bytes] and the contents when opened in Notepad.
The $ncsp$ on my HD is also 333 bytes and has basically the same contents as the other two.
[params.ms_tcpip_Adapter01]
DefaultGateway=""
DefaultGatewayMetric=""
DNSDomain=""
DHCP="Yes"
IPAddress=0.0.0.0
DNSServerSearchOrder=""
IpAllowedProtocols=0
SubnetMask=0.0.0.0
TcpAllowedPorts=0
UdpAllowedPorts=0
DisableDynamicUpdate="No"
EnableAdapterDomainNameRegistration="No"
WINSServerList=""
NetBIOSOptions="0"
but DHCP = No in one, etc.
The creation date on my file is 1/25/09. I had to do the recovery reformat & reinstall from the hidden partition on my HD [The X41 doesn't have an optical drive] in January, altho I don't know the exact date. [Is that what is called an "OEM installation" these days?]
The $winnt$.inf [same creation date = 1/25/09] suggests these files may have been generated then.
Part of that file:
[Unattended]
; UnattendMode=ProvideDefault
; OemPreinstall=Yes
InstallFilesPath=C:\I386
; OemSkipEula=Yes
; OemFilesPath =

[Display]
BitsPerPel=16
XResolution=1024
YResolution=768
; VRefresh=70

[SysprepMassStorage]
[GuiUnattended]
; Sets the Timezone to the Pacific Northwest
; TimeZone = "004"
; AutoLogonCount = 1
; OEMSkipRegional=1
; OemSkipWelcome=1
etc
If these files were generated during the reformat/reinstall I don't understand why they are in system 32 and not in a temp folder and why they are loading at startup - if they actually are. Weirdly, if I run System Info from Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools, neither $ncsp$.inf nor $winnt$.inf show up under Startup Programs and neither showed up when I ran autoruns on the logon tab [I think that's the correct tab for startup programs]. Neither file was present under Startup Programs in my saved text export file from a System Info run back in 2006.
Both files have network configuration settings and I'm wondering if they are having any effect on my LAN setup. I've been able to access shared files on my Dell380 from the Thinkpad without problem since first setting up and then resetting up after the reinstall the LAN and file sharing, but after hours/days/weeks of troubleshooting I could never get from the Dell to the Thinkpad. There was a Run command I found somewhere that was successful in accessing the shared files on the Thinkpad, but the connection would crash as soon as I tried to open a file.
Last and least, I'm not familiar w/ using &'s in file names. Does that have any significance?
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

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#2 petewills

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 10:12 AM

That file dated 12 August 2003 (year of purchase of my Dell Dimension 4600 XP Home)
sits in my C:\I386 folder and C:\Windows\System32 and is described as 'Setup Information' under 'Type'.

Opening in notepad reveals:

[params.ms_tcpip_Adapter01]
DefaultGateway=""
DefaultGatewayMetric=""
DNSDomain=""
DHCP="Yes"
IPAddress=0.0.0.0
DNSServerSearchOrder=""
IpAllowedProtocols=0
SubnetMask=0.0.0.0
TcpAllowedPorts=0
UdpAllowedPorts=0
DisableDynamicUpdate="No"
EnableAdapterDomainNameRegistration="No"
WINSServerList=""
NetBIOSOptions="0"

Can't see that it's any problem - am open to contrary views.

#3 MaryBet82

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:56 PM

Thanks for replying. Judging by my google results and the fact that you have the same file on your computer, I think $ncsp$.inf is probably a common file on Windows computers. I just donít know if itís a common leftover file or a common file actually used, at least in some circumstances. Iím still wondering if it should be loading at startup. You also have $ncsp$.inf in your System 32 folder Ė does System Info list it in the Startup Group?

My understanding of inf files is that they are used as part of an installation. I didnít find any uses for .inf files other than installation by googling but I didnít put much time or effort into it. I did discover that ď$Ē is used for .inf file names Ė although out of a long list of. Inf files in my C:\windows and subfolders there were only two w/ the $ - $ncsp$.inf and $winnt$.inf. That long lists suggests inf files may have other uses.

There were two other .inf files in my Startup Programs list. Per googling they seem to be part of IE7 - or IE7 installation. [ieuinit.inf & ieuinit.inf and they are just below iesetup.dll Ė which makes me wonder if iesetup refers to user configuration post installation or if these are also leftover installation files and if WinXP loads leftover installation dlls & infs if they're in system 32.]

Someday when I have the time Iíll try moving $ncsp$.inf out of system 32 and see if it still loads and if I notice any problems.]
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#4 petewills

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 07:12 AM

Hi, in reply:

It just appears to be an original common setup file, relating to Lan/Tcp/Ip.

[If you right click on any .inf file, you should see an 'Install' option on the menu,
but you rarely have to use this. (Maybe when installing graphics drivers, sometimes,
but usually the programs just install automatically, taking information from the setup file)].

As you asked, it's shown in my msinfo32 results: (first 6 items)

$NCSP$ $ncsp$.inf NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM Startup
$NCSP$ $ncsp$.inf .DEFAULT Startup
$WINNT$ $winnt$.inf NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM Startup
$WINNT$ $winnt$.inf .DEFAULT Startup

12520437 12520437.cpx NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM Startup
12520437 12520437.cpx .DEFAULT Startup

etc. ad infinitum.

It's one of hundreds of my startup items; (123 pages in Word!).

I'd leave it alone. It may well reinstall if you delete it, anyway.

#5 joseibarra

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:22 AM

The .inf files contain program installation information and you will have a whole lot of them on your system but they should not be showing up like that in msinfo32. I would leave the .inf files alone since you might need them someday. There is a whole c:\windows\inf folder just for Windows things.

The Startup Programs information in msinfo32 may show more things than it should and can be quite intimidating.

When you see a big list like you describe, it is not quite working right and I can't remember (right now) how it gets that way, but you can fix it so it makes more sense and is less scary with a little VB Script from Ramesh's site.

The script will make some registry changes, so if you choose to run it, backup your registry first.

Here is a popular registry backup tool:

http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

Here is a link with more information and also the script to download/run to clean up the Startup Programs list in msinfo32:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/msinfofix.htm

Please report back your results.

Edited by joseibarra, 14 November 2009 - 09:23 AM.

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#6 petewills

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:43 AM

Jose

MaryBet asked the question, not me.

I am not intimidated in any way by the long list and I am not
about to remove any .inf files.

My computer runs perfectly well and has done for six years.

I have no intention of running any scripts, thank you and I am
perfectly capable of backing up my registry.

You have your way of doing things, which doesn't suit everybody.

Why have you only now joined this topic, it's been around
for a couple of weeks.

It's a non-event, as far as I am concerned. If it ain't broke............

This is a pointless exchange.

Cheers!

msinfo32

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308549

"Startup Programs

Lists programs started automatically either from the registry, the Startup folder, or the Win.ini file"

It's only a list, after all and it's only your opinion that it is 'not working right'.

Edited by petewills , 14 November 2009 - 10:16 AM.


#7 joseibarra

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:27 AM

I replied to the 8 day old thread which MaryBet82 started - not to you personally.

If the System Information section of msinfo32 has hundreds of entries and any of those examples that were listed here, it is indeed broken. The information displayed is wrong.

It is broke and fixing it is optional.

It does not represent the true nature of the startup items. If yours shows 123 pages of information, yours is also wrong and it is broken, but you don't have to fix it if you don't want to. I did not say anyone has to run any script.

I am glad you are capable of backing up your registry, but not everbody is, so I suggest a method to do so.

My way of doing things is - if something is not working properly, even if it does not effect my system performance, I am compelled to understand it and fix it so it does work properly. I do not like to have an afflicted system and try to help people that want to fix their broken systems so they work properly.

It doesn't mean you have to fix your system. If an afflicted system is not a problem for you, fine.

Maybe MaryBet82 wants her system (if MaryBet82 is female) to behave the way it is supposed to behave. Someone else that is trying to resolve this problem may find this thread useful some other day and will want to fix their broken system. It is certainly not a new question in the XP world.

Running the script is up to the user. If they don't mind the erroneous information showing up, don't run it. If they want it to display the proper information, it can be fixed.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#8 hamluis

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:39 AM

FWIW: Jose is right about the data reflected in msinfo32/software environment/startup programs.

I just checked (since it was a seeming point of contention) and i reflect the 5 or 6 items which I allow to run at boot (AV, SUPERAntispyware, etc.) on that particular report of startups.

I reflect no items like those originally mentioned.

Louis

#9 petewills

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:33 AM

Please note - holding my hands up!

Quite happy to stand corrected.

Thanks, Louis.

Apologies Jose, for my hasty comments.

Well, I have now fixed my 'broken', bloated, system with that script
and my msinfo32 Startup List reflects only the 5 items in msconfig.

[Erunt is also my registry backup program - good link for others].

Pete.

(Ever so humble!).

I am expecting my system to operate in turbo mode, now.

#10 hamluis

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:47 AM

LOL...no need to be humble...we are all learning something each day and I concluded a long time ago...that it's OK to make minor mistakes (such as this) as long as I don't make major mistakes in life :thumbsup:.

Keep up the good work :flowers:.

Louis

#11 joseibarra

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:04 PM

Yeah - let us now how that new turbo mode goes :thumbsup: .

If I had a broken system, I would try to figure out what causes it - I can't recall and it is not in my notes.

Where is that MaryBet82...

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#12 petewills

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:09 PM

When Marybet82 next visits, she will have the complete picture.

That's a good result, IMO.

#13 MaryBet82

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:30 PM

Here's MaryBet82 and she is female. Sorry, I've been under the weather and I thought the topic had pretty much concluded. Glad I checked back.

Thanks to joseibarra for the link to FixMSINFOStartup.vbs and erunt. I l liked that I could open the vbs file in notepad even tho I can't "read" the code - someday hopefully. Erunt's "Detailed Information" is detailed and informative.
Thanks to petewillis & hamluis for their input. [I rightclicked on an inf to see the "install" in the SC menu - neat]

So... my System Info [msinfo32] is not actually reporting the programs/dlls/infs/whatevers that load at startup. The Sys Config Utility Startup tab also has a lot of programs listed [most I unchecked], but nothing like Sysinfo [142 pages in Word]. I'm guessing that SysInfo gives you a more complete listing [when it's working correctly] than Sys Config since Sys Config is a configuration tool rather than a reporting tool. So I'm guessing I need a properly working SysInfo [or a 3rd party utility] to get an accurate report on what's loaded at startup.

I have backed up my registry -via Windows Backup, Genie backup, Windows Restore and regedit > export. I've also backed up a part of the registry on the rare occasion I've made a change very cautiously. I haven't, however, ever attempted to restore the registry and the only instructions I could find said to use System Restore [So why did I export a copy or use Windows backup or Genie Backup? -I never found out what to do with all those system state backups I made w/ win2k either.]
Erunt's Detailed Info has a nice how-to on registry restoring.

I am nervous about making registry changes since this problem is on a thinkpad w/out a recovery console, no installation CD and no CD drive. Erunt's How-to's won't work on it. At this point if something goes majorly wrong my repair options are pretty much reformat/reinstall from the hidden partition. I've had to do that once. I'm miserly about installing programs on this machine - the glut is from the OEM install that is currently my only install option .

I do have an external USB optical drive and the BIOS has a USB boot enable [that I've enabled] and I've been reading about PE builds etc. I don't think I can extract the necessary OS files from the hidden partition or the "instant wipe your drive" recovery CDs, but Lenovo support might provide some options so users can make repair or clean install CDs if asked. Or I might could use or make a boot utility CD - I used System Commander w/ my win2k computer - to replace the registry files. If I remember what I've read correctly I could just copy the back up registry files into the appropriate windows folder if I'm not in windows when I do it.

So, whenever I get all that figured out and done I'll fix my SysInfo w/ the vbs script. Meanwhile, I can use erunt on my desktop. This topic ought to be re-named "Fix System Info" or "Erroneous System Info Startup Report". Ask a little question and get a LOT of info. Nice.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#14 joseibarra

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:26 AM

I would not even remember that that section of msinfo32 is there if you had not reminded me.

I never use that section it and probably never will for Startup information as I would use msconfig to see what my startup situation was because that is what I am used to using. The msinfo32 information is useful if it is working properly.

About the only time I use msinfo32 is when I want someone to send me a snapshot of their afflicted system. The Summary section will provide good information that will prevent a lot back and forth questions, minimize typos, etc. There is a lot of other interesting information to find in msinfo32 though.

I don't think your system is suffering because of the erroneous information displayed in msinfo32, but it is still the wrong information. That in itself would bug me, but a lot of things bug me. The script seems to be the quickest way to make it right.

There is nothing in the script that you can't do yourself with regedit, but the script makes it easy.

It is sometimes creepy to run those "this'll fix you right up" scripts you can find on the World Wide Web, and so far the other things from Ramesh's site have been useful and polite. I can't recall ever referring anyone there and regretted it later and I tend not to recommend things to try that might work maybe.

Sounds like you have your registry backed up every way to Sunday, so let us know how you get on!

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.





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