Now this will be lengthy, but, hopefully make sense
1. Msinfo32 is a very good tool within Windows. It reflects an awful lot of data that users might be interested in, if they knew that it was there, but you don't want to try to use that data in a manner it was designed to be used. Msinfo32 is an information report...a status report...something obtained by taking headcount on the system.
2. Startups as defined by msinfo32...are not the typical entries normally referred to as "startups". The data in msinfo32 pretty much reflects the same data that the Autoruns program reflects, with a major difference. In Autoruns, the data is further categorized and tabbed into classifications which better reflect importance and function.
3. The items reflected as "startups" in msinfo32...include ALL items that initiate with boot. Such include hardware drivers, software drivers, Microsoft drivers and other key Windows files. Msinfo32 does not reflect the fact that there are distinctions...important distinctions...which mandate further classification. The items that msinfo32 depicts as "startups" ARE technically startup items (since they initiate with boot)...but they are NOT startups that a typical user should make a determination as to whether than process runs or not (since many of them are system processes necessary for proper XP functioning), some are drivers for hardware or Windows. Msinfo32 gives a comprehensive look (unsorted) at every item running at boot, regardless of origin or function. This is practically useless
information in such an unstructured format, IMO.
4. The term "startups" as used by most persons...refers to typically optional
items which the user has given permission (sometimes unwittingly) to run at boot.
These will normally be programs/updates/services installed by programs...which are nonessential, arbitrary, and whimsical in nature.. Even though there are important services that can be initiated here, the basic assumption is that the user makes the determination of what will run (not the system) and any item appearing as a "startup" can be removed from that category at the whim of the user.
Unfortunately, it seems that many users have no clue at all as to what their startup items are. Many mistakenly feel that msconfig provides them with an accurate picture of such...it just ain't so. Msconfig was not intended to be a startup manager, it was intended to be a tool which users can employ to troubleshoot possible boot problems/situations. It does not reflect all "startup" items which a user should be aware of.
5. There are programs/utilities which are called "startup managers" and these programs fill the vacuum which some believe (mistakenly) is filled by msconfig. The program that many deem best for a user who wants to examine/manage "startup items" is a program called Autoruns.
But Autoruns must be viewed with care...because, even though it reflects the same info that msinfo32 does...it reflects that info in various categories/tabs. The only tab in Autoruns...that concerns a user trying to get a handle on system startup items...is the [u]Logon tab[/u
]. All others may be looked at (for whatever reason) but no items on any other tab should ever be disabled or deleted...unless instructed to do so by someone who is very knowledgeable and who is trying to clear up a system problem that relates to one of the other tabs.
6. Last point...always read the instructions for using a program...before doing anything with it.
AutoRuns for Windows - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb963902.aspx
Hope this gets you where you want to go.
To answer your question about duplicate or even erroneous entries in msinfo32...I wouldn't worry about it, it's a status report. If it's inaccurate, it does no harm...just makes the report longer or shorter. It's possible for the msinfo32 report to become damaged...there was an instance of that last week in the forum...in such event, it will be inaccurate, but harmless.