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System Configuration utility


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#1 atwittsend315

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 06:52 PM

I just noticed that I have blank square boxes under startup item and command fields of the system configuration utility under startup items. Has anyone else seen this? If so what is it and how do I get rid of it.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:13 PM

I just (today) overcame this...I'm not sure at all how it happened or what may have caused it, so I can't really be of much help.

My situation started a couple of days ago when I suddenly had these messages at startup which referred to files which could not be found. I used a combination of Autoruns, msconfig, and regedit...to track down and manually delete any/all references to these two files. My system now boots up normally :).

So...I can't tell you what it was or how it happened but I can say that deleting any/all registry and file references took care of it on my system.

I don't think it was malware of any sort, but I'm no expert at determining such.

Louis

#3 dc3

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:59 PM

Please be aware that deleting items from the registry that you aren't sure should be deleted can have disastrous results, such as turning your computer into a door stop.

If you look in misconfig do you see any blank entries like the one in the image below?

Posted Image

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#4 Dan Penny

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 12:57 AM

Run a file check on the O/S.

METHOD 1
If you have an XP CD:
Click START, RUN, type in:

sfc /purgecache

(This ensures that system files are copied from your Windows installation media, and files which may be infected/damaged with malware, or are corrupted, are not copied from your drive. Some of the files which are restored/replaced may need MS Updates applied. If sfc replaces any such files, you will have to reinstall updates for those files. (If you have Automatic Updates active, this will happen automatically.))

Then type in:

sfc /scannow

Have your XP CD handy.


METHOD 2
If you do not have an XP CD:
Click START, RUN, type in:

sfc /scannow

Post back with your results.
It's a good day when you learn something
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#5 atwittsend315

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 10:43 AM

I ran both sfc /purgecache and sfc /scannow and rebooted system, but these boxes still show in the startup tab. They point to the follow:

hkcu\software\microsoft\windowsnt\currentversion\windows
hkcu\software\microsoft\windowsnt\currentversion\windows:run
hkcu\software\microsoft\windowsnt\currentversion\windows:load

I can't attach a screenshot as it won't let me.

#6 dc3

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 10:52 AM

In post #3 I asked if you have any blank entries in msconfig, like the one shown in the picture posted. Please go to Start> Run and type in msconfig and click ok. When this opens click on the Startup tab.

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#7 atwittsend315

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 04:44 PM

it's not blank as in your pic posting. There are blank square boxes. I wish I could post a pic but it won't let me.

#8 atwittsend315

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:26 PM

yes that is exactly what I have. Does anyone know what that is and how to remove it?

#9 dc3

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 11:39 AM

The following is from an article found here. Basically these are empty files which are not a danger and can be left alone. This article suggests looking in the Registry to check on these files. This article doesn't suggest making any changes in the Registry, but you should be aware that if you make any changes it could result in damaging your Registry which could result in turning your computer into a door stop.

"This is known as a startup orphan.

A startup orphan is a startup item that has a non-existent target file.
A target is the file which a startup will run when invoked.

If there is no path in Value Data, the item shows up blank in
msconfig | Startup. Also if Default under Data is blank (nothing
there at all) instead of (value not set).

Start | Run | Type: regedit | Click OK |
Navigate to >>
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Run

What do you see in the right hand pane?
Do you see an entry with blank (nothing there at all) in the Data
column?

Start | Run | Type: regedit | Click OK |
Navigate to >>
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Run

What do you see in the right hand pane?
Do you see an entry with blank (nothing there at all) in the Data
column?

From StartMan HELP:
[[An orphan is a startup item that has a non-existent target file.
A target is the file which a startup will run when invoked.

How do they occur?

They primarily occur because you've disabled a startup and then, at a
later date, uninstalled the program that uses it. The uninstaller won't
know about the disabled startup so it gets left behind. And if the
uninstaller deletes the target file then the startup becomes an orphan.
Orphans can also occur if you rename or move the target file elsewhere.
Where an orphan is also enabled you may see missing file reports at
startup. In the case of menu startups (shortcuts), the shell will
attempt to resolve the target by a brute-force search for the file based
upon the information stored in the shortcut.

How do I avoid creating orphans when uninstalling software?

Firstly, before uninstalling any software, ensure all its startups are
enabled with StartMan. This ensures all its startups can be located.
Next, use the program's own options to disable or remove the startups -
if that is an option. Finally, uninstall the software. All things being
equal, the startups should be gone, along with the software that used
them. If not...]]"

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#10 hamluis

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 12:05 PM

Very nice work, Dan...I appreciate it :).

Louis

#11 dc3

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 12:12 PM

Very nice work, Dan...I appreciate it :).

Louis


Thank you for the kind words. :thumbup2:

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#12 dc3

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 04:38 AM

I still believe that you should just live with this as it is benign and doesn't take up any appreciable space. If you remove the check mark in msconfig for these items they won't be active in the startup.

In order to remove these items will require editing the registry which can leave your computer inoperable if you make an error. The other way to remove these items would be to use a registry cleaner. If the registry cleaner is used without completely understanding what it will do can result in damaging the registry to the extent that you would need to reinstall the operating system. This is one of the main reasons that BC does not endorse the use of registry cleaners. We feel strongly enough that we will post a warning to those who want to use these programs, such as the one below.


The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results". Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

Bottom line, I would suggest just leaving it alone.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 05 September 2012 - 03:08 PM.

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#13 hamluis

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 08:01 AM

I agree...the only reason I bothered to remove mine...was the fact that there were startup items at every boot that I had to close out.

Louis

#14 atwittsend315

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:00 PM

thanks for all your help. I'll just leave them alone and uncheck in startup.

#15 dc3

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:42 PM

Happy Holidays. :thumbup2:

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