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How to Prevent Background Programs from Starting when Booting Your Computer

Cause

Solution

To perform the clean boot, follow the steps for your version of Windows:

For computers running Windows 95
For computers running Windows 98
For computers running Windows ME
For computers running Windows NT or Windows 2000
For computers running Windows XP
For computers running Windows Vista

QUESTION:
Is this safe? Will it make permanent changes to my computer?

ANSWER:
Clean booting is a safe, reversible process, which is also published in the Microsoft Knowledge Base . To undo the clean boot, simply reverse the steps. Additional instructions are provided below as necessary.

QUESTION:
What can I expect when clean booted? Is it the same as Safe Mode ?

ANSWER:
You can expect the loss of some functionality that was normally provided by background programs (e.g. Anti-Virus, Firewall, Hotsync, Instant Messengers, etc). In most cases, such programs can be launched manually if necessary. Occasionally, your display resolution and color will be degraded, depending on how your video adapter drivers are normally loaded. On the upside, you can expect a faster boot time.

Safe Mode is more thorough than the clean boot. In Safe Mode, all but the essential drivers are disabled, which will prevent Laplink connections.

QUESTION:
Why are the steps so complicated for Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000?

ANSWER:
These operating systems did not include the MSconfig utility, which greatly simplifies the clean boot process.

QUESTION:
Clean booting resolved the issue I was experiencing. What next?

ANSWER:
This means that one or more programs that were previously running in the background were interfering with Laplink. Hunting down the offending application is beyond the scope of Laplink support. The best approach is to use the clean boot steps below in a trial and error process of disabling & re-enabling the programs until you can determine which one is causing the problem. One useful strategy is called ‘half-stepping', where you disable only half of the applications in question, and then try duplicating the problem. Depending on the results, you can switch to the other half of the applications, or further narrow down to half of the first half.

NOTE: Clean booting is a troubleshooting tool, not a resolution. When identified, any conflicting programs should be completely uninstalled, or at least disabled whenever you plan to use Laplink. Alternatively, you can resort to the clean boot each time you wish to use Laplink.

For computers running Windows 98

 

  1. From the Windows Start menu, click on Run .
  2. Type MSCONFIG and click OK . This will launch the System Configuration Utility.
    NOTE: If the computer is already in Selective Startup , you will need to click each of the tabs along the top and write down the items that do not have check marks in them so that when you go to return to a "normal" startup, you know which items you want to remain disabled.
  3. Click to select Selective Startup .
  4. Click to uncheck the boxes for any of these you see listed: Process Config.sys File , Process Autoexec.bat File , and Load Startup Group items .
  5. Click the Win.ini tab. Click the + next to [windows] .
  6. Click to uncheck the Run= and Load= boxes.
  7. Click OK and reboot the computer when prompted
  8. Once the computer is started in clean mode, make sure all firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware applications have been disabled.

For computers running Windows ME

 

  1. From the Windows Start menu, click on Run .
  2. Type MSCONFIG and click OK . This will launch the System Configuration Utility.
    NOTE: If the computer is already in Selective Startup , you will need to click each of the tabs along the top and write down the items that do not have check marks in them so that when you go to return to a "normal" startup, you know which items you want to remain disabled.
  3. Click to select Selective Startup .
  4. Click to uncheck the Load Startup Group items .
  5. Click the Win.ini tab. Click the + next to [windows] .
  6. Click to uncheck the Run= and Load= boxes.
  7. Click OK and reboot the computer when prompted
  8. Once the computer is started in clean mode, make sure all firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware applications have been disabled.

For computers running Windows XP

 

  1. From the Windows Start menu, click on Run .
  2. Type MSCONFIG and click OK . This will launch the System Configuration Utility.
    NOTE: If the computer is already in Selective Startup , you will need to click each of the tabs along the top and write down the items that do not have check marks in them so that when you go to return to a "normal" startup, you know which items you want to remain disabled.
  3. Click to select Selective Startup .
  4. Click to uncheck the boxes for Process SYSTEM.INI , Process WIN.INI , and Load Startup Items .
    Note: You will not be able to clear the Use Original BOOT.INI check box.
  5. Click OK and reboot the computer when prompted.
    Note: Upon reboot, you will be notified that you have used the ‘System Configuration Utility’. When it presents itself again, choose cancel.
  6. Once the computer is started in clean mode, make sure all firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware applications have been disabled.

For computers running Windows Vista

 

  1. From the Windows Start menu, click on Run .
    NOTE: If the Run entry does not show up on your Windows Start menu, hold down the Windows key (located between the CTRL and ALT keys) and press R to bring up the Run line.
  2. Type MSCONFIG and click OK . This will launch the System Configuration Utility.
    NOTE: If the computer is already in Selective Startup , you will need to click each of the tabs along the top and write down the items that do not have check marks in them so that when you go to return to a "normal" startup, you know which items you want to remain disabled.
  3. Click to select Selective Startup .
  4. Click to uncheck the Load Startup Items checkbox.
  5. Click OK and reboot the computer when prompted. Note: Upon reboot, you will be notified that you have used the ‘System Configuration Utility’. When it presents itself again, choose cancel.
  6. Once the computer is started in clean mode, make sure all firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware applications have been disabled.

There are several places where programs can be placed to start when a Windows NT or Windows 2000 computer starts. Your computer may not need changes in every area.

The Startup group

For computers running Windows NT or Windows 2000

 

  1. Right-click on a blank spot of the desktop and choose New -> Folder .
  2. Type BACKUP and press Enter to name the folder
  3. Right-click the Windows Start menu and click Open .
  4. Double-click the Programs icon.
  5. Double-click the Startup icon.
  6. If there are icons present, drag and drop each icon on the BACKUP folder created above .
  7. Close any open windows.
    Note: To undo this step, follow Steps 1-3, and then drag the icon(s) from the BACKUP folder into the Startup window. You can delete the BACKUP folder once you have completed troubleshooting.


The All Users Startup group

  1. Right-click on a blank spot of the desktop and choose New -> Folder .
  2. Type BACKUP-ALL and press Enter to name the folder
  3. Right-click the Windows Start menu and click Open All Users .
  4. Double-click the Programs icon.
  5. Double-click the Startup icon.
  6. If there are icons present, drag and drop each icon on the BACKUP-ALL folder created above .
  7. Close any open windows.
    Note: To undo this step, follow Steps 1-3, and then drag the icon from the BACKUP-ALL folder into the Startup window. You can delete the BACKUP-ALL folder once you have completed troubleshooting.

The Registry

  1. From the Windows Start menu, point to Run .
  2. Type REGEDIT and click OK . This will launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Click on the + next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE .
  4. Click on the + next to Software .
  5. Click on the + next to Microsoft .
  6. Click on the + next to Windows .
  7. Click on the + next to CurrentVersion .
  8. Highlight the Run key.
  9. From the Registry menu, click Export Registry File .
  10. In the Save In box, use the down arrow to click Desktop .
  11. In the Export range section, click Selected Branch . Be sure that the path shown is for the Run key.
  12. Enter any easy-to-remember name for the backup file and click Save .
  13. Right-click the Run key and click Delete .
  14. Click Yes when prompted to confirm the delete.
  15. Highlight the Run Services key (if present).
  16. Export and save the Run Services key (if present) as explained above, using a different name.
  17. Right-click the Run Services key (if present) and click Delete .
  18. Click Yes when prompted to confirm the delete.
  19. Click on each of the - signs to collapse the open keys and return to the top of the Registry Editor window.
  20. Repeat the steps above for the HKEY_Current_USER hive as well.
  21. Close Registry Editor.
  22. Reboot your computer.
    Note: To undo this step, double-click the newly saved backup file on the desktop. (These files have the extension .REG.) This instantly replaces the items removed from the registry. Click Yes when prompted to confirm the replacement. You can then safely delete the backup file from your desktop if you wish.
  23. Once the computer is started in clean mode, make sure all firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware applications have been disabled.

For computers running Windows 95



There are several places where programs can be placed to start when a Windows 95 computer starts. Your computer may not need changes in every area.

The Startup Group
  1. Right-click on a blank spot of the desktop and choose New -> Folder .
  2. Type BACKUP and press Enter to name the folder
  3. Right-click the Windows Start menu and click Open .
  4. Double-click the Programs icon.
  5. Double-click the Startup icon.
  6. If there are icons present, drag and drop each icon on the BACKUP folder created above .
  7. Close any open windows.
    Note: To undo this step, follow Steps 1-3, and then drag the icon from the BACKUP folder into the Startup window. You can delete the BACKUP folder once you have completed troubleshooting.

Legacy DOS files
  1. From the Windows Start menu, point to Find , and click Files and folders .
  2. In the Named box, type AUTOEXEC.BAT .
  3. In the Look in box, choose your C:\ drive.
  4. Click Find Now .


    Note: If you receive a No Results message, click OK and skip to step 7.
  5. Right-click the file in the Search results window and click Rename .
  6. Type AUTOEXEC.OLD and press Enter


  7. In the Named box, type CONFIG.SYS .
  8. In the Look in box, choose your C:\ drive.
  9. Click Find Now .


    Note: If you receive a No Results message, click OK and skip to the next section (The WIN.INI) file.
  10. Right-click the file in the Search results window and click Rename .
  11. Type CONFIG.OLD and press Enter


    Note: To undo this steps, use these steps to search for AUTOEXEC.OLD and CONFIG.OLD. Rename the files to AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS.

The WIN.INI file
  1. From the Windows Start menu, point to Run .
  2. Type SYSEDIT and click OK .
  3. From the Window menu, click C:\Windows\Win.ini .
  4. Locate the [Windows] section at the top of the file.
  5. Insert a semicolon (;) before the Run= line.
    • Note: If this line does not exist, skip this step and continue
  6. Insert a semicolon (;) before the Load= line.
    • Note: If this line does not exist, skip this step and continue

  7. Close the System Configuration Editor and click Yes when prompted to save
  8. Note: To undo this, follow the steps above and remove the semicolon (;) from the Run= and Load= lines.

The Registry
  1. From the Windows Start menu, point to Run .
  2. Type REGEDIT and click OK . This will launch the Registry Editor.
  3. From the Registry menu, click Export Registry File .
  4. In the Save In box, use the down arrow to click Desktop .
  5. In the Export range section, click All .
  6. Enter BACKUP as the name of the file and click Save .
  7. Click on the + next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE .
  8. Click on the + next to Software .
  9. Click on the + next to Microsoft .
  10. Click on the + next to Windows .
  11. Click on the + next to CurrentVersion .
  12. Right-click the Run folder and click Delete .
  13. Click Yes when prompted to confirm the delete.
  14. Right-click the Run Services folder and click Delete .
    Note: This folder may not be present.
  15. Click Yes when prompted to confirm the delete.
  16. Close Registry Editor.
  17. Reboot your computer.
    Note: To undo this step, double-click the BACKUP file on the desktop. This replaces the items removed from the registry. Click Yes when prompted to confirm the replacement. You can delete the BACKUP icon from your desktop if you wish
  18. Once the computer is started in clean mode, make sure all firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware applications have been disabled.

Product: Laplink Gold
KB: 252  Last updated: Sep 15, 2008
Keywords: How To: Windows  Errors: Freeze  Install: First launch  Install: Errors  Cable: USB Network (gold)  Connections: Internet  Connections: Modem  Error Messages: Launch  Connections: Network  Connections: Disconnect 
Platforms:

  • WinVista
  • WinXP
  • WinMe
  • Win2K
  • Win98/SE
  • Win98/FE
  • WinNT
  • Win95

Wildcards (internal use):

  • How To
  • Windows

 
 
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