Killing Microsoft System Configuration Utility (msconfig)

MSConfig
Image via Wikipedia

As I was fixing a computer lately, I was reminded of how other IT folks just love disabling msconfig in windows.

msconfig is a simple utility on our Windows OS that takes care of the startup process, available on Windows Xp and Vista (just type msconfig on run command bar in Xp or at Start Search box at the orb on Windows Vista). It’s part of Windows installation, no need to download or install it.

The power of msconfig lies on its capability to aid us in troubleshooting start-up issues and allow us to handle what applications should run and should not at boot time.

msconfig screenshot
Image by reyescarl via Flickr

The general tab (msconfig in Vista) gives us three options:

1. Normal Startup – all drivers and services are loaded, microsoft services and third-party services. This is the default.

2. Diagnostic Startup – load basic devices, drivers and services only. usually, those that are only needed to fire up your PC. Used when troubleshooting start-up issues.

3. Selective Startup – more specific choices what to load on boot up, you can load system services only, startup items only (those that you allow from the startup tab on msconfig), original boot configuration only, or all of three. also used when troubleshooting issues on boot up.

At this point, you might be starting to wonder, and may be asking, what about msconfig? why the hell should I care?

For one, there are lots of IT guys out there who love to disable this permanently as part of their fix. That is want I rant about. Some people love to disable msconfig to make the system run and feel faster, but that is thwarted, that is faking. When our OS lags, this might be a result of many reasons. One could be lack of resources, i.e. memory, disk space, processor, etc. Second reason could be you overstuffed your system with applications some of it you don’t even use. Why fake speed by disabling msconfig, just to let people believe the system is running faster.

Over the years of my IT experience, I had a lot about this scenario, end-users complaining because their software or Operating Systems are not running as it should only to find out that the technician they hired disabled msconfig. How amateur that is.

My opinion is, if you do want your OS to run smooth, pack in more hardware resources, increase the memory, if you have 512mb why not get 2gb, why not upgrade the processor? or the buy a faster running hard drive. or remove the softwares that you don’t use, I bet in every PC, there will be one or two softwares installed that are not in use.

The honest me tells that msconfig has many things to do and disabling it would cause more problems than solutions. In fact, it’s not a sound solution at all. I might accept the idea if you are troubleshooting or isolating startup problem, but you have to return it to its Normal state afterwards. Don’t disable it forever. If softwares are getting in the way during boot ups remove it or at least google your way to find a solution for the problem. Check for updates, find permanent solutions rather than kill msconfig. I am sure we can do better than killing the little app and consider the issue fixed. No. Unacceptable.

Want to figure out msconfig? check here.

Ciao!

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Windows 7 reaches Release to Manufacturer (RTM) status

Information coming from windowsteamblog.com, a site that  takes forever to load on my browser, has it that Windows 7 (Microsoft’s newest OS) has reached the release to manufacturing status. That said, this would mean that Windows 7 (build 7600) is close to reaching the shelves where it is expected to sell on the 22nd of October this year.

I don’t know if I can consider myself lucky for the chance to test drive Windows 7. The humble me tells that there is little to be excited about Windows 7 (that is my own opinion). I don’t find it revolutionary. I don’t also expect myself to rip off my Ubuntu Jaunty just for Windows 7. Besides Ubuntu is free. Pity the poor IT guy. Thanks Ubuntu for giving me the desktop version via download and for shipping me a copy of the Server Edition for free. And… thank you so much for continuously updating my Ubuntu without asking me a dime.

For a quick look on Windows 7 features check here. You have my word, this one loads faster than the windows team blog which takes 7 years to load on Firefox, haven’t tried Internet Explorer 8 though.

Many are calling Windows 7 as the real Service Pack of Vista, I seem to agree on this. Really, it does feel like you are on Vista when you are inside Windows 7. It had taken me long before I switched to Vista. I hanged on to old Windows XP for quite a long time. I was so pissed off with Vista before but with the release of Service Packs 1 and 2, I finally used it. That is where Microsoft is good, Service Packs. It’s has been always their natural trend. They release an OS that is buggy at first then they follow-up with Service Packs until it becomes stable. I assume the curve will be the same, hardware and third-party software vendors will catch up a bit later than Seven’s release, so if you buy the new OS immediately chances are some of your PC‘s hardware and your favorite software are not yet supported. The better way, if you want Seven like falling for your high school or college crush is to wait for it  to mature a little, that way you two can get together well. So, be patient and wait.

I am not a hater of Windows, not a lover either. As a matter of fact, it is the platform that I am using now while writing this article. I expect new PCs will ship with Seven, more so with Notebooks and signature desktops, some people are saying (mostly Microsoft folks) that Seven is also good for touch capable/enabled devices and netbooks. This, by the way, was the thing Vista was never able to make, penetrate the netbook class computer. Well, let us see, I have not tried Seven on a netbook but I am equally excited as you are to see Seven doing well on a netbook.

For my closure, I would like to quote  a portion of the announcement:

Of course, today’s release is also the result of the amazing amount of feedback we received from the millions of people who tested Windows 7 – from Beta to RC. We actually had over 10 million people opt-in to the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). That’s a lot of people opting in to help us make Windows 7 a solid release. Through CEIP, our engineers were guided by customer feedback all the way to RTM. We also have had a great group of beta testers who have dedicated a great deal of their time to testing Windows 7 too. A special thank you goes out to all the people who helped test Windows 7.

My response is, Duh?

Thanks.

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