Have you ever noticed that when you install a program, another icon will often show up in the system tray?
Many of these programs do this so that the program will automatically update; or is placed there as a means for you to conveniently interact with the program; or is installed to the tray to add functionality to other Windows components. This is all fine and good; but, after awhile an accumulation of these icons could be the sign indicating why your PC is running slower. Just remember, all of these icons are an indication of a running program (in the background) that is competing with other running services and processes that you do not see. Some programs provide a means to disable the startup function; however, some programs do not. End result is slow boot time and slow computer…
Have you ever had an error suddenly appear when you the start the computer and you have no idea what it is or how to get rid of it?
Most of these errors, from my experience, occur as a result of a program not being uninstalled properly; or operating system files are missing or corrupt; or files to an individual startup program are missing or corrupt (e.g. by Malware, disk or file system issues, etc.).
Have you ever experienced malware on your PC?
Many of these malicious programs will install components in the various auto-start areas of the operating system and are not visible.
How do you diagnose these problems?
The first thing a tech will do is find a good utility to basically provide a visual of the startup areas of the operating system. In the past, you were limited to the utility MSCONFIG, which is built into Windows. Today, there are quite a few diagnostic utilities available.
You definitely need to know what you are doing when diagnosing problems such as mentioned, due to the complexity of the Windows structure. With the right diagnostic utility, you become a detective looking for clues… One such utility that I recently came across is called “Runscanner”… It is a standalone utility that can be run from your PC or from a USB flash drive. The thing that makes it standout from some of the other startup diagnostic utility programs is that it has many options built in to upload and identify suspicious files or to connect directly to a list of tech forums to seek assistance or to upload a logfile. It also has a backup feature that will backup any changes made. If you are someone who is learning, there is a “Beginner” and “Expert” mode option in the program.
clipped from www.runscanner.net
RunScanner is a freeware windows system utility which scans your system for all running programs, autostart locations, drivers, services and hijack points.
You can use Runscanner to detect changes and misconfigurations in your system caused by spyware, viruses or human errors.
100+ start/hijack locations
Online malware analysis
Import and export of .run files
Powerful process killer
Save to text log file
Powerful file filtering
Host file editor
History backup / restore
Analysis of file certificates
Beginner, Expert mode
Bit9 FileAdvisor MD5 lookup
CastleCops MD5 lookup
Upload file to VirusTotal
Analyze loaded modules
Runscanner MD5 lookup
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