Article ID: 331796 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

This article describes how to start your computer by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs so that you can determine whether a background program is interfering with your game or program. This kind of startup is known as a "clean boot." This article also provides information that you can use to o troubleshoot application or service conflicts.

When you start Windows by using a normal startup, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause interference when you install or run a program, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator X or Streets & Trips 2010.

This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.

You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.

Resolution

Prerequisites

Check the following requirements before you follow any of the methods in this article.
  • You must be logged on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to perform the methods discussed in this article. If this is your personal computer, you are likely already logged on with an administrator account. If this is a computer that is part of a network at work, you might have to ask the system administrator for help. To verify that you are logged on to Windows with a user account that is a computer administrator, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://support.microsoft.com/gp/admin
  • You must know which version of Windows your computer is running. To determine the version of Windows that you are running, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://support.microsoft.com/gp/admin

Things that you should know before you perform a clean startup

  • Some services may temporarily lose functionality when you perform a clean startup. When you restore the settings, the functionality will be restored. However, the original error message or behavior may return.
  • Be aware that if the computer is connected to a network, the network policy settings might prevent you from completing the clean restart procedure. You might have to contact the system administrator for help if you cannot perform a clean startup.

How to perform a clean startup

Step 1: Start the System Configuration Utility

Click Start
Collapse this imageExpand this image
Start button
, type msconfig in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

Collapse this imageExpand this image
User Account Control permission
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.

Step 2: Configure Selective Startup options

  1. In the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click Selective Startup on the General tab.
  2. Click to clear the Load Startup Items check box.
    Note The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.
  3. Click the Services tab.
  4. Click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.
  5. Click Disable All, and then click OK.
  6. When you are prompted, click Restart.

Step 3: Determine whether the problem is resolved

  • After the computer starts, try to start the affected game or program to determine whether the problem is resolved.
  • If the problem does not occur after you restart, the interference is occurring because of a background program or service. In this case, see the "Determine what is causing the problem" section.
  • If the problem returns after you perform a clean startup, the interference is not occurring because of a background program or service. In this case, this article cannot resolve your problem. See the "How to return Windows to Normal startup mode" section to return your computer to the original startup mode. Then, go to the "Next steps" section for other resources that may help you resolve this problem.

Determine what is causing the problem

Step 1: Start the System Configuration Utility

Click Start
Collapse this imageExpand this image
Start button
, type msconfig in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

Collapse this imageExpand this image
User Account Control permission
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.

Step 2: Enable half of the Services items

  1. Click the Services tab, and then click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.
  2. Click to select half of the check boxes in the Services list.
  3. Click OK.
  4. When you are prompted, click Restart.

Step 3: Determine whether the problem is resolved

  • If the problem still occurs after you restart the computer, follow these steps:
    1. Repeat Step 1 and Step 2 except that, in Step 2, click to clear half of the check boxes in the Services list that you originally selected.
    2. If the problem still occurs after another restart, click to clear half of the remaining check boxes again until one service is running when the problem occurs.
    3. If the problem does not occur after a restart, reverse the selection of check boxes. Repeat this process until you can isolate the one service that is running when this problem occurs.
  • If the problem does not occur after you restart the computer, follow these steps:
    1. Repeat Step 1 and Step 2 except that, in step 2, click to select half of the cleared check boxes.
    2. If the problem still does not occur after another restart, click to select half of the cleared check boxes again. Repeat this process until you have selected all the check boxes and the problem still does not occur.
    3. If the problem occurs after a restart, click to clear half of the check boxes that you last selected. Repeat this process until you can isolate the one service that is running when this problem occurs.
If you can isolate one service that is selected when the problem occurs, that service is the one that causes the problem. If you cannot isolate any service in this manner, a startup item might be causing the problem.

If you determine that a service is causing the problem, go to Step 6. If you determine that no service is causing the problem, go to Step 4.

Step 4: Enable half of the Startup items

  1. Start the System Configuration Utility. To do this, see Step 1.
  2. Click the Startup tab, and then click to select half of the check boxes in the Startup list.
  3. Click OK.
  4. When you are prompted, click Restart.

Step 5: Determine whether the problem is resolved

After you complete Step 4, click to clear the Hide All Microsoft Services check box. Then, repeat the steps in Step 3, except that you are now working in the Startup list instead of in the Services list.

Step 6: Resolve the problem

After you determine the startup item or the service that causes the problem, contact the program manufacturer to determine whether the problem can be resolved. Or, run the System Configuration Utility, and then click to clear the check box for the problem item.

How to return Windows to a normal startup mode

If the problem occurs when your computer is in clean startup mode, then the interference is not being caused by a background program. In this case, return your computer to the normal startup mode. The normal startup mode starts Windows in the usual manner by loading all device drivers and services.

You might also want to return Windows to a normal startup mode if you have problems during any of the troubleshooting procedures that are discussed in this article, and if you want to return the services to the original settings.

Notes
  • If you isolated and disabled the interfering program or service, returning your computer to a normal startup mode will enable that program or service. Also, the original error message or behavior will occur again.
  • You do not have to return your computer to a normal startup mode if you followed the steps in the "Determine what is causing the problem" section. This is because you have probably already enabled all the services by performing the procedures in that section.
To return your computer to a Normal startup mode, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    in the Start Search box.
  2. Type msconfig, and then press ENTER.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.
  3. On the General tab, click Normal Startup - load all device drivers and services, and then click OK.
  4. When you are prompted, click Restart.
If the methods in this article do not resolve the problem, go to the "Next steps" section for other resources that may help you.

Next steps

If you need more help, visit the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find other solutions. This Web site provides the following services:

Properties

Article ID: 331796 - Last Review: September 18, 2012 - Revision: 30.0
Applies to
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  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Standard
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Keywords: 
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