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How to use the System Configuration utility to troubleshoot configuration errors in Windows Vista
Article ID: 950093 - View products that this article applies to.
This article describes how to use the System Configuration utility (Msconfig.exe) to troubleshoot configuration errors that might prevent Windows Vista from starting correctly.
The System Configuration utility finds and isolates issues. However, it is not a startup management program.
For more information about how to disable or to permanently remove the programs that run when Windows starts, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/270035/ )How to disable programs that run when you start Windows XP Home Edition or Windows Vista
Advanced troubleshootingThese troubleshooting steps are intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or to contact support. For information about how to contact support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/The System Configuration utility automates the routine troubleshooting steps that Microsoft Customer Support Services professionals use when they diagnose system configuration issues.
When you use this utility, you can select options to temporarily prevent services and programs from loading during the Windows startup process. When you do this, you reduce the risk of making typing errors when you use Registry Editor. Additionally, when you use the utility, it is easy to restore the original configuration.
When you use the System Configuration utility, you can start Windows while common services and startup programs are disabled. Then, you can enable them one at a time. If an issue does not occur when a service is disabled but does occur when the service is enabled, the service could be the cause of the issue.
You can easily reset or change the configuration settings in Windows Vista to include preferences for the following settings:
Startup options that are availableThe following startup options are available:
Normal startupThe normal startup option is the Windows default. This option enables Windows to start in normal mode together with all programs, services, and device drivers loaded.
Diagnostic startupThe diagnostic startup option enables Windows to determine which basic device drivers and software to load when you start Windows. When you use this option, the system temporarily disables Microsoft services such as the following services:
To perform a diagnostic startup, follow these steps:
Selective startupThe selective startup option enables you to select the programs and services that you want the computer to load when you restart the computer. You can select from the following options:
To perform a selective startup and to troubleshoot the issue, follow these steps:
If you cannot reproduce the issue after the computer restarts, the issue is related to either the system services or the startup items. To determine the items to which the issue is related, follow these steps:
After you determine the items to which the issue is related, follow the steps in the "How to determine the service or startup item that is causing the issue" section to determine the individual service or startup item that is causing the issue.
How to determine the service or startup item that is causing the issueTo determine the cause of the issue, you can prevent individual services and startup items from loading when you restart the computer. To do this, follow these steps.
How to determine the system service that is causing the issue
How to determine the startup item that is causing the issue
How to enable and to disable individual services and startup items
Services and startup optionsThe Services and Startup tabs in the System Configuration utility have the following options:
How to return to normal startupAfter you complete your troubleshooting and fix your configuration, return to a normal startup. To do this, follow these steps:
How to start diagnostic tools and other advanced toolsYou can use the Tools tab in the System Configuration utility to start diagnostic tools and other advanced tools. The Tools tab also displays the path and the switches for the tools.
To start one or more of the tools that are listed on the Tools tab, click the tool that you want to start, and then click Launch. Or, click the tool that you want to start, and then press ALT+L.
For more information about advanced troubleshooting for general startup problems in Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
927392For more information about how to use System Restore to restore Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392/ )How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista
936212For more information about how to configure Windows Vista to start in a "clean boot" state, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936212/ )How to repair the operating system and how to restore the operating system configuration to an earlier point in time in Windows Vista
929135If these articles do not help you resolve the issue or if you experience symptoms that differ from those that are described in this article, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. To search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135/ )How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista
http://support.microsoft.comType the text of the error message that you receive, or type a description of the issue in the Search box, and then press ENTER.
Article ID: 950093 - Last Review: March 25, 2008 - Revision: 1.1