The popular System Configuration Utility, also known as MSCONFIG, is used to boot into Safe Mode, as well as troubleshoot startup issues, disable startup programs. and get the PC running normally.
- [Narrator] It's real name is the System Configuration Utility. But most people know it by the program name, MSCONFIG. The utility is ideal for troubleshooting PC Boot issues and Windows problems, as demonstrated in another movie. In this movie, I cover the System Configuration Utility and its capability to control startup programs as well as to launch other troubleshooting tools. To run the System Configuration Utility, press the Windows and r key combination, Win r, to see the Run Dialogue box.
Type msconfig and press Enter. The System Configuration window appears. The window features several tabs, General, Lists, Startup, Settings. Normal startup is the way Windows normally starts, loading everything. Diagnostic startup loads only basic drivers, but not, for example, network drivers. This isn't the same as Safe Mode, as more of Windows is loaded. Selective Startup let's you choose what to load.
You might see this item selected on a PC that can boot multiple versions of Windows, or a computer that you have upgraded from an earlier operating system. That would be this system here. The Boot tab is where you find the Safe Boot option, which is how you enter Safe Mode in Windows. You can choose options for Safe Mode, such as having the network available, which is covered in another movie. You can also use this tab to choose another operating system to load if it shows up in this list.
The Services tab lists Windows services. These are mostly background programs that run while you use Windows. They're started automatically. For example, you may see audio programs listed, maybe a Cloud Storage program, network programs, anti-virus and so on. This is the place where you can disable a startup program if it's behaving erratically. To do so, remove the check mark by an item. Click OK to restart the computer and test whether the system runs normally without that programs startup service.
If so, you can either uninstall the program, remove the service, keep it disabled or look for a software update. Closely related to services, are the Programs shown on the Startup tab. In Windows 10, this list is found instead on the Task Manager, which is covered in another movie. In older versions of Windows, this list would appear right here, in the System Configuration window. Finally, the Tools tab is perhaps one of the greatest locations in all of Windows.
Here you see a list of many other information, troubleshooting or system programs that help you configure Windows and solve problems. For example, choose Windows Troubleshooting and click the Launch button. So you click the Launch button and not OK. If you click OK, it closes the System Configuration Window and that may restart your computer. You don't wanna do that. To start one of these utilities, choose it and click the Launch button.
In this case, you see the control panels troubleshooting page, which is covered in another movie. My point is that all these tools are listed right here. Launch the Resource Monitor to view how your PC is using the CPU, storage, the network, memory and other hardware resources. In this list, you see which programs are consuming the most processor time. If you experience a slow PC, you could review the list to see whether or not one or more of the programs are running amok and using lots of resources.
You can access the Task Manager from here, the Registry Editor and System Restore. The Tools tab is just an ideal location for launching various helpful tools and utilities from within Windows. When you're done using the System Configuration Utility, click the OK button. Now, if you've changed any items, you'll see a prompt to restart the PC. Do so. Otherwise, if you don't want any changes to take effect, you click Cancel. When the system starts again, any changes you've made will take effect.
So you can troubleshoot, solve some startup mystery, but you must remember to reset the systems configuration after you're done. For example, if you've chosen to start in Safe Boot, you must remember to uncheck that option when you're done using Safe Mode. Otherwise, when you restart the PC, the same changes will take effect. So to startup normally, you would uncheck that item, make sure you choose Normal Startup, reactivate any services that you've disabled. At that point, the system will start normally.
- Diagnosing the causes of PC issues
- Troubleshooting hardware and software
- Performing startup and system restore steps
- Accessing the Task Manager
- Using the Registry Editor
- Fixing Windows
- Maintaining storage drives
- Restoring network connectivity