Useful System Tools Hidden in Windows part 9

How to Use Msconfig

Microsoft software utility first introduced with Windows 98 and included with all later versions of Windows that enables users to configure how their computer starts and what programs or services automatically load each time the computer starts. Users running these versions of Windows can open msconfig by following the below steps.

There are many ways to open Msconfig i will tell you shortest way to open Msconfig

1 – Using Run Command (windows key + R)


2-  just write msconfig click ok it will show you  Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. After running the msconfig command it should open the System Configuration window, similar to what is shown in the below picture and be in the General tab


There are 5 tabs in Msconfig General tab, Boot tab, Service, Sturtup tab, Tools tab i will shortly describe you what are the use of this tabs.

General tab

The General tab is the default tab in the System configuration there are choices for startup Configuration modes:


  • Normal startup. Starts Windows in the usual manner. Use this mode to start Windows after you’re done using the other two modes to troubleshoot the problem.
  • Diagnostic startup. Starts Windows with basic services and drivers only. This mode can help rule out basic Windows files as the problem.
  • Selective startup. Starts Windows with basic services and drivers and the other services and startup programs that you select.

Boot tab

The Boot tab is an option added later into the System Configuration utility (Windows 98 and XP have boot.ini). This tab allows you to make the same adjustments you can make in the Windows boot.ini file without having to edit the file. In Advanced options, you can adjust such settings as the Number of processors to use during boot, maximum memory, and other debug options including:


  • Safe boot: Minimal. On startup, opens the Windows graphical user interface (Windows Explorer) in safe mode running only critical system services. Networking is disabled.
  • Safe boot: Alternate shell. On startup, opens the Windows command prompt in safe mode running only critical system services. Networking and the graphical user interface are disabled.
  • Safe boot: Active Directory repair. On startup, opens the Windows graphical user interface in safe mode running critical system services and Active Directory.
  • Safe boot: Network. On startup, opens the Windows graphical user interface in safe mode running only critical system services. Networking is enabled.
  • No GUI boot. Does not display the Windows Welcome screen when starting.
  • Boot log. Stores all information from the startup process in the file %SystemRoot%Ntbtlog.txt.
  • Base video. On startup, opens the Windows graphical user interface in minimal VGA mode. This loads standard VGA drivers instead of display drivers specific to the video hardware on the computer.
  • OS boot information. Shows driver names as drivers are being loaded during the startup process.
  • Make all boot settings permanent. Doesn’t track changes made in System Configuration. Options can be changed later using System Configuration, but must be changed manually. When this option is selected, you can’t roll back your changes by selecting Normal startup on the General tab.

Advanced boot options:

  • Number of processors. Limits the number of processors used on a multiprocessor system. If the check box is selected, the system boots using only the number of processors in the drop-down list.
  • Maximum memory. Specifies the maximum amount of physical memory used by the operating system to simulate a low memory configuration. The value in the text box is megabytes (MB).
  • PCI Lock. Prevents Windows from reallocating I/O and IRQ resources on the PCI bus. The I/O and memory resources set by the BIOS are preserved.
  • Debug. Enables kernel-mode debugging for device driver development. Go to the Windows Driver Kit website for more information.
  • Global debug settings. Specifies the debugger connection settings on this computer for a kernel debugger to communicate with a debugger host. The debugger connection between the host and target computers can be Serial, IEEE 1394, or USB 2.0.
  • Debug port. Specifies using Serial as the connection type and the serial port. The default port is COM 1.
  • Baud rate. Specifies the baud rate to use when Debug port is selected and the debug connection type is Serial. This setting is optional. Valid values for baud are 9600, 19,200, 38,400, 57,600, and 115,200. The default baud rate is 115,200 bps.
  • Channel. Specifies using 1394 as the debug connection type and specifies the channel number to use. The value for channel must be a decimal integer between 0 and 62, inclusive, and must match the channel number used by the host computer. The channel specified does not depend on the physical 1394 port chosen on the adapter. The default value for channel is 0.
  • USB target name. Specifies a string value to use when the debug type is USB. This string can be any value.

Service tab

The Services tab allows you to enable or disable any of the Microsoft Windows services or other program services you have running on the computer. By checking the “Hide all Microsoft services” box at the bottom of the window, you can see all non-Windows services such as driver services and program services that are often the causes of startup problems. Unchecking a box will disable the service from starting.


Startup tab

The Startup tab is one of the most frequent reasons most Windows users enter the System Configuration utility. In the Startup tab, you’ll be able to start and stop any of the programs that open each time your computer starts. Lists applications that run when the computer starts up, along with the name of their publisher, the path to the executable file, and the location of the registry key or shortcut that causes the application to run. Clear the check box for a startup item to disable it on your next startup. If you’ve chosen Selective startup on the General tab, you must either choose Normal startup on the General tab or select the startup item’s check box to start it again at startup.

If you suspect an application has been compromised, examine the Command column to review the path to the executable file.


Note : Disabling applications that normally run at startup might result in related applications starting more slowly or not running as expected.

Tools tab

Provides a convenient list of diagnostic tools and other advanced tools that you can run. The Tools tab gives you quick access to all the Microsoft Windows tools. For example, clicking the Event Viewer tool and clicking Launch the Event Viewer, Action Center.


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In my next tutorial i will write about another hidden tool in windows System Information

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