Autoruns 9

I have no idea how I came across this. But I accidentally discovered a Windows utility called Autoruns, which is a free download and wonderful.

This is not for computer newbies, understand? And you need to set a restore point before you begin (if this makes no sense to you, then this program is NOT for you).

The program does the most thorough job of detailing services and programs running on your computer of any program out there — FAR better than msconfig or Nortons or any other utility I can find.

It then highlights the programs that aren’t digitally signed or don’t have a listed publisher or otherwise appear suspicious. Now, some of these programs will be just fine — even necessary. But if you’re familiar with computers and your own computer, you can usually find some bad programs that you’d be better off without.

I run Norton’s Antivirus and System Mechanic. I automatically install all Windows updates. I’m paranoid about strange emails. I should be invulnerable to viruses and malware. But I’m not.

When I ran Autoruns, I found abuot 20 services that clearly did not belong on my computer. I unchecked the boxes next to them. Saved the configuration. Closed out. Rebooted — and found my local computer problems resolved.

My Outlook runs licketysplit, Internet Explorer is fast, my boot time is greatly reduced — all the things the other utilities advertise and don’t deliver.

I’d been through msconfig and a host of other registry and start up cleaners. I’d been through the Add On utilities in Internet Explorer and Outlook. I learned more about odd configuration settings than I really care to know. All to no avail. But now my computer is fixed! For free! In hardly any time at all!

But if you don’t understand terms such as “msconfig” or “restore point,” this is not for you The instructions are next to useless. And it’s such a powerful program, it could trash your computer for good — as in forcing you to reformat and reinstall everything.

Set a restore point. Save your initial configuration in Autoruns before changing anything, and then save your new configuration under a new name. Just uncheck the boxes. Don’t actually delete anything until you’ve spent a few days with the new configuration — just to be sure.

Be careful, but if like me, you’re out of safe options and your computer refuses to act right, this just might be the solution.

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2 Responses to Autoruns 9

  1. David Himes says:

    I got weary of managing things like msconfig in Windows, so I moved to Macs. Thanks for the reinforcement about the wisdom of my decision!!

  2. Avatar of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    David,

    I’m a big fan of iPhones, iPads, and iPods, but I just can’t make myself pay double for an Apple logo. One of my sons recently priced identically configured Macs and PCs, and found the pricing difference at literally 2x! That’ll pay for a lot of anti-virus trouble.

    Then again, those nights when I’m up late agonizing over the msconfig file, I wonder if the savings really do justify the grief?

    I have decidedly mixed feelings. Maybe Linux is the solution?

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