Random stuff from Patrick Crispen

How to use MSCONFIG in Windows 98, 98 SE, and ME

Here is how to use MSCONFIG in Windows 98, 98SE, and ME to disable some of the unnecessary programs that automatically load on start-up. Disabling these programs will help your computer boot faster and crash less. [For step-by-step instructions on how to use MSCONFIG in other versions of Windows, please visit my main How to Use MSCONFIG page.]

1. Go to Start > Run
Start, Run

2. Type MSCONFIG in the "Open:" box and then either press enter on your keyboard or click on the OK button.

3. This launches Microsoft's System Configuration Utility. Click on the Startup tab (the tab at the far right).
System Configuration Utility in Windows 9X

4. This takes you to a page with a list of "startup items." Startup items are programs that are automatically loaded every time you turn on your computer. Some startup programs are absolutely necessary, others are simply a waste of RAM.
System Configuration Utilities, Startup Tab

The only startup items you absolutely need are:

Since you need these startup items to be running all the time in order for your computer to work properly, make sure there is always a check mark next to all of these startup items. If you don't see one or two these items in your list of startup items, that's cool. For example, some people may not have a LoadPowerProfile while others may have two. The big thing to remember is that you don't want to uncheck any of these files if you have them.

The rest of the startup items, however, are completely optional. Whether you leave these optional startup items on or turn them off is completely up to you. A good rule of thumb is to disable only those programs that you recognize and don't need to have running all the time. When in doubt, leave it on.Or, better still, check out Paul "PacMan" Collins' huge "Startup Applications" list at http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_search.php. This list of over 25,000 startup items you may encounter in MSCONFIG tells you which items are absolutely necessary, which items are optional, and which items you should definitely uncheck.

Here's a good example. On my computer I have a mess of MP3s and I listen to those MP3s with a program called WinAmp. For some reason or other, WinAmp decided that it should always be running on my computer even when I am not using the program. That's silly. To prevent WinAmp from automatically starting every time I boot my computer, I ran MSCONFIG and unchecked "WinampAgent." That's it.

Remember, disable only those programs that you recognize and don't need to have running all the time. When in doubt, leave it on.

5. Click on the OK button.

6. A message will pop up telling you that you must restart your computer before these changes will take effect. Click on "Yes" and your computer will automatically reboot.
System Settings Change

7. That's it! Your computer should now boot faster and crash less.

And if you ever want to turn on any of the startup items you disabled with MSCONFIG, just run MSCONFIG again.

Copyright © 2014 Patrick Crispen. Contents licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. All other rights reserved.