Configuring Advanced Windows Startup Settings with MSCONFIG

Msconfig goes a long way beyond simply allowing you to control startup items. The program also allows you to make changes to common Windows startup files such as Config.sys, Autoexec.bat, Win.ini, and System.ini. The ability to selectively enable, disable, and edit these files through the Msconfig interface helps to avoid syntax errors and makes it easy to return files to a previous state.

For troubleshooting purposes, Msconfig allows you to backup and restore your current or previous settings, as well as control which files should be processed or advanced elements configured in order to troubleshoot the startup process, as shown below. For example, you might choose to process only certain system files when the PC next starts in order to test changes, or disable scandisk after a bad shutdown.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.