It’s so frustrating when your system runs slow. You turn on your computer, wait ages for it to start and to add insult to injury an error message pops up when the desktop loads. It can lead you to wonder how well your computer would fly were you to launch it from the window. Luckily for you (and your PC!) Microsoft Windows 7 has a feature called System Configuration. This lets you manage which programs run when you start the computer, and it’s really useful for working out which are causing the problem. We’ll show you how you can use this utility, pinpoint error messages and improve your computer’s load time.

windows 7 home premium laptop

The Knowhow

When your computer starts up it loads a number of different Windows services and programs. Most of these are running behind the scenes, and some of these will appear on your desktop or in the system tray.

If your computer is running slowly, or you encounter error messages when the desktop loads, the first thing to try is powering your computer off and then back on. It may be the old standard "IT department" solution, but it’s amazing how often this sorts things out.

If restarting your computer doesn’t help, use the following steps to run System Configuration:

Changing the computer startup programs

  • Click Start, type msconfig into the search box and press Enter
  • Select the Startup tab in the system configuration boxsystem configuration startup tab
  • Click on Disable All and then select OK
  • Press Restart on the warning box that appears to restart your computer
  • If you still get the error message, re-enable the startup items in the list by ticking them individually or by pressing Enable All and select Apply, then move onto the Startup Services Section.
  • If you don’t get the error message, or this improves the load time of the computer when the desktop starts, it means one of the startup items was causing the problem. To work out which one repeat the first part of this guide to access the system configuration utility. Go through the startup list enabling each item or a group of startup items then pressing OK to restart the computer. Continue this process restarting your computer until you have isolated the startup item causing the problem. It can take a bit of time, but the long-term benefits are more than worth it.

Note: Make sure you re-enable any startup items that are part of your anti-virus, firewall or security software so they continue to start normally. You may also need to re-install associated pieces of software if it doesn’t work correctly after any of its startup items have been disabled using System Configuration.

Startup services

  • Click Start, type msconfig into the search box and press Enter
  • Select the Services tab in the system configuration boxsystem configuration services services tab
  • Tick the option to Hide All Microsoft Services
  • Click on Disable All and then select OK
  • Press Restart on the warning box that appears to restart your computer
  • If you still get the error message, re-enable the startup items in the list by ticking them individually or by pressing Enable All and then select Apply.
  • If you no longer receive the error message, repeat the first step of this section to access the system configuration utility, go through the services list enabling each item or a group of startup items. Continue this process restarting your computer until you have isolated the service causing the error message, and then re-install the affected software relating to that service.

Updated On:

Jul 02, 2012

How useful was this article?

 

Partmaster

 

Show all services

© DSG Retail Limited 2014. DSG Retail Limited, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7TG. Registered in England No. 504877, VAT number: 226 6599 33