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Windows Vista

Configuring Startup and Troubleshooting Startup Issues : How to Configure Startup Settings (part 1)

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9/9/2013 2:49:08 AM

Windows Vista enables administrators to configure startup settings using many of the same graphical tools that Windows XP provides. Command-line tools for configuring startup tools have been replaced with new tools, however, and you can no longer directly edit the startup configuration file (formerly the boot.ini file). The following sections describe several different techniques for configuring startup settings.

1. How to Use the Startup And Recovery Dialog Box

The simplest way to edit the BCD registry file is to use the Startup And Recovery dialog box. To use the Startup And Recovery dialog box to change the default operating system, follow these steps:

1.
Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

2.
Click Advanced System Settings.

3.
In Startup And Recovery, click Settings.

4.
Click the Default Operating System list, and then click the operating system that you want to boot by default.

5.
Click OK twice.

The default operating system will automatically load the next time you start the computer.

2. How to Use the System Configuration Tool

The System Configuration Tool offers more advanced control over startup settings, including some ability to configure the BCD registry file. This tool is specifically designed for troubleshooting, and you can use it to easily undo changes that you have made to the computer’s configuration (even after restarting the computer). If you make changes with the System Configuration Tool, it will reminds users logging on that settings have been temporarily changed—thus reducing the likelihood that settings will not be reset after the troubleshooting process has been completed.

Some common tasks for the System Configuration tool include:

  • Temporarily disabling startup applications to isolate the cause of a post-logon problem.

  • Temporarily disabling automatic services to isolate the cause of a pre- or post-logon problem.

  • Permanently or temporarily configuring the BCD registry file.

  • Configuring a normal, diagnostic, or selective startup for Windows Vista.

To use the System Configuration tool, click Start, type Msconfig, and then press Enter. The System Configuration tool provides five tabs:

  • General Use this tab to change the next startup mode. Normal Startup loads all device drivers and services. Diagnostic Startup is useful for troubleshooting startup problems, and it loads only basic devices and services. Use Selective Startup to specify whether you want to load system services or startup items.

  • Boot Use this tab to configure the BCD registry file and startup settings. You can remove startup operating system options, set the default operating system, configure advanced settings for an operating system (including number of processors, maximum memory, and debug settings), and configure Windows Vista for Safe Boot or to boot without a graphical interface.

  • Services Use this tab to temporarily change the startup settings for a service. This is an excellent way to determine whether an Automatic service is causing startup problems. After you disable a service, restart your computer, and determine if the problem still exists. If the problem does still exist, you have eliminated one potential cause of the problem. You can then use this tab to re-enable the service, disable another service, and repeat the process. To permanently disable services, use the Services console.

  • Startup Lists applications that are configured to start automatically. This is the best way to temporarily disable applications during troubleshooting, because you can easily re-enable them later using the same tool. You should not use the System Configuration tool to permanently remove startup applications, however, because the System Configuration tool is designed to enable you to easily undo changes. Instead, you should manually remove the application or use Windows Defender.

  • Tool Provides links to other tools that you can start.

Note

The Win.ini, System.ini, and Boot.ini tabs were removed from the System Configuration tool for Windows Vista because those files are no longer used.


Because the System Configuration tool is a graphical tool, it is primarily useful when Windows Vista is booting successfully.

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