Where is the [b]real[/b] Start Menu on Windows XP?

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by Mr Happy, Apr 15, 2008.

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  1. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator



    Thats better. Now here's the prob.

    Mrs Happy, has a Sony Vaio lap top, a couple of years old but she's a canny old bird and won't install stuff on it. Even Window's updates get serious consideration on whether she is a in a pro-Bill Gates mood or not.

    Anyways, we have the following problem.

    When she restarts her lappy toppy, I would say it takes about 10 minutes to cycle through all the programs to get to the stage where she can launch an app.

    She believes "its because so many programs are trying to log onto the web and each one has to fail before allowing the next one to try and fail, the wireless starter thing however is at the back of the queue" (a sort of run before walk situation). After 10 mins she can start using apps (including web apps).

    Now, we know that the Docs and settings/All User/Start Menu lists about three programs. But I know that somewhere, out there, is a real start menu, the one that tells norton (piece of sh*t), hardware and other stuff to start up. So my question to arrse's combined intellect is:


    I don't think it is in the registry - or am I being wrong here?

    Thanks in advance,

    Mr H
  2. Couple of helpful sites


    or here


    First and easiest way to see if it is what you want is to reboot and hold down the SHIFT KEY while it boots, see if it is any faster as this stops it loading/executing progs during start up.

    Have fun. :)
  3. It sounds like you need to defrag your computer.
    You’ll need to do this multiple time, you can stop when the defrag completes in the same time each time its run.
    Once you’ve reached this point you should remember to run defrag once a month.

    Next install CCleaner


    This tool will clean all the useless files off your PC which are slowing it down.
    It will also fix all your registry errors and allows you to see what programs are running on startup, it’ll also allow you to stop them running on startup.
    Don’t remove anything from startup that you don’t recognise, sods law it’ll be something important.

    Alternatively you could type MSCONFIG in Start > Run to see what apps are running on startup.
  4. A lot of this stuff lives in the registry, so if you're happy wading about in regedit, the key to look for is usually HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run - lots of startup items live there.

    Although like Goku says, it's probably worth defragmenting the hard drive too.
  5. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Bloody Hell ... there's dozens of the blighters. 8O

    Why don't they make these pop-ups capable of being full-screen, so you actually read what they all are?
  6. I like posts like this, they make me even more smug about using a mac, press start and hey presto! you can do stuff in seconds.

    My windows based work laptop is a different story though, even with all this core-duo thingy, superdooper ram, and terrabytes of hard drive I still have time to make a brew, nip to the shop, kick the wife and peruse a few old copies of Escort between pressing "start" and actually being able to use it. Heap of expensive rubbish, useless OS.

    Edited to add. This laptop is two weeks old with the minimum of programmes..just Office and the like.
  7. First of all, if the machine is 2 years old, has she defragmented the drive recently? A badly fragmented drive can slow startup a LOT!

    As for programs running at startup: These might be visible in the (normal) Star menu under All Programs/startup. You can make any program start when the machine starts up by putting a shortcut to it in there. But a lot of programs do start themselves from the registry. To see what's there you can either use msconfig or something like Spybot which gives easy access to the entries.

    To use msconfig, from the start menu click on "run" and type in msconfig. This lets you see and alter what services and apps run when the machine starts but gives very little info about what they are.

    Personally, I prefer using Spybot. For this, you start Spybot and then, from the top menu select Mode/Advanced mode. This will give you options on the left of the window for "settings", "tools" and "info and licence". You need to click on the "tools" section and then "system startup".

    This will give you a list of the programs that are starting automatically. By clicking on one you can get a little info about what it is - for example, mine is showing IAAnotif which, when clicked on, tells me that it's part of Intel Application Accelerator and may be necessary.

    You can disable programs from starting by un-ticking the box to their left or remove them (from the automatic startup) by highlighting them and clicking Delete at the top of the window.

    It's generally a lot safer to disable rather than delete - at least when you're finding out what's what. You can always go back in and delete something once you know that disabling it hasn't broken anything!
  8. Go to START then ALL PROGRAMS then STARTUP delete what programs you don not want to start on start up will help with boot up time
  9. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    So why are they all there?
    Does Gates get royalties for them being in my Start menu? :lol:
  10. Go to Start, Run and type msconfig
    This allows you to edit what programs are run at startup - you'll find loads of them.
  11. 1. Click on the start menu.
    2. Click on "Run" and a dialog box will appear.
    3. In this box type "regedit" and press enter. The registry editor will appear.

    The registry editor looks like a normal file explorer with folders on the left pane and what looks like files (They aren't files though, they are registry keys) on the right pane.

    Be careful what you do here. Messing about with the wrong bits of the registry can render your computer unusable.

    In the folders on the right, you need to navigate to the following folders...


    Inside these two folders are the keys that tell which software to start when Windows starts. If you work out what most of them are you can delete the ones you don't need to start.

    If you post a list of them I can tell you which ones you can safely delete.
  12. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Hey guys thanks for this.

    I should add that CCLeaner, UltimateDegrag I shoved on her machine whilst she wasn't looking and they've not made a dent. Its not the day-to-day functioning of the machine it is the start up process that is driving her nuts.

    Therefore I shall be try SpyBot later today (step 1). If that fails, I'll consider MSCONFIG or REGEDIT. Not sure what the difference as they sound the same from folk here. But those can be step2.

    I've got a 4gb RAM server PC MF (Muthafcker), 2TB, quad blah blah PC myself so I am a little aware of whats what so when I say her start up is clearly fcked I am certain it is her start up - I assume by some or one programme freezing all activity until its finished (can't even launch task mgr).
  13. smash it with a hammer and claim on the insurance, err, what I mean is it would be a pity if anything happened to her machine...

    (only kidding folks as that would be naughty and none of us would condone that, would we?)
  14. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    i believe REGEDIT is "skilled work", and can cause terminal illnesses, but am prepared to be howled down ;-)
  15. All good advice above but be cautious using both Regedit and msconfig.

    Personally I only restart my lappy about once a week and use the hibernate function at night. Restarts in the morning in about 30 secs.