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Autoruns for Windows by Sysinternals


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#1
John Bull

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I use windows XP Home 2002 with SP3.
It is an old set and must contain many old and redundant autorun files.

I only recently discovered "Autoruns for Windows" by Sysinternals version V11.70 see -
http://technet.micro...s/bb963902.aspx

It is easy to run (icon copied to desktop) and gives a seemingly splendid output with 17 selective process boxes, a colour code, descriptive details of each file listed and even more details when the file is clicked to highlight. It is a highly instructive output with an easy "delete" method to get rid of unwanted or unused files.

Not sure I understand it too well at my limited level, but it does look good.

Any comments ?
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#2
Ztruker

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It's recommended quite often for looking at programs that start at boot time. There are others too but autoruns is good.
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#3
John Bull

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It's recommended quite often for looking at programs that start at boot time. There are others too but autoruns is good.


What a confidence inspiring post.
Do you know what happens to deleted files ? Recycle Bin or gone for ever ?

Some files are designated "File not found". I would think these could be deleted immediately.

Edited by John Bull, 21 November 2013 - 04:21 PM.

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#4
Naathim

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It depends on what do you want to do in your System.

Autoruns is a tool which is able to alter many settings in your System. Depending on what do you want to do, we can give you some more advice about it.

Please note that this kind of tool should be used to alter your system settings only with some expert guidance.
Using it on your own may leave your system unstable or even unbootable.

Feel free to ask any other questions about it :)
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#5
John Bull

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It depends on what do you want to do in your System.

Autoruns is a tool which is able to alter many settings in your System. Depending on what do you want to do, we can give you some more advice about it.

Please note that this kind of tool should be used to alter your system settings only with some expert guidance.
Using it on your own may leave your system unstable or even unbootable.

Feel free to ask any other questions about it :)

I was under the impression that Autoruns listed all the files scheduled to run at start and emphasised those which are no longer needed or completely redundant to system requirements.

By deleting such files does not appear to alter the vital system requirements at all, but simply cleans out unnecessary clutter from the autorun list, thereby improving start response times.

My important question is as stated previously - where do the deletions go ? Recycle Bin or gone for ever.

Edited by John Bull, 21 November 2013 - 06:21 PM.

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#6
Naathim

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Autoruns does not delete any files.
Instead it alters some registry settings to prevent some files from being loaded, but it does it in the Registry in a way, that we are able to restore it if necessary.

Can you please point exactly the entries you are referring to? If you will do it, we may provide you some more information about them.

It is a great app, indeed :)

Edited by Naathim, 21 November 2013 - 06:40 PM.

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#7
John Bull

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Autoruns does not delete any files.
Instead it alters some registry settings to prevent some files from being loaded, but it does it in the Registry in a way, that we are able to restore it if necessary.

Can you please point exactly the entries you are referring to? If you will do it, we may provide you some more information about them.

It is a great app, indeed :)


A screen shot of the program output is given in the link I gave in my OP.

I do not have a specific problem, the program is too new to me, I am not familiar with it or fully understand it and the purpose in my posting was to get comments by those who have used the program, preferably often.

You say the "deletions" are not actually deleted, but dealt with by some registry method and can be recovered, but do not explain in detail how these processes are carried out. It is vital to know exactly how the program handles such deletions and certainly how it provides a user friendly and easy restore facility.

We are all familiar with registry deletes that go into the Recycle Bin and can be restored at a right click, like CCleaner behaves.
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#8
Naathim

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Have you ever been editing the registry?

Autoruns does the same, the only difference is that we do it with registry scripts, while this program uses GUI.

When you see an entry there, for example in the Run subkey, when you uncheck it in Autoruns, it just deletes the corresponding value in the subkey. Nothing more.
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#9
John Bull

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Have you ever been editing the registry?

Autoruns does the same, the only difference is that we do it with registry scripts, while this program uses GUI.

When you see an entry there, for example in the Run subkey, when you uncheck it in Autoruns, it just deletes the corresponding value in the subkey. Nothing more.

Thank you for all your comments, they are very helpful indeed.

If you are saying that an item considered redundant is merely rendered inactive by unchecking the particular box on the output table (all boxes are checked by default) and if there is any problem, simply rechecking it again to restore the file into active service, then fine, that sounds easy. I do not see any particular risk in doing that, providing the unchecked box or file is still shown on future runs unchecked and not excluded.

With that arrangement - similar to CCleaner start lists - nobody can possibly do any harm to the registry. It is a perfectly safe procedure and extremely user friendly.

If this is the case, then Autoruns for Windows is a superb program which does not need a user with a Masters Degree in Computer Science and can be used by ordinary foot sloggers like me.

The only fact is that I deleted an obvious rubbish file. It disappeared from the list, BUT it never showed up on a re-run. GONE ! How do we then recover that then ? I cannot find it. Where is this restore feature ? Without it, a computer disaster is a certainty.

I would gratefully appreciate a wider sphere of comments by users in order to get a more general opinion.

Edited by John Bull, 22 November 2013 - 02:31 PM.

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#10
Naathim

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Thank you for all your comments, they are very helpful indeed.

Glad to hear that :)

If you are saying that an item considered redundant is merely rendered inactive by unchecking the particular box on the output table (all boxes are checked by default) and if there is any problem, simply rechecking it again to restore the file into active service, then fine, that sounds easy. I do not see any particular risk in doing that, providing the unchecked box or file is still shown on future runs unchecked and not excluded.

The only one risk is that you need to be sure what file are you unchecking. As you see, you can make there many operations. Semi-advanced user is able to display even more entries there, including critical system ones. Unchecking even one of them may be very harmful.

With that arrangement - similar to CCleaner start lists - nobody can possibly do any harm to the registry. It is a perfectly safe procedure and extremely user friendly.

If this is the case, then Autoruns for Windows is a superb program which does not need a user with a Masters Degree in Computer Science and can be used by ordinary foot sloggers like me.

I agree about being user friendly :) But once again, extra precautions are mandatory when dealing with system ones. Other entries (especially the ones in Run key can be switched off to improve the system boot-up. Of course some of them are needed, like audio card drivers and others. For example on my machine startup looks like this:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run				2013-11-18 19:48
HDAudDeck	VIA HD Audio CPL	VIA	c:\program files (x86)\via\viaudioi\vdeck\vdeck.exe	2012-08-09 10:22
SunJavaUpdateSched	Java(TM) Update Scheduler	Oracle Corporation	c:\program files (x86)\common files\java\java update\jusched.exe	2013-07-02 17:16

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run				2013-06-05 15:57
SandboxieControl	Sandboxie Control	Sandboxie Holdings, LLC	c:\program files\sandboxie\sbiectrl.exe	2013-10-16 14:07


C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup				2013-10-24 13:25
Dropbox.lnk	Dropbox	Dropbox, Inc.	c:\users\user\appdata\roaming\dropbox\bin\dropbox.exe	2013-06-28 23:12

Once more, if you're unsure about something when dealing with entries, ask in the forum. Staff here will tell you what should be left alone and what can be removed in a perfectly safe manner :)

The only fact is that I deleted an obvious rubbish file. It disappeared from the list, BUT it never showed up on a re-run. GONE ! How do we then recover that then ? I cannot find it. Where is this restore feature ? Without it, a computer disaster is a certainty.

Sorry, but I don't understand:
You mean that you deleted an entry to an obviously bad file?
Autoruns give you possibility to save settings (in the file menu at the top bar) and import them. Unfortunaltely I've never used this feature so I can't confirm to you how it exactly works.
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#11
rshaffer61

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If I may add in to this topic. You can do a system restore before all this and then run Autoruns where we can then assist you from the beginning to make sure what is running behind the scenes.

If you would like us to help is is our instructions for Autoruns. :thumbsup:

Download Autoruns from the link in my signature below:

1: Extract the Autoruns Zip file contents to a folder.
2: Double-click the "Autoruns.exe".
3: Click on the "Everything" tab
4: Click the Options at the top of the Window. In the new little window click the box that states Hide Microsoft Services
5: Go to File then to Export As or Save in some versions.
6: Save the file as AutoRuns.txt file instead of the default .arn to a known location like your Desktop.
7: Attach to your next reply.
8: DO NOT do anything till we have had a chance to study the log and reply with suggestions as to what to remove.

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#12
John Bull

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My grateful thanks to all of you for the valuable and explanatory posts given.

With 54 GB of free space on my hard disk, I don`t wish to become an adrenaline junky by taking a stroll through a minefield, when I have no need to do so. A few extra milliseconds on start, does not worry me.

This program looks good, but the problems being raised are simply not worth the unnecessary risk in my case of using it. I do not need the excitement.

The file I deleted was pure junk with a file name of simply "0" and designated "File not found". You cannot delete a file that is not there, only a redundant record. A redundant record cannot participate in the process of autorun.

So in view of the caution being advised, I will regard "Autoruns for Windows" as a plaything for others and go back to my Rubik Cube if I can snatch it back from the dogs toy box without him knowing.

My sincere thanks to all posters.

Edited by John Bull, 23 November 2013 - 03:42 PM.

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