Security

Sysinternals Autoruns: The Right Tool for the Job?

Erik Eckel needed a accurate, effective tool for tracking down DLLs, services and applications that automatically load at system startup. He found Sysinternals' Autoruns, now a free Microsoft-provided troubleshooting application. Is it the Right Tool for the Job?

The Job TechRepublic's Erik Eckel needed a accurate, effective tool for tracking down DLLs, services and applications that automatically load at system startup. The Tool He found Sysinternals' Autoruns, now a free Microsoft-provided troubleshooting application.

Autoruns provides a simple but powerful graphical user interface that monitors DLLs, services, applications and other critical objects that load behind the scenes on Windows systems. In Autoruns, disabling and enabling entries is as easy as checking or clearing an item's respective checkbox.

Sysinternals Autoruns

After taking Autoruns for a test drive, Erik identified the following strengths and weaknesses:

Pros
  • Great price (it's free!)
  • Simple installation
  • Administration is easy, thanks to a straightforward GUI
  • Thorough tracking of installed and active processes
Cons
  • Some malware applications may not register within active processes, rendering Autoruns less than helpful when combating particularly problematic infections
  • Deleting processes won't remove all remnants of many unwanted programs from the hard disk
  • Removing infections that infest multiple user accounts may need to be removed as many times as there are user accounts
The Right Tool For The Job?

This highly effective monitoring and administrative tool that most Windows administrators could justify purchasing is provided free by Microsoft. What more could a Windows user ask? Microsoft's Autoruns is the right tool for tracking down and eliminating wayward services, processes, programs and more. With thorough coverage and dependable performance, the free utility is the right tool for most any malware troubleshooting routine (any for use anytime an administrators seeks to easily tweak system performance).

Read Erik's comprehensive screenshot review of Sysinternals Autoruns.

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