Windows

Gallery: Troubleshooting features found in the Windows 7 System Configuration tool

In Windows 7's System Configuration tool you'll find a more concise set of tabs

After reading my recent blog post, Use Windows 7 Event Viewer to track down issues that cause slower boot times, a friend who just recently made the move to Microsoft Windows 7 from Windows XP asked me whether the System Configuration Utility was still a viable tool to use in Windows 7. After I assured him that it was still a useful troubleshooting tool and described the modifications in the new version, I thought that a lot of people moving from XP to Windows 7 might have the same question.

Therefore, in this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll take a closer look Windows 7's System Configuration utility.

Launching System Configuration
Of course, just like in Windows XP, you can launch the Windows 7 System Configuration utility by pressing [Windows] +R to access the Run dialog box, typing msconfig.exe in the Open box, and then clicking OK. However, it is a bit quicker to just click the Start button, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and press [Enter].

Once System Configuration launches, you'll discover several differences when compared to the Windows XP version. To begin with, you'll notice that the word Utility has been dropped from the name of the tool. You'll also notice a more concise set of tabs. Let take a closer look.

(Keep in mind that the clicking the Help button will provide you with the details of each option in System Configuration.)

General
When you look at the contents of the General tab, you'll notice that it contains the same three startup options as the Windows XP version. Of course, the default is Normal Startup, which loads all the normal device drivers and services. The Diagnostic Startup option loads only with basic services and drivers while the Selective Startup provides you with the option to selectively load system services and startup programs. (The Use Original Boot Configuration check box stays selected unless you change the default setting on the Boot tab.)

This gallery is also available as an entry in the TechRepublic Microsoft Windows Blog.
Screenshot by Greg Shultz.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

8 comments
seanferd
seanferd

The questions here have little to do with the article. You will receive more attention with a properly titled question in the questions forum, where other people answer... questions.

rob.dhert
rob.dhert

My system at this moment is VISTA Home Premium.(desktop) The trouble is on my notebook, XP Home Edition, I upgraded from IE6-7 >> 8, and SP2 >> 3 and now I can't update whatsoever. The comment on the Winhelp pages tells me, "The files needed to use windowsUpdate are no longer registrated/installed on this computer", on the same page, they give the possibility to fix it, downloading files (counter 100%), registering files (counter 100%), THEN NOTHING HAS CHANGED !!. Maybe this post isn't i/t right topic, but I'm despared and frustrated that I can't solf this without help. I would appriciate any help in tracking down this problem, so that I can update Windows and my other programs again. thks in adv. Rob

pmat20
pmat20

The questions posted had direct relation to the article. -What are the different ways of getting on to Msconfig? Seanfred, It is OK if you do not want to answer OR if you do not know the answer.

TobiF
TobiF

You may be able to find clues in C:\WINDOWS\WindowsUpdate.log Try to run the update once, then check the log

pmat20
pmat20

Hi, I am in a situation where I tried to install a Video Card (VGA)and now Win7 cannot boot at all. Apparently, the VGA driver has become "default" and I get a "blue-screen" on bootup. -Removing the offending Video Card and System restore(there was only 1 restore point available) did not help. -I am desperate to somehow remove the VGA drivers so that Win7 can boot. Getting to "msconfig" could help me to fix the start-up. -Any help will be highly appreciated. Thanks..

pmat20
pmat20

Thanks for the reply scottwilcox Windows7 tries to fix the issue by itself and gives the option to System Restore,Memory Test,Command Line and 2 other options (I don't remember now). -I keep trying to get into the "Advance options" and Win7 keeps bringing up the other screen. -I am now backing up files through a boot disk and might just re-install Win7 again. BTW, I would like to back up the Office 2007 activation file before re-installing Win7. Any ideas how to go about it? Tried a couple of programs that came with the boot disk and it could not find the activation file. -Any help there..?? Thanks

ntmann
ntmann

Start the computer, after the beep, press f8. Boot into last known good configuration. This should take you back before the install of the of the video driver, when the computer was booting correctly.