Data Centers

Tech Tip: Manage Windows Server 2003 system startups with Msconfig

Learn how to manage system startups with Msconfig.

Servers don't usually suffer from the same problems that desktops do. But depending on the server's role, it can be difficult for it to start quickly if you've installed a lot of software.

Many software packages silently install programs that start automatically at system boot, using up valuable resources and adversely affecting system performance. But using the Registry Editor to modify the startup folders can be time-consuming and somewhat frustrating.

However, Microsoft continues to bundle the venerable System Configuration utility (Msconfig.exe) with all current versions of Windows, and that includes Windows Server 2003. To run this utility, go to Start | Run, type msconfig, and press [Enter].

In addition to modifying the programs that start at boot, you can use this utility to quickly change the server's startup parameters. For example, you can add the /BOOTLOG parameter to the startup process, which forces the system to write a complete log about what takes place at boot time. (To enable this feature, select the /BOOTLOG check box on the BOOT.INI tab.)

To enable or disable programs and services from starting at system boot, select the appropriate options on the Services and Startup tabs. When you're finished, restart the system for your changes to take effect.

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