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Article ID: 281965 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 2.0

This article was previously published under Q281965

SUMMARY

This article describes how to use the Microsoft System Configuration (Msconfig) utility to troubleshoot configuration errors in Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition.

MORE INFORMATION

The Msconfig utility automates the routine troubleshooting steps that Microsoft Technical Support engineers use when they diagnose issues with the Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition configuration. When you use this tool to modify the system configuration, you are prompted to select check boxes to eliminate issues that do not pertain to your configuration. This process reduces the risk of typing errors that can occur if you use Microsoft Notepad and Microsoft System Configuration Editor.

When you use Msconfig.exe, you can easily reset or change the configuration settings in Windows to include preferences for the following files and settings:
  • The System.ini file
  • The Win.ini file
  • The Config.sys file
  • The Autoexec.bat file
  • The Winstart.bat file
  • The programs that are set to load during Startup (these programs are specified in the Startup folder and in the registry)
To prevent any of these items from loading when you restart the computer, use either of the following methods:
  • Click the General tab, and then click Diagnostic startup. When you use this option, the device drivers and software are loaded interactively when you restart the computer.

    -or-
  • Click the General tab, and then click Selective startup. When you use this option, you can choose the configuration files that you do not want loaded when you restart the computer. When you click Selective startup, the options are configured in one of the following ways:

    • If the check box is selected, the configuration file that is listed is processed when you restart the computer.
    • If the check box not selected, the configuration file that is listed is not processed when you restart the computer.
    • If the check box is selected but unavailable, some items are still loading from that configuration file when you restart the computer.
    • If the check box not available, the configuration file is not present on the computer.
To ensure that all of the configuration files and all the items that are listed in those files are loaded, click the General tab, and then click Normal startup.

NOTE: You can use the Msconfig utility to create a backup copy of your computer files before you begin a troubleshooting session. To do this, click the General tab, click the Create Backup button, and then click OK. You should create backup copies of your computer files to ensure that the modifications that were made during your troubleshooting session can be reversed.

To restore your backup files, click the General tab, and then click the Restore Backup button.

To prevent individual items or lines of the specific configuration files from loading when you restart your computer, click the tab for that particular configuration file, and then click to select the check box for the individual line or item that you do not want loaded when you restart your computer. If you click to select a check box for a folder in any of the configuration files that contain folders, all items in that folder are cleared. If files or folders contain checked boxes that are unavailable, only some of the items are selected or not selected in that file or folder.

To change the currently active line or item, use your mouse or pointing device to click individual lines, or use the Move Up or Move Down button.

To create a new entry in any of the configuration files, click the New button.

To edit a line that is currently selected, click the Edit button.

In the configuration file, if a line has an icon that is shaped like a Windows flag next to it, the file is a Windows system file that is configured to the Windows default setting.

In a configuration file, if a line has a pencil-shaped icon next to it, the line has been manually edited in the Msconfig utility.

NOTE: When you click to clear a check box for an item or a line, the computer automatically switches to Selective startup mode. This state is reported on the General tab of the utility.

After you make all the selections in the Msconfig utility, and then click OK, you are prompted to restart the computer to initiate the changes.

To access the following computer utilities, click the View menu. The following utilities and folders are displayed:
  • Control Panel
  • Device Manager
  • Printers Folder
  • Display Settings
  • Multimedia Settings
  • Fonts Folder
For additional information about advanced troubleshooting settings, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
181966  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/181966/EN-US/ ) System Configuration Utility Advanced Troubleshooting Settings

For additional information about how to perform Clean-Boot troubleshooting for Windows 98, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
192926  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192926/EN-US/ ) How to Perform Clean-Boot Troubleshooting for Windows 98
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