Microsoft has a free tool that you may wish to add to your toolkit. Called AutoRuns the tool provides an in depth look at all auto starting processes on your system. On their web site Microsoft states:
This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.
Autoruns‘ Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system. Also included in the download package is a command-line equivalent that can output in CSV format, Autorunsc.
You’ll probably be surprised at how many executables are launched automatically!
Autoruns works on all versions of Windows including 64-bit versions.
This is a standalone tool and does not need to be installed on a system which makes it ideal for your toolkit. Give it a try and see what you think.
You can get the free tool here.
[tags]microsoft, tool, utility, auto, starting, processes, diagnostic, help, [/tags]