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Solutions: Try SysInternals' AutoRuns to edit what loads at Startup

John, you have mentioned how to use MSCONFIG to delete Startup programs. I'm getting an "access denied" error message saying I must be logged in as an administrator. I am the administrator. I have a new Dell Optiplex 360 running Windows XP Professional and Internet Explorer 8. Using Google, I have discovered a lot of baloney. I have deleted Zone Alarm. I went into Regedit and disabled something called "PML Driver HPZ12." Neither worked. I'm not going to try any more self-help relying on amateurs! Is there a fix for this?

There are several possibilities that can cause the "access denied" message you're seeing with MSCONFIG. Since you've already tried two of the more common fixes, I would concentrate on detecting any virus or malware, which is also a common cause related to this problem. Meanwhile, instead of using MSCONFIG, try downloading and running AutoRuns (www.sysinternals.com, listed under Process Utilities). SysInternals is part of Microsoft, and the utility programs available there are safe, well-written and compact. AutoRuns goes into quite a bit more detail than some of the Startup Program Manager tools, and many may find it easier to use than MSCONFIG.

I have a Gateway desktop with Windows XP. When I turn it on, I get the following message: "Winlogon.exe unable to locate component This application has failed to start because SHELL32.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix the problem." How do I re-install since I can't log on?

Sounds like part of your disk got corrupted. Here's how you can attempt to get the system bootable. You will need to boot from a Windows XP CD. Once the setup loads temporary files, you will be presented with menu choices. Select the Setup option (press Enter). The Setup will spend some time looking for versions of Windows on your hard drive. You will finally see a prompt for you to press "R" to begin a repair operation. Missing or corrupted operating system files will then be copied to your hard drive. When complete, the computer will reboot.

I have a Dell PC with Windows XP Home. I have been unable to use Internet Explorer for months. I open IE and wait for the connection that never finishes. I get the following error: Cannot find "file:///CProgram%20Files/AOL%20Toolbar/welcomehtml: Make sure the path or internet address is correct." Since the error refers to the AOL Toolbar, which I have deleted, the browser won't open. I have downloaded new versions of it but cannot get it to open.

If you have Internet access and you just want to change to a valid Start page, from Internet Explorer click Tools, Internet Options and enter a valid URL under the home page area (www.msn.com is an example). If your problem is preventing Internet Explorer from connecting at all, this is what I suggest: Begin by starting Internet Explorer in No-Add-On mode as follows: Click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). You can also click Start, Run, and type exactly as shown here: iexplore.exe -extoff and click OK. If successful, go to Tools, Internet Options, Manage Add-Ons and make sure the AOL Toolbar is disabled. If still having problems, go to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab. Click the Reset... button. A warning message will display, then you will again click the Reset button. Hopefully this will correct the issue.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.

Solutions: Try SysInternals' AutoRuns to edit what loads at Startup 06/21/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 21, 2009 5:30am]
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