Computer Hardware:
     • Tools, Static & Cleaning
     • Form Factor
     • PC Case & Fans
     • Motherboard
     • Processor (CPU)
     • Power Supply Unit
     • RAM
     • Hard Drive
     • Solid State Drive
     • Optical Drive
     • Floppy Disk Drive
     • Graphics Card
     • Sound Card
     • Network Card
     • Computer Monitor
     • Keyboard & Mouse
     • Laptop / Netbook
     • Building a Computer
     • Overclocking

Operating System & Backup:
     • Operating System
     • Drivers
     • Windows Tools
     • User Accounts
     • Backup
     • Windows 10

Internet & Network:
     • Internet
     • Wi-fi or Cable
     • Improve Broadband Speed
     • Network Computers

Computer Peripherals:
     • Printer
     • Scanner
     • External Hard Drive
     • USB Flash Drive

Computer Security:
     • Anti-virus
     • Anti-Spyware
     • Phishing
     • Firewall

Common PC Problems:
     • Slow Computer
     • Hardware Failure
     • Software Failure
     • Printing Problems

     • Windows Shortcuts
     • Glossary of Terms
     • HTML Colour Picker
     • Number Base Converter

System Configuration

The 'System Configuration' utility can help identify problems that might prevent Windows from starting correctly. It also displays all the services and startup programs on your computer which can be selectively turned off to improve boot times and performance.

System Configuration window.

You can get to 'System Configuration' by clicking 'Start', and typing 'msconfig'. into the search box, and pressing 'Enter' on the keyboard.

When the 'System Configuration' screen is displayed you will see the following tabs:

This will allow you to select 'Normal Startup', 'Diagnostic Startup', or 'Selective Startup'. 'Diagnostic Startup' starts the computer with only basic services and drivers (much like Safe Mode), while 'Selective Startup' lets you select which services and startup programs to run when you start the computer.

The Boot screen displays your Operating System and where it is located and will display any other Operating Systems on your computer.

There are options to click on 'Safe Boot':
Minimal - 'Safe Mode'
Alternate Shell - 'Safe Mode with a Command Prompt'
Network - 'Safe Mode with Networking'

Other options such as:
No GUI boot let you start the computer without the Windows Welcome Screen
Bot log stores all startup information in a file called Ntbtlog.txt
Base Video starts your computer with basic VGA display drivers
OS boot information displays all the drivers names as the computer boots up

There are also a number of advanced options such as how many cores of your CPU are used when your computer is started.

This tab lists all the services running on your computer. The services can be selectively disabled to aid in troubleshooting startup problems. You can check the box which says "Hide all Microsoft services" so that you do not disable any important Operating System services by mistake.

A service is a program (or application) that runs in the background and has no user interface. They provide core operating system features such as Web serving, event logging, file serving, printing or error reporting.

The Startup tab lists all the programs that run when your computer is started. The programs can be selectively disabled to aid in troubleshooting startup problems.

If any of these programs are not required at startup then they can be disabled which will improve boot up times. If the program is not needed at all then it should be uninstalled properly using the program's 'uninstall' feature or if that is not available then using 'Programs and Features' in the Control Panel.

This tab gives you a list of useful diagnostic tools to help troubleshoot your computer. Tools include 'System Restore', 'Task Manager', 'Command Prompt', 'Registry Editor', 'Remote Assistance', 'Event Viewer', as well as many other useful tools.

Using 'System Configuration'
This utility provides you with a good diagnostic tool allowing you to selectively disable startup programs and services as well as providing access to other Windows Tools.

After you have made any changes you should click 'Apply' and 'OK' and you will be informed if the computer needs to be rebooted to apply the changes.

It is best to disable a startup program or service one at a time and reboot to see if disabling it has caused a problem. If you make many changes and there is a problem after rebooting your computer then you will not know which program or service has caused the problem.