Menu items a real drag on system


January 02, 2003|By James Coates | James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

My wife's computer uses Windows ME and had worked well, but recently running programs and using the Internet seemed very slow. I corrected the problem by going into the "msconfig" menu and shutting down all the Startup Group items. Are these necessary?

You need to keep only these items in the Windows ME Startup menu if they are checked on your machine: Scan Registry, Task Monitor, System Tray, your antivirus program and LoadPowerProfile (some machines do not use the LoadPowerProfile; others use more than one profile). Anything else can be removed.

This clogging of the virtual arteries occurs because a lot of the software that one installs sneaks its own links into the startup menu in order to keep it in front of the customer. Each new item saps a bit more memory and chip speed.

Access the list of items by clicking on Start and selecting Run. Then type in "msconfig" and press Enter. This program in Windows 98/ME/XP allows one to turn on or off each Startup item by clicking a check box next to each. Experiment by shutting items down and seeing if they are missed.

James Coates writes for the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. Send e-mail to

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