Question:

msconfig not saving changes to startup items / Windows 7

Hunter: 02 February 2022

Any changes I make in msconfig or Autoruns to remove items from startup seems to work without error in those two programs.

However, after the reboot, the startup items I disabled are back again, starting just after login.

Answer:
Claire: 02 February 2022

I've been in a similar situation. Try this.

Two programs I use are: Windows Process Explorer (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx), and Online Armor Free (https://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/oa/) by Emsisoft. Windows Process Explorer is a standalone program that will give you detailed information on running processes in the background. Online Armor is a security suite (30 days trial; but afterwards lets you choose full version or limited freeware mode) that has low memory usage for me and doesn't slow down startup much, but requires some training if you wish to use all its security features. I suggest getting both.

Windows Process Explorer shows me the parent process and any child processes associated with the autorun offender so I know what to look for in the Autoruns tab of Online Armor Free. The Autoruns tab will list various dll's, drv's, sys's, and exe's associated with startup programs and services. There, you can get more information on the file to locate the registry keys if you want, but registry keys can be respawned sometimes. All you really need to do is Block the parent process or child process, depending which one does exactly what you want.

For example, in Windows Process Explorer the parent process for TeamViewer is TeamViewer_Service.exe and one of its child processes is TeamViewer.exe. If I go to Autoruns tab in Online Armor Free, it will show TeamViewer_Service.exe and I can set it to Block. Then it won't autorun at startup, even if another file or service tries to re-enable it in autorun.

Online Armor deals with unwanted autoruns by blocking the autorun itself; it does not act as a switch on/off for autoruns (unlike some programs out there). Ensuring that if the autorun is re-enabled at reboot, the autorun still won't do anything unless the autorun spawned under a different name; but even this can be dealt with in another way. This has saved me trouble even with programs that re-enable autorun if I manually execute the program (if I ever need to use it). And it has worked even on stubborn startup services that almost nothing else worked against.