Computer Performance Part 3

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Researching programs shown in MSCONFIG

So you've opened up MSCONFIG and it's startup tab to troubleshoot how many programs are running at startup. It's not always so easy to determine what some of those beasties are that are running at startup. Maybe you've tried to put the names of the programs in to the Google search engine to see what you get. Maybe you're getting way too much information there or the information that you see is conflicting. What I recommend next is to visit a site that has an index showing what a large number of these items are. One of my favorites is It has a search engine just for this type of research.

Click on Pictures to see larger Versions

My Original msconfig startup list

I notice that one of the programs on my list is named "ADU" so I go to the castlecops site, put ADU in the search blank and then I get a list of possible programs it could relate to and how safe they are to disable.

List from Castle Cops of possible programs ADU could be:

The site ranks the programs it returns with some letters to rate how important it is to keep or remove them:

"Y" - Normally leave to run at start-up
"N" - Not required - typically infrequently used tasks that can be started manually if necessary
"U" - User's choice - depends whether a user deems it necessary
"X" - Definitely not required - typically viruses, spyware, adware and "resource hogs"
"?" - Unknown

So based on these responses, I think it's likely this is related to my Cisco Aironet wireless card as msconfig does show it loading from an Aironet folder. It gives it a "U" for user's choice, and I think I'll leave it so that my wireless card program will load automatically when I restart my computer.

CastleCops has a lot of other good features. Here's a video with an overview.