My computer loads many small programs when it starts. It loads my firewall, antivirus, pen tablet driver and a couple of other things. I know what they are, and their icons loiter in the System Tray located at the bottom right corner of my screen.
But lately an interloper has added itself into the System Tray. I think some piece of software loaded it, but I'm not sure which one. Basically it's a utility from Install Shield that tells me when an update is available for various software products. The problem is, I don't want it sitting there. If I want an upgrade I'll go get it. I do not want to be nagged by some resource-hogging little program.
In any case, with most start-up programs, you can turn them off. For example, if I don't want my firewall software to load automatically, I can change an option that tells it not to load when I turn on the computer. Most well behaved software has this type of option somewhere.
Unfortunately, this Install Shield utility is not well behaved. I turned off every option I could find, so it would never have a reason to load. I looked to see if it was loading from the Startup folder. It wasn't. And yet, it still would appear and whine at me. These types of annoyances really bug me.
Plus, any time you have something loading in the background, you have yet another thing that can cause problems with your computer. It's particularly annoying to have your computer lock up or software start crashing because of some nasty little program you don't even want.
Fortunately, I read about a way to force System Tray programs not to load. You use the msconfig program that is built into XP.
1. Choose Start|Run.
2. Now type msconfig into the Open box.
3. Click OK.
In the System Configuration Utility program, click the Startup tab. You see a list of the programs that start when you turn on the computer. Look at the pathnames and try to identify the offending program (in this case, I removed things with Install Shield). But you don't want to mess with some of the items. For example, anything that starts C:\windows is a keeper.
Like editing the registry, this process is one of those things you do at your own risk. If you uncheck an important Windows component, you may have to go into Safe Mode, run the msconfig program again, and put it back. So be cautious.