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Ways of automatically starting stuff up on Windows startup (i.e., places to look in to work out where the adware has managed to implant itself)

Alternatively, run AdAware?  Seems quite good to me, but then I haven't used it that much I guess - Kazuhiko




autoexec.bat - in root, runs DOS executables (9x)

wininit.exe - always runs, executes contents of wininit.ini if wininit.ini is present in Windows folder (9x, ME)

winstart.bat  - in windows folder, runs DOS executables (9x)

dosstart.bat  - in windows folder, runs DOS executables when booting to DOS mode (9x)

system.ini - starts explorer.exe (SHELL parameter in [BOOT] section). explorer.exe will run stuff it's given as a parameter. (9x, ME, XP, 2000)

win.ini - runs anything in load and run parameters in [windows] section. (9x, ME, XP, 2000)

registry - Run, RunOnce, RunOnceEx, RunServices, RunServicesOnce keys in \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\ subdirectory of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ and/or HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT (all versions, except RunOnce isn't supported by NT 3.5).

Run and Load keys in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows (NT only)

UserInit?, Shell, System, VmApplet?, RunDLL? keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon (NT only)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run (ME, 2000, XP)

global startup folder in start menu (NT, 2000, XP)

user's startup folder in start menu (all)

[Image file execution option keys] for, e.g., explorer.exe



msconfig is a useful tool to see & toggle what is running on your pc (Specially if you are having problems starting/shutting down)
But it misses a number of the above places, including wininit.ini, LoadOnce? and RunOnce?, and the NT-specific keys. - MoonShadow

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Last edited November 16, 2006 12:27 pm (viewing revision 10, which is the newest) (diff)
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