msconfig not where it is supposed to be

By drumtrucker ยท 23 replies
Feb 4, 2004
  1. when i start/run/msconfig.. it is 'not found'

    when I search it turns up in:


    Is it supposed to be here and not being pointed to properly?

    Or is it supposed to be somewhere else?

    I am having some other wierd probs w/XP and am getting suspicious I have some undetectable virus/worm/whatever
  2. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Nope. Something is wrong. I don't know what, but just typing "msconfig" at the run/command line should start it.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

  4. drumtrucker

    drumtrucker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    yea, i know something is wrong. I would like some specifics. I aske 2 specific questions although other specific info would be great.
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I would check where the file should be, but at the moment, I'm running in linux. I'll take a look a little later if somebody doesn't do it first, but anything that runs from just from typing the filename at a prompt is almost always located in either the "windows" folder, or the "System32" folder.

    If it's not in there, as things stand, I'd guess it's not where it should be.

    I don't think it should be in PCHEALTH, and I would guess that if it IS where it should be, then the path where your system automatically searches for it's files when run from a prompt has been changed. This would likely only be an accident, a practical joke, or a virus.

    I can't double check this info at the moment, so it may not be 100%, I'm just talking from what I remeber.

    Try Ricks link.
  6. drumtrucker

    drumtrucker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    thanks spike, I will watch for 'location' info from you if/when you get a chance. In the mean time I will check ricks link.

    Have done 3 different vendors scan so far with nothing found.

    EDIT: based spikes comments above I dropped a copy (from Pchealth as noted above) into the c:\windows dir and now msconfig runs from the start/run box as it is supposed to. Interesting. I use Regedit.. could it be a cause???
  7. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I've just checked on my xp installation.

    MSCONFIG does actually reside in pchealth/helpctr/binaries. My mistake.

    The question then, is why doesn't it run when you type msconfig at the run prompt?

    What registry tweaks have you performed since the last time it worked?
  8. Terranova

    Terranova TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Does Msconfig run at all ?. this does sound like a virus of some sort to me, some i have come across do prevent progs such as msconfig from running, all i can say is get uptodate definitions for your AV software and run a scan.
  9. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The location of the msconfig.exe is defined in HKLM\sotware\microsoft\windows\currentversion\app paths\msconfig\
    The default value contains the path to the msconfig executable.
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Using regedit shouldn't mess this up, if you know what you are doing, but if you do something you don't know what is up, you could have easily screwed it up. But it sounds like you have it all sorted out now, as far as getting it to work properly.
  11. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Sounds to me like his path is screwed up. Drumtrucker, do you know how to get to/check the path on your machine? Do any of you guys have a default XP path you can cut and paste?
  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The location of msconfig is not specified in the PATH variable. It is set in the registry as I already said. Drumtrucker should check if the msconfig entry is in App Paths and whether it is correct or not.
  13. drumtrucker

    drumtrucker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    sorry guys, i have not checked back sooner, hope you are still monitoring this thread...

    I have checked for viruses with updated file numerous times, nothing shows, BUT

    now help does not come up when clicking on it on start menu,

    some other odd behavior, I am preparing to back up my data and reformat (low level, I am assuming, would wipe out any virus???) and do a clean full XP install and start over.

    I am going to check registry for for 'pointer' value
  14. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    a format will erase almost any virus. I'm not sure about xp, but in 98, you had to type "fdisk /mbr" to clear the master boot record. Some virii are written to reside there. If you are in doubt, sanitise the whole disk(s). This will pretty much obliterate anything on the disk.
  15. drumtrucker

    drumtrucker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    by sanitize you mean????

    was planning on doing a (what some what told me is a) low level format, which I assume resets every bit on the disk (they said it can take about 3 hours)
  16. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    A sanitiser is a program (often booted from floppy) that completely (suposedly) destroys any data on your hard drive. It can reset all bits to 0 or 1, can rewrite all bits into junk with complex algorithms, and/or can do this in mulyiple passes. All data on a hard disk is retrievable, but after sanitising, you'd have to be a nutter (and one with a lot of time or money!) to get that data back. Short of a sledgehammer and a fire, it's as close as you'd get to destroying data.

    For virus removal, a normal format should be fine. I don't thing there are many virii out the written to regenerate themselves when marked as deleted on a hard drive, but if in the extremely unlikely event that it reappers, sanitise it then.
  17. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Oh, and another thing. If you've decided to back up, format, and reinstal due to suspicion of a virus, PLEASE remember to install an av and scan the backed up data befor it gets put back on the computer or otherwise used
  18. drumtrucker

    drumtrucker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    also to Nodsus location post:

    msconfig nor help are listed in the apps folder you specified.

    I do, btw, use registry mechanic.
  19. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Then recreate the entries.
    Create a key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\MSCONFIG.EXE and set the default value to C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\MSConfig.exe.

    Create a key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\HELPCTR.EXE and set the default value to C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe
  20. pperea

    pperea TS Rookie

    What does helpctr.exe do? I can't run this when adding to the registry.
  21. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Opens the windows help and support center. :D
  22. pperea

    pperea TS Rookie

    I run helpctr but I get this error message "Windows cannot open Help and Support because a system service is not running. To fix this problem, start the service named 'Help and Support'."
  23. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Go to your computer management, right click on My Computer and choose Manage
    Then click on Services and Applications, then Services, and browse to Help and Support. Then Right click and choose Start. All should be ok from there.

    :wave:Welcome to TechSpot:wave:
  24. urs

    urs TS Rookie

    re: poertner_1274

    I just came across this thread as I'm looking for a solution to my problem that 'help and support" does not start at all. The hourglass briefly appears, but then dead silence. All Help files in all other programmes do not work either. I have tried all the proposed solutions I could find so far but none has worked. Does anybody have a clue. I run Xp home with SP2 and do not have any other problems with the system at all. helpctr.exe and helpsvc.exe are there but do not start either.

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