Wednesday, January 23, 2013

PC & Adobe Crashes & How To Deal With Them - Part One

 Part One of this series focuses on what is running on your PC after startup which optionally can be removed to save resources and to reduce application conflicts.

First the disclaimer. There are literally as many reasons for PC and application crashes as there are PC and applications. There are some very helpful tools however to diagnose and hopefully fix your problems. One must have is Microsoft's Autoruns system internals tool.

It has always been painful to determine just what services, apps, drivers, ddl, etc are loaded on your PC, where they are loaded from, and when.

How about finding old apps that didn't completely uninstall, or worse, apps that you didn't even know were installed?

How about finding new additions which may be causing a problem, or, what can be removed if your PC has been slowing down.

Microsoft's Autoruns in the answer to all of the above and more. Autoruns can be found at the MS technet site.

The image above shows the Autoruns and all the rows of data are what is being loaded at system startup. The first screenfull shows items from the registry at HKLM\Software\microsoft\windows\currentVersion\run. The 'run' key in the registry is one of my such places that apps are started from when a PC boots. Autoruns shows all the locations that are commonly used and many not so common locations. Simply scroll down and you will see hundreds of items loaded at startup.

You might be surprised just what you see when you fire up the tool.

My PC is going on seven years old and in that time many pieces of software have been loaded with and without my knowledge, many uninstalled leaving junk behind (or not really uninstalled at all), and many services and drivers that just don't need to startup automatically or at all.

Finding and removing old junk is one use. Another important use is just to take a snapshot of your PC using this tool when it is healthy. You can then compare a later snapshot (after you start to have problems or slowdowns) and determine what has changed on your PC.

It is easy to turn off an app or service etc just by checking the box on the far left. I would be careful about deleting them however. When turning things off do them one or two at a time, then restart your PC to insure that it is working OK. If you have a lot of stuff to turn off ( I turned of over thirty items), then do it over a period of days, making sure everything is working fine. If you don't mind bouncing your PC many times you can make quite a few changes in one day. 

If it ain't broke don't fix it. But if you start to have problems then this tool can easily tell you what has changed and how to systematically determine which of the changes are causing the problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment