Happy Trails Computer Club

Programs that Autostart at Startup - Windows 98/Me

A more comprehensive list of these programs is available at at the Paul Collins' Black Viper site and at Sysinfo.org.

** Indicates programs that must or should run at startup under normal circumstances.
 * Indicates optional programs that should run at startup if you want that program/function to always be enabled.

No astericks indicates a program that does not need to run at startup. These programs can be started later, if or when they're needed.

Not all programs listed here will be found on all computers. There may be others not listed here that do run on your computer. Not starting a program that is not listed here probably won't have any side effects.



*Adaptec DirectCD

Allows dragging & dropping files to a CD-R and ejection of the disk.  If this capability isn't used frequently, it doesn't need run at startup.

Adobe Gamma Loader.exe

Used to load graphics parameters.  Not necessary at startup.


Controls for a Creative sound card.  These functions are all available through the Start menu.


A McAfee program.  Reported to cause jerky graphics response in a number of games.


Desktop control panel for the Creative Live card.  Leave it checked if you want it.


An antivirus program.  Some users don't have AV running all the time, preferring rather to do manual scans.

*C:\Program File\Dell\Motive

Related to Dell's Resolution Assistant

CleanSweep, SmartSweep, InternetSweep

All three of these CleanSweep modules can be run manually instead of at startup.

Cal reminder shortcut

Produces a pop-up reminder of events scheduled using the MS Works Calendar.


WinFax Pro.  Not needed.

Critical Update

Contacts Microsoft frequently for updates. Visit the update site manually instead. Click Start > Settings > Windows Update.


Part of CleanSweep.  Unchecking it will disable some functions of CleanSweep. Details are available here.


Associated with a Creative Labs sound card -- adds individual volume controls to the Windows volume control.


See DellWB1


See DellWB1

DellWB1, DellWB2, DellWB3, etc.

These programs are used by Dell as part of the software download checkout at the factory.  They serve no useful purpose.  Delete them by going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and right-clicking any found there and selecting "Delete".  Do the same at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVerion\RunServices.


Associated with Creative Labs sound cards.  Provides audio support for  DOS applications.  If you don't use those, you don't need this.


Reminds you to make backup diskettes.  Does not need to run at startup.


Mouse software.  Some users uncheck it with no problem.  Try unchecking it and if problems occur, restore it to Startup.


The Encompass Monitor -- part of the Connect Direct program.  More trouble than it is worth and few use it.  There are instructions (only for the brave) for its removal in the Dell Knowledge Base (click the Dimension 4500 option to log in -- the TT1012188 Knowledge Base document should open).

*EPSON Background Monitor

Supposed to keep an Epson printer ready for quick printing.  Users report little difference whether it is on or not.


Required for for the Windows user interface.


Associated with Immersion TouchSense devices (Logitech Wingman Force Feedback Mouse and possibly other peripherals)


This is the Human Interface Device Server, it is required if you are using USB Audio Devices

HP ScanPicture

Used with HP scanners.  It will load when the scanner is going to be used--no need to have it available all the time.

*ICQ NetDetect Agent

This automatically connects to ICQ when the user goes online.  Not necessary, but a convenience.


Monitors DNS and DHCP requests for ICS (Internet Connection Sharing).

Iomega Disk Icons

All this does is change icon for the Iomega drive. Not needed.

*Iomega Startup Options

Adds Zip drive selections to right-click context menus.

Iomega Watch

Related to the Zip drive -- not needed.


Required if you're using Power Management (accessed through Start > Settings > Control Panel > Power).  If so, there will be two instances.  This is normal.


MSN Explorer Query Manager -- a waste of resources and bandwidth.

*Machine Debug Manager

Used by developers for debugging.  Not required.


Related to Dell's Resolution Assistant


Antivirus program.  Keep it unless you're sure you will faithfully do regular manual scans and practice "safe computing".


Activates ZoneAlarm's logging module.  Not required if logging is not enabled ("Log alerts to a text file" under the Alerts button is not checked.)


Management software for Altec Lansing speakers.  If a change is needed, the user can launch it from the Start menu.

Microsoft Critical Update

Downloads and installs critical updates from the Microsoft site.  Most users prefer to install these manually.

Microsoft Find Fast

Unnecessary and troublesome when it is running. 

Microsoft Greetings Reminders

Are you willing to give up resources to remember Aunt Sadie's birthday?

Microsoft Office Startup

A resource hog and not needed.   If quick access to Office is needed, put a shortcut on your desktop.  (Some users report that unchecking this item caused difficulty.  Bear this in mind if it is removed and performance is degraded.)

Microsoft Works Calendar Reminders

See Greetings Reminders, above.


Places a Music Box Jukebox icon in the task tray.  The program works fine without it.

*Motive Monitor

Related to Dell's Resolution Assistant

*NAV defalert

Reminder to update Norton Antivirus virus signatures.  Run it if you think you might forget.

**Norton AutoProtect

Norton's real-time scanner for viruses.  It can save a lot of grief. A similar program should be allowed to start for other antivirus programs.

Norton Crashguard Monitor

Generally considered an unstable program, most users avoid it.

*Norton Email Protect

Sets up a proxy server to isolate the main system from email viruses.  If this feature is not desired turn it off in the program's Control Panel under Options > E-Mail Protection.  When it is inactivated incoming email is still scanned as it is saved to your hard disk, but no proxy server is involved as an additional layer of protection.

Norton System Doctor

A major resource hog, you will be well off without it.


See DellWB1


Windows Me only - used to provide "Restore" functionality.


Mouse utilitie -- required for the wheel to work with full functionality.


Modem driver used to monitor the COM port.  Its functions become active when the modem is in use.  Additional information can be found here.

QuickShelf 99

Places an icon in the system tray for launching Microsoft Bookshelf.  Use the Start menu or a shortcut instead.

Power Reg Scheduler

Displays reminders to register software.  Not needed.

Real Jukebox Systray

The Jukebox counterpart to Real Player.  It makes no discernible difference if it is not running.


A program similar to Real Jukebox Systray for RealPlayer v7.


Used with Microsoft Money.  Does not need to run at startup.


Used by Dial Up Networking.  It loads when you initiate a connection.  Does not need to run at startup.


This program pops up a reminder to register a new HP printer or scanner.  It does not need to run.


Required for Dial Up Networking.  Also appears if the resolution monitor (used to change monitor resolution on the fly) is placed in the system tray even if unchecked in Startup.

*RxMon, RxUser

Related to Dell's Resolution Assistant


This program scans your Registry at startup and makes backups. 

*Scheduling Agent

Task Scheduler.  If you don't use it, don't run it.


Software for a Creative sound card.  Not needed at startup.


Provides Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) and General Event Notification Architecture (GENA) services for Universal Plug and Play functionality.


Windows ME only - also required for System Restore.

*Stimon.exe or StillimageMonitor

Scanner software.  Can be deleted unless an HP scanner is used in which case eliminating it will cause system errors.


Required for your clock and programs that run in the System Tray.


Microsoft utility that keeps track of the rate of usage of programs to make defragging more efficient.  With the short seek times and high transfer rates of today's hard drives, it is marginally useful.


Associated with the 3COM diagnostic module (3COM NIC Doctor).  No further information is available.


Provides tips for using the mouse -- not needed by most users.

*Touch Manager

A keyboard utility.  Not required for Windows, but a very nice program. NOTE: some users report that unchecking this item resulted in loss of  screen and power saver functions.


Required for users running the ZoneAlarm firewall. Something similar is needed for other firewalls.


Some users need to have this loaded at startup to enable some Tweak UI options.  If TweakUI is used to enter a network password it will be listed twice.


Provides an abbreviated Control Group for the Turtle Beach Montego II sound functions/associated with AudioStation 3 and 32.

*Vs Stat EXE

McAfee antivirus program.  If you are careful about downloads and faithfully perform manual virus scans this can be unchecked.  Most users should run it.


McAfee "nag" popup to encourage users to upgrade to the latest version. Not needed if you have good discipline about these things.


Also McAfee.  Not needed if manual scans of downloads and disk contents are faithfully done -- should run for most users..


See Vshwin32.exe above.


Used for Enterprise Management.  If you are not an IT Administrator you don't need to run this.


Not needed.


The Works Calendar Reminder.  Let it run only if you want the calendar to remind you of something.

WorksFUD (wkfud.exe)

Just a marketing program for Microsoft Works.


Automatically looks for updates for Microsoft Works.  You can easily do this manually at convenient intervals.

ZipDisk Icons

Related to Zip drives -- not needed.


ZoneAlarm firewall program -- must run if you want firewall protection. Something similar is needed for other firewalls.

-- List adapted from one at http://www2.whidbey.net/djdenham/index.htm.

more information >>>  
"The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress." -- Joseph Joubert
club stuff
want ads
site map