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Mysterious WIN.INI entries

Mysterious WIN.INI entries

My PC startup is usually time I use to sip my coffee and let random thoughts percolate thru my cerebellum. Normally my inner dialog is more to the tune of “What the !^%^% is taking this PC so long to boot up!”

This then leads to me reviewing what is running at Startup in the Task manager or using SysInternals Process Explorer. Then I tend to open MSConfig from the command line and go on a deselect purge worthy of  Stalin.

It got to the point that between Services and actual applications running at Startup I was using a hefty chunk of CPU and RAM. I wanted some of these to be available but most of the time didn’t actually need these services or applications. I had two choices: –

1. Set the guilty parties as disabled and have a speedier startup.

2. Leave them enabled but create a script or batch file to disable them after Startup if I didn’t need them.

The problem with option 1 is that other people use the PC and disabling stuff normally ends in frantic phone calls when I am out of town. I found an application called Taskill and used it on my Windows XP SP2 Home PC to disable my shortlist and this resolved some of the problems.

Of course there are applications which on every usage or after any update decide to reinstate themselves as enabled. Two such examples are Quicktime and Real Player (and its hidden Real Scheduler). Worse even and shame on you for this Real.com was that after the latest update to Real v11 it would actually open and run on Startup.

However, I then decided to look thru every tab in MSConfig and arrived at the WIN.INI tab. I was glancing down the entries and saw once called ANNIE. I opened the tree and the configuration entries seemed to indicate it was some kind of video capture program. My initial concern was it was some kind of malware.

I disabled the entry and then tried to find it thru Google but all I could find was other users on forums who had it on their PC but had no real idea where it came from or what it did. Then I recalled that at random intervals I would find in my C:\ main folder a JPG screen capture from some video that had been played in Windows Media Player. I enabled the entry again in WIN.INI and ran a video and found another capture JPG in my C:\.

It sits disabled in my WIN.INI until I can deduce exactly how it got there and what the actual purpose is. I suspect that one of the many Codecs I installed gave me this little extra. Now I am going to have to test each one until I find the answer.

Technorati Tags: ,,,,QA and Software Testing,,WIN.INI,

 
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