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Issue #357: May 25, 2014

Q: In days gone by, you could view the start up files, e.g., boot.ini, config.ini, etc., to see what was loading and when. Since I am running Win7 on an HP Pavilion dv6 notebook, how can I see what and when programs are starting? The reason I ask is that I am getting a run DLL error on start up:

"There was a problem starting:
The specified module could not be found."

Conduit was removed from the computer since it is a bothersome adware. Your advice and/or suggestions would be greatly welcomed.

 – Dave E.
Destin, Florida

A: You are asking some of “those” questions, Dave. You know the ones I mean; the ones for which the answers can lead to inadvertently damaging or disabling your computer. So everybody be warned! Careless use of any of the steps below can accidentally harm your computer. There – you’ve been warned.

When it gets down to it, you really have only one problem here, Dave, which is that Conduit was only partially disabled when it was removed. To fix that, you need to open the Task Scheduler (click on Start, and then enter Task Scheduler in the search box). Select “Task Scheduler Library” in the tree and in the central list find the task named “BackgroundContainer”. Right-click it and select “Delete” from the menu. Close all windows and reboot the computer. Your problem should be gone.

Besides the system problem, you also asked about viewing “start up files”. If you took any time to look at the Task Scheduler, you saw that it contains a list of tasks that are scheduled to run in response to various triggers, such as a certain time each day, or when a user logs on. This is part of the answer to your question. The main part is a program called MSConfig.exe, which you can run from the Start menu the same way you ran the Task Scheduler. Visit for some guidelines on how to use MSConfig. If you use a version of Windows other than 7, note the little drop-down control on the right-side near the top of the page that allows you to select an OS.

I want to warn you that these are not the only ways that programs can start when Windows boots. There is the “Startup” folder on the start menu. Anything in that folder will automatically launch when you log in. There are also ways to hide things in the System Registry so that they will launch. These require advanced knowledge of the registry in order to view or modify them.

Q:  Does the McAfee shredder destroy the all the data or does some remain? I have tried all of the options but can’t verify whether they worked or not…

– Dick N.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

A: No offense intended, but this seems like one of those “Duh” questions to me. You’re using a tool that is intended to make files unrecoverable. How exactly is it that you “can’t verify whether they worked or not”? Are you trying (and failing) to recover the shredded files? Sounds to me like it worked just fine. Beyond that, the only thing I can do to help you is to refer you to, which is McAfee’s help page on the Shredder.

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