Thursday, October 23, 2008

Startup directory: Stupid

One thing that's been around since the early days of Microsoft Windows is the Startup directory. You probably don't know about it unless you've had one of those moments, feverishly deleting anything that booted with Windows.

Basically, if you plop any executable (or shortcut to executable) in the folder, it will magically start after Windows has booted up. Right now, I have over 10 applications starting up with Windows (you probably have more than I do). But none of these are in the designated Startup folder!

Basically, software writers thought that the \Startup\ directory was too out in the open. They thought (wrongly) that users would see the startup folder in the Start Menu and go apeshit. Programmers started writing directly to the registry, into \CurrentVersion\Run\, burying the true startup programs. Fast-forward to Windows XP and the commonality of the internet. Malware goes hogwild, and utilizes the same registry trick to hide. Even those who know about msconfig still have a huge job of cleaning up cryptic startup programs.

So, what does Microsoft learn? Nothing. They have yet to close the loophole. The registry folder is still there in Vista!

1 comment:

  1. Nvidia: GTA 5's Upcoming PC-version Revenue More Than PlayStation and Xbox Combined

    We may feel sorry for Nvidia being left out in the cold with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both set to include AMD chips, but the company doesn’t appear to worry about it. Nvidia has a confidence that many PC users will invest in new hardware to play games like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin's Creed IV, and Grand Theft Auto 5. Wait a minute!


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