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Missing File at Startup

When I start Windows, I get an error message saying that it can’t find a file. I click OK and everything seems alright. How do I get rid of that annoying message?

This has to be one of our most frequently asked questions.

Probably what has happened is you’ve uninstalled something that normally loaded when you started Windows. The program is gone, but there is still a reference to it floating around somewhere.

Now, you can go hunting through your autoexec bat, registry, startup menu, and your “ini” files to locate the program reference and get rid of it. However, the “down and dirty” way to do it is to use msconfig (win98 or higher).

Click your Start button, Run . Type in ” msconfig ” (no quotes) and hit OK.


Click the Startup tab and try to locate the program that is causing the error message. Usually if you look at the end of the “Command” column you can find the file name that Windows claims it can’t find. Once located, just uncheck it and hit OK.


Oh, note that if you can’t see the end of the command line, you can expand the size of the column (digital elastic ;-). Just hover your mouse over the boundary between the columns and drag it over.

Make sure you pay attention to what you’re unchecking so if you uncheck the wrong item, you can go back and re-check it if necessary.

Once you’re done, reboot and see if that error message is gone.