Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a computer expert, by any stretch of the imagination! I use them as a tool and like them to work when I ask. I occasionally check on what me PC is loading at start-up as so many bits of software seem to automatically add themselves to the start-up menu without me knowing anything about it, and I end up with lots of processing power being sapped by programmes (‘applications’) that I’m not using, running away unseen in the background.
I recently tried to type ‘msconfig’ into the ‘Run’ dialogue box from the Start menu and received a message that msconfig could not be found. I did the usual trawl of the internet and my brain started to implode as the tecchies discussed the inner working of my computer which gave me a headache rather than solve the problem.
In short, there seems to be a number of different reasons for this error message which can be divided into missing msconfig.exe application or problems with files/root keys (technical term).
I should stress that the first part of any solution is the investigation and therefore, finding out information does not necessarily lead to actions to resolve it! In my case it was pretty straightforward and the advice I received matched my problem exactly. Changing anything in the Registry or associated files can seriously screw up the workings of your computer so take advice if the solution is not obvious.
Here are the two things I tried:
- I checked the folder C:\Windows\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries to see if MSConfig.exe was there. It was so that was good. If it had been missing, it would have been possible to download MSConfig.exe from the internet and put it in that file.
- As that was all okay I followed the following advice from Ramesh, Microsoft MVP on the web site Tom’s Hardware under ‘Forums’ which was as follows (I’ve edited some of the techno speak and added my own notes for clarity):
A. This message can appear if MSConfig.exe is missing from the ‘App Paths’ folder.
a. To find out, go to the Run dialogue box again and type in regedit. This will open a new window containing the Registry keys.
b. In the left column you’ll see a list of different files/keys starting with the title HKEY_.
c. Open the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,
d. Then find SOFTWARE, open that
e. Find Microsoft, open that
f. Find Windows, open that
g. Find Current Version, open that
h. Find App Paths.
i. Under App Paths there should be a folder/key titled MSCONFIG.EXE.
If that’s there, open it and check that the path C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\MSConfig.exe is shown.
If this path is missing, double-click on the Default file and type the following path C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\MSConfig.exe into the field available, then click on OK. This should solve your problem.
If the MSCONFIG.EXE folder/key is not in the list, right-click on the App Paths folder/key and a drop down menu appears.
Select New and then choose Key.
Type MSCONFIG.EXE and enter OK. This adds the MSCONFIG.EXE folder/key to the list.
Select the folder/key you have just created (MSCONFIG.EXE) then, as above, double-click on the Default file to open it and type in C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\MSConfig.exe.
Select OK and this should solve your problem.
As I’ve already said, software and registry issues are hideously complicated so if anything is unclear and the above does not make sense or folder/keys seem to be okay, ALWAYS ask an expert or seek advice.
From bitter experience I’ve discovered that messing with the registry of a computer can seriously damage your health!