Autoruns from Microsoft has been updated to version 11

Autoruns is a Sysinternals utility that shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. Developed by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, this utility brings a deeper control in terms of auto-start applications and registry files. It represents everything that MSConfig cannot do.

Autoruns is a portable utility, so all you have to do is to copy it in a secure location on your hard drive and simply run it. The app starts instantly showing you 18 tabs including logon entries, Explorer add-ons, Internet Explorer add-ons including Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), Appinit DLLs, image hijacks, boot execute images, Winlogon notification DLLs, Windows Services and Winsock Layered Service Providers. It’s a classic chaotic interface for casual users, but I have to admit that this is the best way to view from a single look everything that breaths on your computer.

Overall, using this utility is simple if you know exactly what are the components running in your system. For example if you want to disable an auto-start entry uncheck its check box. This option is very useful in case you want to find out what that entry is doing in your system without taking the risk to delete it. To delete an auto-start configuration entry just use the Delete menu item or toolbar button. If you want to locate any registry file of an auto-start item just use the Jump menu item or toolbar button.

This utility works also in conjunction with other Sysinternals utilities. In case you want to view the properties of an executable configured to run automatically, select it and use the Properties menu item or toolbar button. If Process Explorer is running and there is an active process executing the selected executable then the Process Explorer menu item in the Entry menu will open the process properties dialog box for the process executing the selected image.

In addition Autoruns’ Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system. Also included in the download archive is a command-line equivalent to Autorun that can output in CSV format, Autorunsc.

download Autoruns 11

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Troubleshoot Win32 crashes with WinCrashReport

WinCrashReport provides a free alternative to the built-in crash reporting program of Windows operating system. When an application crashes in your system the Windows operating system displays the internal crash window. In most cases this window doesn’t provide the right information to eventually debug the crash. This is where WinCrashReport comes into action. Just run it and get extensive report about the crashed application. The crash report of WinCrashReport is displayed as simple text or in HTML, and includes the following information: Crash memory address, Exception code, Exception description, Strings found in the stack, call stack, processor registers, modules list, threads list, and more…

As opposed to Microsoft crash reporting module, WinCrashReport allows you to get the same report format for all versions of Windows, starting from Windows 2000 and up to Windows 7. Be aware that for now, WinCrashReport doesn’t replace the existing crash module of Microsoft and you have to manually run it when application crash occurs on your system. Unfortunately WinCrashReport can only report crashes present in 32 bit systems. A version for 64 bit is still in work and will be available soon.

WinCrashReport doesn’t require any installation process or additional dll files. When application crashes in your system, simply run the executable of WinCrashReport (WinCrashReport.exe), and the crash report will be displayed in the lower pane of WinCrashReport. If the upper pane contains more than a single crash item, you may need to choose the correct crash item. Also, if you don’t see any crash item in the upper pane, you may try to turn on the ‘Show Internal Exceptions’ option (Under the Options menu), and then try to locate the right crash item.

download WinCrashReport

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Monitor your PC with Microsoft Process Explorer

Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

The Process Explorer comes with two sub-windows. The top one shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts. The bottom window shows a different information based on the mode that Process Explorer is in. For example if you set the application to be in handle mode you’ll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened. If Process Explorer is set in DLL mode you’ll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded.

Version 15.0 of this application comes with a GPU usage monitor. Unfortunately this feature is not visible by default so you have to search for it in the View tab -> Columns in order to activate it. Once you’ve done this, the System Information window will show also your GPU activity based on GPU Usage, GPU Private Data, GPU Committed Bytes, or GPU Shared Bytes in graph mode.

Process Explorer’s latest version includes also the ability to restart a service. You just have to double-click a process instance, click the Service tab, choose the desired service and click Restart. In this way Process Explorer will stop and start it for you. Though you should be careful while restarting services, because you can cause your system to crash in case you have chosen a wrong one.

download Microsoft Process Explorer

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