How do you disable startup applications if windows freezes on startup?


New Member
Hey During the startup phase of windows my computer freezes. I think one of my programs/applications is doing it and I would like to disable the startup programs so I my computer won't freeze. However I can't disable it through windows obviously since it freezes on startup. I have a Dell XPS 1330 and I can get into a command prompt screen. What can I do to disable my startup applications? (oh and my safe mode doesn't work)


Account Suspended

Welcome to Vista Forums!

How are you getting to a Command Prompt screen if Windows freezes on bootup and safe mode doesn't work? Are you booting to a Disk? If so, what kind of disk (a genuine Vista Installation Disk, a bootable Recovery Disk you made, a bootable floppy disk you made,...)?

If you do get to a Command Prompt screen but not by logging into a specific account (like an administrator account) and can't get msconfig.exe to work, cd to C:\Windows\System32 and try it again.

If that still does not work or you can access msconfig.exe but changing the startup programs doesn't resolve the problem, perhaps the cause is something else (or some other solution will help resolve the problem) and, if so, try the following:

If you don't have a genuine Vista Installation disk, you can make a bootable Recovery Disk using along with burning software like: and, of course, a blank CD (perhaps made on a different computer). To boot to the CD you may need to change the BIOS to make the CD-drive first in the boot sequence. To do that, wait for the screen that tells you the F key to push to access the boot menu or boot setup. Push it quickly. Make the changes, save your work, and exit. Put the CD in the drive and reboot. When prompted, push any key to boot from the CD.

Do you know when this problem began? Try a System Restore to a point in time BEFORE the problem began. Here's the procedure: Be sure to check the box to show more than 5 days of restore points. If the first attempt fails, then try an earlier point or two. NOTE: You will have to re-install any software and updates you installed between now and the restore point, but you can use Windows Update for the updates. Use the recovery disk if the system prompt doesn’t work. The recovery disk works a bit different from the above procedures but if you follow the prompts from the System Restore menu option with the above information you should be able to restore with no problems.

If the System Restore doesn't work, do a Startup Repair by booting to the genuine Windows Vista Installation Disk (or one you can borrow from ANYONE) or from the Recovery Disk with recovery options included on it you made. Here's the procedure:

If that still doesn't work, let's check some of your system files. Go to the Command Prompt on the disk.

If using the disk, cd to C:\Windows\System32. Type sfc /scannow and enter and let it run. It will scan and try to fix some of your system files. Hopefully it will complete with no corruption it could not repair (if there is such corruption post back here or try to analyze it to find the problem file(s) using Try to attach the report (you may need to copy it to a flash drive and move it to a working computer before it will permit you to attach it - or copy the report itself to the flash drive) here so we can see if they can be repaired with good copies from the installation disk or from other system files on your system (unless there are too many).

While in Command Prompt, type chkdsk /f /r and enter and let it run. It will want to schedule itself to run at the next restart. Answer yes and then reboot to run the program. It will scan and try to fix any corruption or bad sectors on your hard drive and mostly remove that as a potential cause.

Let's see if we can test your memory and your hard drive. You will again need to make bootable disks (since I'm assuming that's the only way to access your system besides however you are doing so in command prompt at the moment).

To test your hard drive, check the manufacturer and try HD Diagnostic ( or this test: Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp ( If it fails the tests, replace it. If it passes the tests, then there's probably nothing wrong with it.

You can also test your RAM at Here are additional instructions that may help: If it fails, test each chip individually to find those that are bad and replace them. If it passes, RAM is probably OK.

I hope this helps - or at least helps us identify the problem. If not, post back with results, answers, reports, and anything else you can think of that might help. When it freezes in startup, exactly when does it freeze (at what step in the process)?

Good luck!


Vista Guru
Gold Member
Hopefully, the answer to the question that you asked will be sufficient to solve your problem. If not I am sure the additional information provided by Lorien will help you to acheive your goal.
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