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Discussion Starter #1
I have Windows XP Home, Sp 2. I tried to make a change in the System Configuration start menu and got the message "An Access Denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using an
Administrator account to make the specified changes". I am the only user and
am the administrator. What does this mean and what can I do about it? The
change I was trying to make had to do with the Nvidia remote, but I noticed
that others resulted in the same message.

Stu Culp
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I was trying to add the Nvidia remote by putting a check in the box and then selecting "apply", but as soon as I hit the apply button the message came up. I experimented around and learned that if I try to change anything, as soon as I hit the "apply" button the message comes up.

As proof that I am the administrator, I have never had any problems in adding or deleting software. I have not used the msconfig utility in a long time, and as I recall I never had any problem like this before. The only system changes that have taken place are those from the automatic Microsoft update, but I have added and deleted software since then.

Stu
 

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Go into the Nvidia program settings and look for a setting to run when windows starts
 

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For clarity, you are trying to access System Configuration by Start>Run and typing MSCONFIG, correct ?

If not, explain how you are doing it, and also try it this way . . .

Please detail the exact steps leading up to the error, and exactly what takes place when the error occurs. Is this a pop-up error message ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a desktop shortcut to get to msconfig: C:\WINDOWS\pchealth\helpctr\binaries\msconfig.exe. Or I can type msconfig on the “run” screen. Either way gets to the same place. Add any check mark to any blank box and hit “apply”. The pop up message appears.

I’ve been doing a lot of Googleing and found one other person who had a similar problem. They said that by ignoring the “apply” step and the message and then rebooting that the change would take place anyway. That seems to be the case here, although I don’t want to do a lot of messing around with the startup menu. If this is the case, it might seem that a Microsoft update has added a bug where none appeared before??

Stu
 

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Add any check mark to any blank box and hit “apply”. The pop up message appears.
So the problem is with MSCONFIG. The nVidia is just what you were doing when you discovered it.

My Google scan hit a thread which suggests getting a copy of MSCONFIG.exe from somewhere (on-line, off your install disk maybe or there might be a back of copy somewhere on your computer) and overwriting the one you are using in the "...\help\..." directory.

This seems to be a common sense suggestion. Maybe it's simply corrupted.

Another suggestion was to look for malware, which ties to the first idea. You might have an infection that has corrupted the .exe file and who-knows-what-all else. I'd run a scan from TrendMicro (assuming you have broadband) first.

Do you have an effective AV solution ? Firewall/router ? Updated AV definition files ?

And I can see WHY a malware might want to keep you from modifying the System, as I have found suspect (meaning BAD) Services and Executables listed under the "Services" and "Start-up" tabs in MSCONFG.

Please check these two areas and report anything suspicious.
 

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Wow! This is becoming more and more complicated! My machine came with SP2 installed a couple of years ago. I have a hardware firewall and the latest McAfee. I also regularly use AdAware and Spybot. Microsoft Windows Defender is also installed. All are continuously updated. My printer is an HP 5150 which has been in the machine for a long time. I have seen bad e-mail attachments which weren’t opened but were cleaned and have never seen a hint of virus activity.

Some have tried tinkering with the registry, which I won’t do until I know a for-sure fix. Some say that overwriting with a new msconfig.exe didn’t solve the problem. My computer shows no other symptoms, and my only reason for messing with msconfig was to play with an Nvidia problem (the remote won’t work) that has plagued me from the beginning. I can probably do without msconfig. I have no idea how long the problem has existed, so system restore would be of dubious value. I’ve never had any experience with Bit Defender, Symantec or Zone Alarm.

The administrator account shows only me. I am reluctant to mess with this because I had a devil of a time getting the machine to boot up without the log in screen stopping the process. TweakUI and Windows seemed to be at odds with each other. Somehow, I don’t know how, I got the machine to boot up hands off. I think this happened before the msconfig problem showed up.

Offhand, it seems to me, that the problem is so widely experienced and so varied in possible causes that Microsoft needs to get involved. Microsoft admitted to a similar problem with SP1, so it seems like a possibility that it is a Microsoft issue, but far be it for me to open up an expensive and frustrating dialog with Microsoft.

There are two rules which I try to keep in mind: 1. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”, and 2. “Keep fixing it until it’s broke”. I’m going to keep corresponding and learning until something definite shows up, but in the meantime I can live with this minor irritation.

If you have any other ideas, I would appreciate hearing about them.

Thanks for the help.

Stu Culp
 

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Invalid Reasoning . . .

Some say that overwriting with a new msconfig.exe didn’t solve the problem.
"THE" problem is YOUR problem. It is not a good idea to assume that every thread you read that has similar symptoms are all part of some larger "the" problem.

There might be dozens of different causes out there, all of which cause these (or similar) symptoms.

Another rule is "If it fixes the dang problem, don't ask too many questions about how or why."

(I just made this one up, btw...)

I'd suggest the msconfig.exe overwrite option first. It's safe, won't hurt anything and might-well fix it. If this fails I'd look at the BitDefender thread a bit closer and see if they fixed it and how, and maybe try that.

Reapplying SP2 is also no big deal, however on second thought I think running "sfc /scannow" and then immediately visiting Windows Update would be a simple, safe and possibly effective way to fix it without getting too wrapped up in exactly what "the problem" is.

A Repair Install is also on the short list of repair options. Sometimes the nuclear option saves TONS of time chasing down minutae.

Also, try running MSCONFIG from Safe Mode and report what happens....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As far as I am concerned THE problem is that msconfig does not behave as it should, regardless of the cause.

I tried running in protected mode and also with McAfee turned off, but neither helped. I started on SFC but had to cancel out because of Easter activities.

One of the threads somewhere stated that if you ignore the error and use OK instead of apply, then reboot, the change is made. I tried checking and unchecking several items and sure enough, it works. A bit of an annoyance, but it's hard to argue with success.

I will try SFC, but it only replaces protected files as I understand.

One question: If I replace msconfig.exe does that undo or change any or all of the parameters?

Stu Culp
 

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As far as I am concerned THE problem is that msconfig does not behave as it should, regardless of the cause.
Yeah that was my point. Sorry if I sounded a bit strident.

If I replace msconfig.exe does that undo or change any or all of the parameters?
No, my opinion is that msconfig.exe is completely it's own (constant) entity. Any changeable data it may use exists outside of it, which is why you can replace/overwrite the one you have with one that is known to be good.
 
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