The guide assists you in repairing a Windows system that throws the error message Windows Cannot Find Msconfig when you try to load the tool.
MSConfig, which stands for Microsoft System Configuration Utility, is an administrative tool that gets distributed with the Windows operating system.
It has been designed by Microsoft to provide quick access to several system settings, files and parameters. This includes startup items, Windows services, boot options, and ini files like boot.ini or system.ini.
Note: Microsoft changed the configuration of msconfig in newer versions of Windows. It removed the option to manage startup items for instance.
MSConfig can be accessed from the run command by using Windows-R, typing msconfig, and hitting the Enter-key.
Fixing Windows Cannot Find Msconfig
It happens in rare cases that Windows cannot start the application. The operating system displays the error message "Windows cannot find MSConfig. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.
Once you have made sure you have typed the name correctly, you may face a problem that may have been caused by data corruption, or a virus.
There are basically two possibilities why Windows displays the error message. The first is that the file is no longer in the default directory on the hard drive; The second that the file path in the Registry links to a wrong location or does not exist at all.
The first task is to locate msconfig.exe on the computer system to find out if the program exists. The default directory where Microsoft places the file is \WINDOWS\pchealth\helpctr\binaries on Windows XP systems and Windows\system32\ on Windows Vista systems and newer versions of Windows.
If the file turns out to be in that directory skip ahead to step 2 in which you check the correct file path in the Windows Registry. If the file is not there at all you need to add it back there. The easiest way to do that is by extracting it again from the Windows installation CD or DVD.
To extract it from the Windows CD you need to run a command from the command line. Press Windows-R, type cmd and hit the Enter-key.
Type in the following command if you run Windows XP: (assuming E is the letter of the drive containing the Windows CD and C:\WINDOWS\ the location of the Windows installation.
EXPAND -R E:\I386\MSCONFIG.EX_ C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\BINARIES
Windows Vista users run the following command instead: (again assuming E is the DVD drive and C:\Windows the Windows installation directory)
EXPAND -R E:\I386\MSCONFIG.EX_ C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32
Correcting the msconfig path
Windows stores path information about selected applications in the Windows Registry. Start the Windows Registry by using Windows-R, typing regedit, and hitting the enter-key. Then navigate to the following Registry key:
Check if an entry named msconfig.exe exists. If it does check the default value which should be the path information pointing right to the location of msconfig.exe in the Windows directory. You can double-click the default entry to change the path if it is the wrong one.
If the msconfig.exe key does not exist in the Windows Registry do the following:
- Right-click the App Paths key and select New > Key from the menu that is appearing.
- Name the new key MSCONFIG.EXE.
- Double-click the default value in the right window and add the full path to msconfig.exe as the value.
The changes are immediate which means it is possible to try to run msconfig again to see if the change has fixed the problem.