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New version of Microsoft Sysinternals AutoRuns ready

Microsoft's Sysinternals AutoRuns v9.0 for Windows finds new areas where applications start up on the sly.

Windows IT managers can download a stronger version of AutoRuns for Windows v9.0, a free Microsoft Sysinternals tool that diagnoses Windows boot-up problems.

The free tool displays applications and malware that quietly start up in the background during a computer's boot-up process, giving IT managers the option to disable certain applications or remove malware that is acting as an application, according to the company.

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AutoRuns v9.0 includes several more autostart locations where applications or malware can lurk, including shell extensions, Windows Vista scheduled tasks and Windows Vista Sidebar gadgets. It also has more support for online search engines other than Internet Explorer.

The tool can be used by all versions of Windows operating systems, including Vista.

As more applications open during the boot-up process, the performance of the machine suffers, and malware can automatically infect the computer or network. Using the tool, IT managers not only see which applications are automatically starting up, but the order in which they open.

Windows operating systems come with a boot-up diagnostic tool called Microsoft System Configuration Utility, or MSConfig, but the AutoRuns tool provides IT managers with deeper diagnostic information.

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