How to Repair MSConfig

Updated April 17, 2017

Msconfig is the command that starts the System Configuration Utility in Windows operating systems. The utility lets users troubleshoot the system by controlling which services are running, which programs start with the system and providing a place to open other system tools. If a virus or corrupted file makes the msconfig command stop working, repair it by replacing the file and repairing its path in the system registry.

Open "My Computer" and navigate to the "Windows\System32" folder in Windows 7 and Vista and the "WINDOWS\pchealth\helpctr\binaries" folder in Windows XP, both located in the root directory of the hard drive.

Search the folder for the "msconfig.exe" file. If it is present, skip to Section 2 to repair the file's registry entry. If it is missing, replace it from the Windows installation disc.

Insert the Windows installation disc into the system's optical drive.

Click the Start menu and select "All Programs." In the Accessories folder, click on "Command Prompt."

Type "EXPAND -R "X":\I386\MSCONFIG.EX_ C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32" into the command prompt window, replacing "X" with the letter designation of the optical drive containing the installation disc. For Windows XP, use the command "EXPAND -R "X":\I386\MSCONFIG.EX_ C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\BINARIES" instead. Press "Enter."

Test the msconfig command for operation. If it does not succeed, continue to the Section 2 and repair the file's registry entry.

Type "regedit" into the Start menu's search bar or the Run dialogue box. Press "Enter" to open the registry editor.

Scroll down and expand the "My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\MSCONFIG.EXE folder. Double-click the "Default" text in the Name column.

Enter the file path of the "msconfig.exe" file into the Value Data box, either "C:\Windows\System32\msconfig.exe" for Windows 7 and Vista or "C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\MSConfig.exe" for Windows XP. Press "OK" and test the msconfig command for proper operation.


Viruses and spyware often disable the msconfig command as a method of stopping their removal. Even if you successfully repair the command, run a malware scan to detect and remove malicious software.


Avoid making extraneous changes while using the registry editor, as it may harm the system's operation.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Installation Disc
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About the Author

Andrew Mikael began writing in 2010. His articles appear on various websites, where he specializes in media and related technology. Mikael has a Bachelor of Arts in film from Montana State University.