My Documents Folder Opens At Windows System Startup

Recently, I was working on-site at a client’s facility to install a custom application on a PC running Windows XP SP3.

I have the (good) habit of always restarting the system before any installation on someone else’s PC. This allows me to monitor the startup process and notice if any unusual behavior exists.

Booting was fine, after logging in I saw the My Documents folder opening up. This normally happens when a change in the Windows Registry has occurred. It is not a serious problem, it doesn’t cause any damage, but it’s certainly annoying. To fix it, you need to check the Windows Registry and make sure the proper entry is inserted.

Before I show you the steps to make changes to the Registry, please make sure you know what you’re doing. If you’re not comfortable with making changes to the Windows Registry – vital to the Windows Operating System – I strongly recommend you don’t do anything. Any inappropriate changes can make your system unstable or unusable.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you mess up your girlfriend’s PC, don’t blame it on me! Just tell her “Honey, I screwed up. I should just stick to my sales job and nothing else.” Then, go make more sales and buy her a new PC

To open the Windows Registry:

1. Start > Run > Regedit > OK (or press Enter)
BACKUP the Registry
click on File > Export > in Export Range select All > type in a File name > Save;

2. Navigate to the following key:
HKEY_ LOCAL_ MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Win­dows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

3. Look down the list in the right pane, scroll down to the value Userinit. This value should read: C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.e­xe, (the comma at the end must also be there);

4. If the value is different from that mentioned above then Right-Click on the Userinit value and, from the drop down menu, select Modify.
Type in the value C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.e­xe, in the Modify dialogue box, click OK;

5. Exit the Registry;

6. Restart your computer.

In my specific case, the value entered in the Windows Registry was correct, so I had to further investigate to find out why this was still happening. Next thing to check would be what’s automatically starting at Windows startup. Looking at the shortcuts in the Startup folder (Start > Programs > Startup) is not enough, we need to open the MSCONFIG utility: Start > Run > msconfig > OK (or press Enter).

I clicked on the Startup tab and saw a uTorrent entry checked. I wonder what that type of application was doing in a business environment…
I’ve unchecked that entry, closed MSCONFIG by clicking OK, restarted the computer.

My Documents folder does not open anymore at system startup.

Here we have learned how to check the Windows Registry for this particular issue, and how to check what’s in your system startup using the MSCONFIG utility.



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Freelancer Information Technology.