Program Loading Order

Category: Quickies


Windows XP seems to rearrang the program loading order at every boot. My problem is that I often find that my computer is connected to the Internet provider before anitvirus, antispyware, and system monitoring programs have loaded. Is there any way that I can force Internet connection to be the last startup action? This is not a theoretical problem, I have found ProcessGuard to have intercepted an attempt to turn off antivirus modules by using services.exe.


My understanding was that anti-virus software would always load before any application programs. Anyone have a suggestion?

If you think you know the answer, post your comments below.

This article was posted by on 23 Aug 2005

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Most recent comments on "Program Loading Order"

Posted by:

24 Aug 2005

I read on ZoneAlarm forum that with ZA installed and on the StartUp to run on boot, there is no chance of a problem invasion while booting because ZA starts as a Service long before it actually appears on the Sys Tray and supposedly long enough before the LAN card is initialized too. No one seemed to dispute that.

P.S. I run a NAT router, ZA Pro and PrevX and haven't been hit with anything since having that combination......

Posted by:

Robert Ward
24 Aug 2005

The order in which programs load and activate depends on the system activity at any instant, so the only way you can ensure a specific order is to control it manually or through a control program. I use a free shell program called Windows PowerPro to control what happens at startup and ensure that Internet conenction starts last.

Probably worth investigating why it's automatically connecting to the Internet at startup. XP doesn't usually until a program aks for a connection. Check your startup folder and startup services to see if it's loading something like Outlook at startup

Posted by:

Fred Fisher
24 Aug 2005


If you are watching the system tray to determine boot order, this may be the problem.
I dont think the order that programs appear in the tray is the order they are booting in. I use NAV & have never encounted a problem. I believe that programs appear in the tray as the system has the resources to let them.

Just random thoughts from a silly old clown

Posted by:

Moonlight Gambler
24 Aug 2005

To control the order in which programs load when logging onto the internet I use Batchrun; it's freeware from Outer Technologies, To control the order programs load at startup, load only the Batchrun batch file at startup. In the Batchrun batch file you can list the files you want to run at startup in the order you want them to run, with delays between programs to prevent two loading at once. (But make sure you de-select the option to start when Windows runs in the chosen programs options , otherwise Windows will try to run two copies of the same program.)

As for your computer connecting to the Internet before your antivirus, antispyware, etc. have loaded, I doubt if this poses a great risk. It should take longer for your computer's presence on the internet to become visible than it does for your programs to load.

Posted by:

24 Aug 2005

I have used Startup Faster! 2004.

It controls the boot order of your programs and speeds the boot time. It worked for me. A quote from the Startup Faster website:
Rated 4-star on CNET! "We liked the functionality of this program, which lets you control the applications that launch on Windows start-up. You can also change the start sequence (useful for letting smaller programs launch before the big, slow applications) and set delays between application launches..."

Posted by:

24 Aug 2005

Like the silly old clown ;-) says, most av programs will load the 'on-access' scanner at boot, and the UI will load later (usually even be a seperate program).

Posted by:

Phil Hayes
31 Aug 2005

Quote: "This is not a theoretical problem, I have found ProcessGuard to have intercepted an attempt to turn off antivirus modules by using services.exe". That's very scary! My experience with PG would indicate you have a Trojan (or similar) on your system, it's trying to kill your a/v etc, get on the net and execute its payload.

I'd be doing some real deep scanning on your system. I would suggest your download the Ewido Security Suite [ ] run all the scans and see what is reported. If you can, let me know what if anything is reported. There are more aggressive scans. If your system comes up clean, go thru all of your online sfwr (email client, browser etc) and make sure these are all set to NOT connect at startup. Then (maybe) try various Startup sequences, but I don't think this is your real problem. Had a similar problem, but not during boot. Power Pro looks neat. Thanks Robert. I think I'll try it out :)

Posted by:

08 Oct 2008

You can't give services a priority upon startup. About all you can do is set service dependencies. You can tell a service not to start until another service has already started.

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