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  #1  
Old 11-20-10, 12:17
victorydoc victorydoc is offline
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Default rundll32.exe and Bluetooth

Hey Everyone,

To make a long story short, IT guy at work had to do a re-install after the new "mandatory encryption" of personal computers subsequently prevented Windows XP from loading. Such joy.

While trying to get used to this new system, I noticed some new processes in Task Manager (many are from updated applications), including a rundll32.exe process that was not present before the reinstall.

So, I asked Prof. Google for advice, and downloaded Process Explorer to give me some more info.

The details of this rundll32.exe process has it linked to: "C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe" bthprops.cpl,,BluetoothAuthenticationAgent"

So, my question is:

1. Since I don't use a Bluetooth device for mouse, printer, etc., do I need this running?

If not, I was gonna use Autoruns and un-tick it, so to speak.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the newbie question.
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Old 11-20-10, 18:30
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Default Re: rundll32.exe and Bluetooth

In add/remove, you should be able to remove this, if you are sure you won't be running anything that requires Bluetooth.
If you want to play it safer, and simply prevent it from starting, you can use a program to prevent it from starting. Sorry, I have never used Autoruns (I'm a Startup Control Panel and WinPatrol tweaker).
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Old 11-20-10, 21:53
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Default Re: rundll32.exe and Bluetooth

I agree with Plodr. I personally wouldn't uninstall it, but you should have no problem un-ticking it in Autoruns to prevent it from loading on bootup. The good thing about un-ticking it rather than uninstalling it is that if you discover you really did need it, it's easy to restore.

You also don't need to be very afraid with un-ticking things in Autoruns. If you accidentally un-tick something you really need, such as a your keyboard driver, then just start up in safemode and re-tick it. Really, the only thing you might get into trouble with is if you had recently installed/uninstalled a program, and that program had created a one-off addition to the start up list, and you happened to un-tick it before the computer had rebooted and had it's chance to finish installing/uninstalling. In that rare situation you might be be faced with a program that no longer works. But even that isn't a terribly big deal.
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Old 11-21-10, 11:27
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Default Re: rundll32.exe and Bluetooth

Thanks for the responses.

Problem is, I know enough to make things worse. I love lurking here, reading the issues and solutions, and trying to learn more. Since I spend soooo much time on this computer, I figure I should know it's ins/outs. I can "remove" or "stop" things, but don't know for sure how to fix an error if the s--t hits the fan.

This is my sole computer and with the degree of encryption that now has to be on it, fixing any sorta glitch becomes a royal PITA.

Hence the scaredy-cat approach.

@94dgrif - I kinda figured that Autoruns is "safe", as I've used it (instead of msconfig as the MajorGeeks have recommended) to stop 3rd party garbage from loading. However, when I eventually saw that this process was a Microsoft Entry, I blinked.

But, I un-ticked it in Autoruns and looks thus far to be running well.

Thanks again guys.
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Old 11-21-10, 14:15
94dgrif 94dgrif is offline
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Default Re: rundll32.exe and Bluetooth

If you have two computers then you're golden - one computer to explore and mess up to your heart's content, and the second to research how to fix it! No kidding either. I once managed to associate all .exe files with a card game on Windows 95. All seemed quite funny until I realized I couldn't open regedit... or Windows Explorer... or a variety of other routes to fix it! (The solution was to change the filetype of one of these programs to a .com and then run it).
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Old 11-21-10, 18:31
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Default Re: rundll32.exe and Bluetooth

There is no need to apologize for being a scaredy-cat. If more people did this, there would be a lot less computers unable to boot. It still amazes me when I read about people removing this and that and not quite sure of what they are doing! My thinking, it is better to have a few dozen items you don't need than to remove one item in the computer that is essential. I do not obsess about keeping my registry lean and mean. I clean it with CCleaner and don't spend any more time combing through it looking for items to remove.
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Old 11-21-10, 19:11
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Default Re: rundll32.exe and Bluetooth

I totally agree. But I'll also say that there's a huge amount of confusion about the term 'memory'. We'd all agree that most computer users would have a much better PC-experience by simply upgrading their memory. That advice has filtered through and now the typical computer user has heard that they can speed up their computer by getting more memory. The trouble is, they don't know how hard disk space and RAM differ, so to save a buck they will often delete pictures and uninstall programs to 'free up memory'. I have seen this over and over again. I showed my uncle-in-law how to uninstall programs and he then set about uninstalling anything he didn't recognise, including windows updates. I once explained how viruses are safe (unless run) by opening an infected file in notepad to demonstrate the difference in a program executing code and just containing information (eg .exe versus .jpg). She later tried to replicate what I did by dragging notepad onto the infected file and not vica versa - running the infected file!

I also have to give one more anecdote that I read in a magazine a decade ago. There was a magazine called PC Format (may still exist?) and a guy had written in with a story about his son. The kid had watched his dad start the demo CD by running DOS and typing in the command to run the demo browser program, called 'pcformat.exe' or maybe 'format.exe'. When the guy was at work his son had apparently tried to remember the command he saw his dad type. After trying various different combinations he finally found one that worked, though not in the way he planned. The command the dad came home to find his son had run was:
Code:
format c:
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