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Old 07-20-2005, 02:58 PM
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067
Default mCube's SafeMode and the Safe Mode of Spb Pocket Plus 3.0 users, attention!

Over at this thread (please read jngold_me's post at Jul 19, 2005 9:10 pm GMT), I have been pointed to the fact that the Safe Mode service of the newly-released Spb Pocket Plus 3.0 lets XCPUScalar run, even in safe mode.

This is why I started scrutinizing these two applications.

Unfortunately, mCube's SafeMode, as of version 1.02, isnít better in this respect either - it, as with Spb Pocket Plus (SPP) 3.0, doesn't touch 3rd-party (non-Microsoft) services in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\init; only in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Services. (It doesnít even list the services started in the former; only in the latter.)

This is why neither of the two programs are unable to inhibit XCPUScalar's being run as a service.

This is certainly a big problem with both applications - not only XCPUScalar registers itself in (and starts from) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\init but also tools like Mad Programmer's Force Hi-resolution tool V1.51 and several other tools. Should they crash Ė you arenít able to boot (not even with mCube's SafeMode/SPP).

Of course, itís understandable to a certain degree why the authors of these two programs (if they are aware of the fact that many 3rd party programs register themselves in here) have chosen not to touch this part of the registry. After all,
1, all system processes (shell32.exe etc) are loaded from here. Letting the user remove them from here would be deadly for the PDA. However, building a donít display-list of the services listed below is about 30 seconds in any decent programming language.
2, thereíre device-specific, additional services here too (for example, ShowBmp.exe, FPN.exe and hpshell.exe with iPAQ 2210ís; KeyLockRes.exe, FSC_PwdCheck.exe, FSC_PwdStart.exe, testreg.exe and Adjustmem.exe with PL720ís). These services implement functionalities not present in WM itself: for example, key locking (KeyLockRes.exe) (this will be part of WM5 though) or displaying a HP ad after booting in (ShowBmp.exe). They can all be disabled in most PDAís, which even shortens the booting process.

The only services that must be run are as follows (in this order):


Iíve tested this with two PPCís (the iPAQ 2210 and the PL720). They work, connect etc. great after removing all the other services.

Bottom line: the lack of cleaning up HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\init is certainly an oversight in both SPP 3.0 and mCube's SafeMode, which can be very easily fixed Ė just (temporarily) remove the EXEís run from here that are not in the above list. (There may be exceptions though, of which Iím not aware. There may be PDAís that absolutely require other services to be started here too. I could only check this with two PDAís.)

Please note that this is certainly not a big problem and will not cause you problems in 99% of time (because the vast majority of programs put themselves in \Windows\StartUp or, to a much lesser degree, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Services, which both apps handle well), just one that you should still be aware of if you canít even boot into Safe Mode because of a misbehaving program that registered itself into HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\init.

Other links to read: you may also want to read my latest article on relocating 2 Mbytes from RAM occupied by Spb Pocket Plus 3.0 to the File Store at PPCT or FirstLoox.
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 392
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just one question - do you know that filesys.exe does?

ive been looking all over, but cannot seem to find an answer...


PS: is there a site out there detailing ALL, or most, of the system services, files, etc. related to WindowsMobile stuffs...
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