Silent Runners

The purpose of “Silent Runners” is to identify the programs that start up with Windows.

It was first made available to members of the NTBugTraq mailing list in a post on 12 May 2004. The first version posted was actually revision 10. An updated version is available for download here. The revision history is found in comments at the bottom of the script file. Old versions are archived here.

“Silent Runners” is not an anti-virus, an anti-trojan, or a spyware scanner. It only pinpoints how programs start up — it does not scan the system to identify every trace of malware. The text file it creates can be removed for study or stored as a benchmark.

Restoring Outlook “Special” Icon on the Desktop

A few of you have written in about the special characteristics of the Outlook icon on the desktop. You’ve noticed that this icon isn’t like the other ones on your desktop and you’re right. This icon actually takes you to the program properties dialog boxes when you right click on them and click the Properties command. Sometimes an errant program can wipe out these special icons. Here’s what you need to do to get them back:

  1. Open the Registry Editor (regedt32) from the Run command.
  2. Navigate to the following Registry key:

    HKEY LOCAL MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Desktop \ NameSpace

  3. Once you’re there, click the Edit menu, point to New and click Key.
  4. Change the name of the key to (make sure you include the curly brackets):


  5. Close the Registry editor and right click on your desktop and click Refresh. You should see the Outlook icon appear on your desktop again.