60222: Acronis True Image 2018: partially disabling Acronis software from automatically starting with Windows

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    Introduction

    Sometimes you may need to prevent a component of Acronis software from starting automatically with Windows to troubleshoot a technical issue. It could be:

    • an executable from the Run list
    • a driver
    • a service
    • a shell extension
    • a context menu handler
    • an icon overlay handler
    • other kind of elements that load automatically with Windows

    Later you may think of enabling it back, after checking the effect that disabling the item has taken on the issue.

    This article describes how to do that using Autoruns - a free tool from Microsoft, the most comprehensive yet easy Windows startup manager. Download is less than 2 MB, does not require installation and runs on any version of Windows. The tool can also run in Windows Safe mode, which is useful for troubleshooting Windows boot problems

    Administrative privilegies are required to change the Windows autorun list. Regular non-administator users can see the list, but not change it.

    Solution

    1. Temporarily turn off the self-protection feature of Acronis Active Protection

    Active Protection has a self-defence feature which is turned on by default. It protects Acronis True Image settings from being modified outside of the normal user interface. Temporarily disable the self-defence feature by going to the Active Protection tab -> Active Protection settings (in the right bottom corner of the screen) -> uncheck Protect Acronis True Image files from ransomware:

    Click here to learn more about turning off Active Protection.

    2. Download Autoruns from Microsoft web site

    Autoruns is downloaded in a zip archive from Microsoft either as a separate tool (direct download link), or as part of Microsoft Sysinternals suite (direct download link).

    To learn more about the tool, visit Autoruns homepage https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns

    3. Unpack and run the tool

    Extract contents of the downloaded zip archive:

    If you are using a 64-bit Windows, right-click Autoruns64 or Autoruns (both have the same functionality) and select Run as administrator. If you are using a 32-bit Windows, run Autoruns "as administrator".

    Click Yes if prompted by Windows User Account Control:

    The program begins scanning Windows autostart locations. They are many of them and scanning may take up to 10-20 seconds. "Scanning" status is shown in the left bottom corner of the application's window:

    Wait till the message "Ready" appears in the status bar in the left bottom corner:

    4. Filter Acronis items

    Type Acronis in the filter text field to see only Acronis startup components:

    5. Disable element(s)

    To prevent an element from starting automatically with Windows, simply unmark the checkbox.

    In the example below Acronis Active Protection driver (file_protector.sys) and service are getting disabled from starting automatically with the system:

    6. Checking the effect

    Reboot the computer and see the effect that disabling the item took on the issue you were troubleshooting.

    Sometimes a disabled part of a software gets re-activated by the other parts. You may want to verify whether the item that you disabled is indeed not loaded.

    Running processes and services could be checked in Windows Task Manager (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Esc) under Details and Services tab:

    Running drivers could be checked in the msinfo32 report:

    1. Open Windows Start menu, type msinfo32, press Enter.
    2. System Information window opens.
    3. Navigate to Software Environment - System Drivers
    4. Click on the Description column's caption to sort items alphabetically. Acronis drivers will appear in the beginning of the list.
    5. See if the driver is running by looking at "Started" column.

    7. Enabling autostart item back

    When the troubleshooting is finished, launch Autoruns64 (on 64-bit Windows) or Autoruns (on 32-bit) "as administrator", filter Acronis items and mark the disabled item to enable it back.

    Turn on Acronis Active Protection's self-protection feature.

    Reboot the computer for changes to take effect.

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