What is the Program program showing up in Windows 8 Task Manager Startup tab?

I just purchased a new HP desktop.  Windows 8 is installed.  I've had it for about three weeks.  I haven't installed much so far...printer drivers, Acrobat Reader, Google Chrome, VLC Media Player, Open Office, and Quicken 2012 are all I can think of.

About two weeks ago I noticed that in the Startup tab of Task Manager there is an application listed named "Program."  The publisher column is blank.  The Status column shows "Enabled."  The Startup impact column shows "Not measured."  When I right click on the listing I have the options to "Disable" and "Search online"; the "Properties" and "Open file location" options are grayed out.  So, I disabled the "Program" program.  Since then I've not noticed any lack of functionality, but Norton Internet Security did crash once; otherwise I seem to have a stable system and everything seems to work.

Still, I want to know what this "Program" program is.  I've searched my system to the best of my ability using all utilities that came installed.  I've also searched the Registry using regedit; nothing.  Finally, today, I downloaded Sysinternals' (a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation) Autoruns.  Nothing again.

I'd appreciate any help to track this down.  What is it?  And, if I don't need it how can I get rid of it?  Thanks!

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Hi,

Some programs, particularly system maker's included programs, do not identify
themselves by name in the StartUp tab.

If you Right Click on any of the existing Column Names at the top of the columns in the
StartUp tab there are other column display choices. Select "Command Line" and you can
see what program is opening.

You can use AutoRuns again and check the command line and the file name with those
programs running in Task Manager's - StartUp tab - Command line column.

========================================================

Note using Win Key + X and Win Key + W (to get to Control Panel, Run, and Settings
as needed). Win Key + D calls the desktop and the using Win Key toggles Desktop and
Start Screen.

More troubleshooting :

How to perform a clean boot to troubleshoot a problem in Windows Vista, Windows 7,
or Windows 8/8.1

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

Other programs to help :

Autoruns - Free - See what programs are configured to startup automatically
when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list
of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

Process Explorer - Free - Find out what files, registry keys and other objects
processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely
powerful utility will even show you who owns each process.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Hope this helps.


Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP <- profile - Windows Expert - Consumer : Bicycle <- Mark Twain said it right!

Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current
Microsoft MVP Windows and Devices for IT 2009 - 2020

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Brilliant SpiritX!  Thank you!!!

Once I enabled the show "Command line" column in the Task Manager Setup tab—something I did not know could be done—I found that "Program" is an application that does not exist on my system.  The command line points to "LAN Messenger," lmc.exe.  Now I remember...I was looking for a network messenger, back before Christmas, that I could install so that I could easily communicate with other users on my local network.  I downloaded LAN Messenger, installed it, didn't like it (it did not seem to play well with Windows 8), and uninstalled it.  Evidently that install/uninstall left artifacts in my Registry.

I can take it from here.

Awesome!  A most excellent answer!  Thank you  Mr. Brown!!

Steven

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I had the same issue here I fix it

the software that was left behind was RIM (Research in Motion) short for blackberry, I own a playbook and try to make it work with windows 8 and could not transfer file from the computer using the cable so i did remove and it was not a virus as per the Microsoft technical support was supposing.

Thanks for the great help

Have a wonderful nights everyone

Hope this help for you all,

it always a small glitch that make us click in our mind that there is something wrong but its not a virus sometimes which some tech thinks it is

:P
:)

Normand's Advice

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I have the same problem, but if I show command line of this "Program", the command line is "c:\Program" Files (x86)\DivX\DivX Media Server\DivXMediaServer.exe.

Note: The quotation mark is not mistake, only "c:\Program" is included between quotation mark, rest of string is not. Other items in Startup list contains quotation marks on on start and at on end of command line!

Stefan Babos

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I have the same problem. After I right click the columns header and check Command line, I seed the "c:\Program" Files (x86)\DivX\DivX Media Server\DivXMediaServer.exe. The quotation mark here is not contained at end of command but immadiatelly after Program! And according to this I think the name of item is Program and Open file location menu item is disabled because in root of  the c:  does not exists Program.exe, Program.bat, Program.com,...

But "c:\Program Files (x86)\DivX\DivX Media Server\DivXMediaServer.exe" also does not exists...

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I have come to believe after running Autoruns and Process explorer that Program on startup applications is a failed registry wipe from a uninstalled program. I had failed command lines for DivX upon searching for my Program on all process and command line searches.

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Hi,

Glad to have helped. Sounds like you did some very good troubleshooting!

(If a reply was the solution please mark it as the "Answer" or if it was helpful
please mark it as "Found this helpful - Me Too". Those help others find the
proper solutions.)

Moving everyday, going further on,

Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP <- profile - Windows Expert - Consumer : Bicycle <- Mark Twain said it right!

Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current
Microsoft MVP Windows and Devices for IT 2009 - 2020

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I know this question has been up for quite some time but I figured out a way to fix it, I had the same problem and it took me a bit to find the error. The problem being that there was a program named "Program" in the startup tab of my task manager and the "open file location" and "properties" options were grayed out.

The problem is that there was probably a program that you installed and then deleted but the installer left some values in the registry.

Search your computer for regedit and open up the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

After you click on Run a list of programs will be in the right window. These programs should all be within your startup tab in task manager, find the program that no longer exists on your computer (in my case it was Apowersoft Screen Capture Pro), right click and select delete. This should remove "Program" from your startup tab.

 Make sure not to delete anything other than the program you know no longer exists, if you're not sure then either google the programs one by one to check what they are or search for them on your computer to see if they are still there.

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I know this question has been up for quite some time but I figured out a way to fix it, I had the same problem and it took me a bit to find the error. The problem being that there was a program named "Program" in the startup tab of my task manager and the "open file location" and "properties" options were grayed out.

The problem is that there was probably a program that you installed and then deleted but the installer left some values in the registry.

Search your computer for regedit and open up the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

After you click on Run a list of programs will be in the right window. These programs should all be within your startup tab in task manager, find the program that no longer exists on your computer (in my case it was Apowersoft Screen Capture Pro), right click and select delete. This should remove "Program" from your startup tab.

 Make sure not to delete anything other than the program you know no longer exists, if you're not sure then either google the programs one by one to check what they are or search for them on your computer to see if they are still there.

i went to the location you specified but nothing is listed at all... I also have a "Program" in my startup tab as well that wasn't there until I had hp remote connect and install Nanoheal "HPSmartFriend"

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If you enable the Command line column in Task Manager, you will see the entire line that it is trying to load.

I had one called "Program" that I had no idea how to find, until I enabled the Command line tab (right click on the tabs at top of Task Manager to add more info columns).  That then showed me what to look for in the Registry.

I discovered an incorrect Registry entry that had %ProgramFiles% instead of %ProgramFiles(x86)% in the path to the desired Startup app.  This was likely due to me installing an old driver that was not designed to run in a 64-bit Windows OS.

Once I edited the Registry to say %ProgramFiles(x86)% the item in the Startup tab of Task Manager suddenly had the correct info in it.

Don

2012 Alienware Aurora R4 ALX
Intel i7-3960X, 32GB RAM, 250GB NVMe SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690

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Last updated December 3, 2020 Views 829,542 Applies to: