Solved Why does PunkBuster start with Windows?

rzn6jw

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I noticed in task manager that PnkBstrA.exe was running every time Windows 11 starts. Looking at the file location, I see that it's in Windows/SysWOW64. I also noticed that there are 5 other variations of the PnkBstrA.exe application: A1.exe, B.ex0, B.exe, B.xtr, and B1.exe.

Is this part of the Windows 11 security? It's not in any startup group I can find but it still starts with Windows.
 

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Josey Wales

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Delete it, it is no longer needed. It will be in a Game folder that may be in Steam. Just search for it and uninstall it.
 

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DigitalGoat

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Punk Buster is a multiplayer anti cheat utility, it is probably installed as part of an old game setup and is a blast from the past. Very doubtful is of any use these days, but may be needed for compatibility with some older games.
As Josey says, you can probably remove it, or at least stop it starting with Windows, if you find it hard to get to, try Autoruns from Sysinternals which should allow you to disable it rather than un install it, which will also prevent it loading on start up, just in case. :)
 

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rzn6jw

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Only place I could find it was in the Windows/SysWOW64 folder. Will try to delete it and see what happens on a reboot.

OK, removed PnkBstrA and rebooted and it didn't start with Windows. Will keep an eye on whether it runs again and what app starts it and list it here.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Win 11Pro v21H2 build 22000.318
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    DIY
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro WIFI
    Memory
    32G DDR4 3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster
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    Samsung
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
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    Corsair 850W
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    Corsair H70
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