REMOVE STARTUP PROGRAMS
Many programs you install set themselves to run automatically when you start up your computer. Each program that runs on startup not only consumes system resources but also extends the length of time it takes your PC to fully boot.
it is generally unnecessary to have any programs running in the background (other than security software like virus-scanners or firewalls) disable your unwanted startup programs to increase your startup speed and conserve system resources.
Method 1 - Startup Controller Utility:
I prefer to use other start up controller programs such as Registry Cleaner to control what is allowed to startup.
(look on google for other Startup software-lots of freebies)
I would advize using this one : STARTUP CONTROLLER Panelhttp://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml
you can use the MSCONFIG utility
The 'startup' tab in MSCONFIG provides access to several other applications that are started at boot up and are running in the background.
By examining their Filenames and directories, you should be able to get a feeling for what is necessary and what is not.
Be aware than several viruses and worms have a habit of disguising themselves with authoritative sounding Windows system file names,
such as the Win32.spybot.worm as MSCONFIG32.EXE. Leave these for now if you are not sure. (this paragraph taken from pcstats.com)
Go to 'start\run' and type 'msconfig'
Click on the "startup" tab (furthest right)\
Unclick any items you don't want to load when windows starts.
after editing the msconfig utility and rebooting a pop warning will come-simply clik "do not warn me again"
"Do you ever uninstall programs and they are still listed under startup items in msconfig? Personally, I found myself with 30 such items from old installs.
Microsoft leaves you no way to clean up this list, but have no fear, I have figured it out for you.
1. Open MSconfig and click on the startup items tab
2. Open Regedit and navigate to HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Sharedtools/MSconfig
3. Compare the list of registry keys under startupfolder and startupreg with their counterparts in msconfig.
4. Delete the keys which are no longer valid.
5. Voila! You've cleaned up msconfig.
by Simon Tuck (reviewed by yoyo) http://tweakxp.com/tweak981.aspx
Check - Startup Folder in StartMenu
Goto Start > Programs > StartUp
Simply delete any programs you don’t want to load on startup. Windows does not put any critical files in here so relax.
This directory can also be a repository for various badness such as spyware and virus software, so if there are files here which are not shortcuts and you don't recognize them, you may wish to consider removing them.
Method 2 - From Within the Program
Open any program that starts up with windows-
goto options or preferences and look for something like "Start with windows" etc -
remove that and it wont load. (generally when you install a program it should politely ask you if you want it to start with Win).
e.g.: Messenger fans
To stop windows messenger from loading at startup.
go to tools-options-preferences-"uncheck”, run this program when windows starts, and run this program in the background.
You can still use it by clicking the icon, but it won't load with windows on start up.