It is easy to check which programs Windows loads at startup. As you prob. know only some programs that are automatically loaded during startup are found in your Startup folder, the rest are found in system files like the windows registry. The traditional Windows tool to manage program startup is Msconfig. Click your Start button, and then click Run, type msconfig, press Enter, and click the Startup tab. On this Page programs starting up automatically will have a check mark beside their name. Unchecking this stops the application from loading each time you boot, but it won't remove the program from the list.
msconfig also be accessed from the Microsoft System Information utility. Click Start and then Programs, select Accessories, System tools and finally System Information. this launches System Information utility, you've prob. saw it before. Now click on the Tools menu item and choose System Configuration Utility.
However There are alternatives to using Msconfig to manage start up problems. In fact you may already have another "Start up manager" installed on your machine. It is a tool found in Spybot Search & Destroy. If you have Spybot S & D installed on your machine, load the program. If not download it and install it and then start it up. I always search for upgrades by clicking the Search for upgrades button. This is important since the database the program uses changes very often. Definitely do it if you've just installed it, and while you're at it why not scan your system, i.e. check for problems !!!
Now Click the Mode menu item and select Advanced Mode. Click on Tools and choose System Startup. Again entries checked are those that start automatically during Windows Boot. As with Msconfig you can Uncheck items to stop them from loading, but leave them in the list, However, with Spybot S & D you can Delete items completely, as well as edit the item or insert a new application into your Windows startup. Deleting an entry here only deletes it from the startup list, i.e. it makes registry changes or deletes a shortcut in your startup folder. It does not delete the application. If you're wondering the export button creates a text file containing this start up information and more.
Pretty cool, huh?
Another worth considering is Mike Len's Startup control panel found here http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml
. This adds an icon called startup to your control panel and allows you to easily manage application startup!! It's easy to use and I like it since I feel one should be able to manage startup items from the control panel. So thank you Mike Len!
Hope this helps