Stop That Stuff From Loading!
When you start up your computer, does it seem to take forever to be ready to use? Probably you have a lot of programs and they are all loading up into memory when you start up your computer. Every computer program seems to think it should load into memory (well, the program writer thought so)! This is not true. The programs will load when you click on their icon and work just fine.
There are some things that do need to load when you start your computer, these include Windows of course, your virus scanner and your firewall. I have at least one spyware scanner loading at startup as well. This didn't used to be necessary, but thanks to all the hooligans on the Internet it is necessary now.
So you have added a lot of programs and maybe you use some of the programs that came with your computer. How do you stop all of that stuff from loading except when you want to use it?
Most really good programs have something called 'Options'. If you look through the Options you may find one that says something about Startup or it may be phrased another way, but if you uncheck this, the program will no longer load at Startup. Whew! I have a lot of programs and if I hadn't known about this, it would take a long time to find all of those program options and find where (if it does) give me the option to stop it loading at Startup!
Most versions of Windows (Windows 2000 is an exception) come with a really neat thing called MSCONFIG. On the last tab in MSCONFIG, Startup, you can uncheck stuff to stop it from loading. However, unless you know what the listing is, you may stop something from loading that is necessary. So, I recommend that you get this nifty utility that is spyware free, called StartupCPL. It works really great and Windows 2000 users can use it as well.
Just an FYI, in windows XP if you make any changes in MSCONFIG you will get a notice that you will have to restart your system for the changes to take place. Just click no for now. The next time your computer starts up you will get a notice that changes have been made. Put a check in the box where it says 'Don't show this again' or you will get it every time you start your computer.
More information about stopping stuff from loading at startup is located on What's Running (at Startup)