Many programs, driver tools, background processes etc are often set to run when Windows boots. These can be antivirus, firewalls, graphic / sound card control panels, printer software… the list is practically endless. The more programs that start with Windows, the longer it takes for Windows to boot and the longer you have to wait before you can start using your PC. Do you really need all those programs to start with Windows? Do you really need them ALL every time Windows boots up? Do you know what is set to start with Windows and what each program does?
Startup Manager is a free (donationware to be precise) utility which help answer all those questions. With it, you can monitor, allow/deny, enable/disable and delay any startup program. You can even ensure that the startup programs only run when the CPU is idle. Another useful feature is the ability to create different profiles for different users or different jobs.
Vista has it’s own tool for startup programs so Startup Manager will be more useful for earlier versions of Windows, like XP. Msconfig is the standard Windows tool, but it is rather limited.