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How to speed up Windows XP

Eliminate programs that run at start-up

Stopping programs from running at start-up is especially daunting because there is no single place you can go to halt them all. Some run because they're in the Startup folder, others because they're part of logon scripts, others because of Registry settings, and so on. But with a little bit of perseverance, you should be able to keep them from running.

* Start by cleaning out your Startup folder. Find it in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup, where username is your Windows logon name. Delete the shortcuts of any programs you don't want to run on start-up. As with any shortcuts, when you delete them, you're deleting only the shortcut, not the program itself. (You can also clear out the start-up items by going to Start > Programs > Startup, then right-clicking items you want to remove.)

* Next, clean out your Scheduled Tasks folder. Go to C:\Windows\Tasks, and delete the shortcuts of any programs that you don't want to run automatically on a schedule.

Note: You can bypass all the programs in your Startup folder on an as-needed basis. To stop XP from loading any programs in the Startup folder, hold down the Shift key during bootup. No programs in the Startup folder will run, but the items will still remain there so that they will start up as they would normally the next time you boot.
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