After using Windows for years, I just became aware of a utility called msconfig. Use msconfig to adjust aspects of the windows system, particularly startup configuration. You can adjust what programs and services get launched upon startup, as well as the startup mode.
You can launch this program with Start – Run – msconfig.
The binary msconfig.exe is located on XP and Windows 2003 in the \Windows\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries directory. On Vista and Windows 2008 it’s in \Windows\System32.
Here’s the UI for msconfig for windows vista and 2008. Note the tools tab, which is not present in the XP version.
The Windows 2003 version. Has tools tab, plus system, win and boot ini tabs.
Lastly, here’s the XP version. No tools tab, but has the 3 ini file tabs.