David Nash's Startup Manager is a free utility that lets you choose the programs you want to run at start-up. We had to visit the Help feature to make sure we were on the right track, but in the end it worked well for us.
The program's user interface uses a tree menu to locate the different start-up sections--StartUp, Registry, and WinINI. Depending on what you select, the individual files appear in the main panel. All of the command buttons were within quick reach at the top of the window. But even though the interface appeared to be straightforward, we still weren't sure where to go or what to do next. Luckily a quick visit to the Help feature was all it took, and we were able to prevent specific programs from starting by unchecking the box next to the specific program. To permanently prevent a program from running, all we had to do was select the file and click the Delete button. The program throws in a few extra conveniences, such as the capability to shut down, power off, reboot, and log off all from the user interface. It also comes with a registry editor option, but novices should beware of making registry changes.
Once we got over our initial questions, this freeware start-up manager proved to be easy to use and effective.