This month's useful tool is another from the good folks at Sysinternals. Autoruns is a tool for Windows that shows you all the processes and services that are scheduled to start when the system boots up. It's amazing how many auto-start lists reside in the Windows registry! My laptop has hundreds of entries, ranging from system level entries to third party drivers and software updaters.
What makes this tool outstanding, however, is the ability to easily disable certain processes from the startup sequence. Next to each entry is a checkbox; when it's checked, the item will be started as usual. Uncheck the box and the process will be omitted from startup. I've found it incredible handy to disable some of the more annoying programs that start up (iTunes helpers and Adobe Acrobat, I'm looking at you).