Have an HP laptop with XP. but at startup it takes a while to get going and I'm assuming there are programs starting up I really don't want nor need and would like to clear these off. No sense them taking up my space for no reason.
There's nothing on my Startup, says only 6 programs so they have to be somewhere else. Always try and keep it clean and no junk, even on the desktop (I hate everything having to have a shortcut!).... but it's not a new machine and maybe it's just age catching up? Hope not, it's been a great little machine.....
Have any suggestions for me? I'd really appreciate it.....

Try using ccleaner; under the Tools you can easily(and safely) disable any of the programs running at Startup. It's also handy for cleaning up temp files, etc.

-=Correcting System Hang at StartUp=-
If your system hangs about 2 or 3 minutes at startup, where you can't access the Start button or the Taskbar, it may be due to one specific service (Background Intelligent Transfer) running in the
1. Press Win Key+r, type 'msconfig', then click 'OK'.
Once the window has loaded, click on the startup tab and uncheck programs you do not want to start up anymore.
2. Go to the 'Services' tab, find the 'Background Intelligent Transfer' service, disable it, apply the changes & reboot.

I downloaded Ccleaner and so far it's pretty good... I will look at the other suggestions too, but I can already feel the improvement. Now if I could only know what the programs that appear on the startup are for..... I recognize some of them, but others I can't tell if they are really worth having on Startup, like the Adobe ones or others..... since I don't use those programs all the time just sometimes.... should they be ready at all times or just bring them up when needed?

I disable them all(except antivirus) and if I notice that any would be useful I re-enable them. Most just load part of the program to speed up its launch when you do use it.

start -> run -> msconfig to disable any startup programs

One thing, after running ccleaner I've now noticed that when I power on the laptop I'm getting a windows error message and it proceeds to go to CHKDSK due to being a problem file within windows.
I let the CHKDSK do it's thing twice and I'm hoping this will clear up any errors as I've never had this before..... what gives?
After the ccleaner I also installed COMODO on my laptop.... could this be the reason?

Kept up with the ccleaner, clearing all caches, running Comodo Virus Program, deleting old unusable stuff, defrag.... in short, maintenance! Seems to be working ok now.... phew! Thanks all....
PS.- I really like ccleaner....