Many times I have mentioned disabling startup items that are unnecessary to speed up your computer, but often I am asked "How do I know which programs are unnecessary?".
That is a tough question, and it is different for everyone, but I want to show you my startup programs using StartupRun:
A couple of my disabled items are commonly found on all systems: Adobe Reader Speed Launcher and QuickTime Task. These programs supposedly help launch the applications quicker, but I have found that they really only slow down my PC. Disable these.
The ISUSPM Startup and ISUSScheduler programs check for program updates. Disable these as well.
I also disable any programs that do not have description, company, or product name - these are often viruses or spyware anyway.
After these, you have to use a bit of trial-and-error to determine which programs in your startup group are unnecessary. If you use a Palm device such as a Palm Pilot or Pal-based Smartphone, then you do not want to disable the Palm software because then your device will not automatically sync when connected. Obviously, you would not want to disable any anti-virus software.
If you are still not sure, just disable everything and then see what does not work properly, and then reenable it. Even I am not 100% sure when I disable things, and occassionally disable something that I need loaded at startup, so don't be afraid to try this - any changes you make can easily be corrected on reboot with StartupRun.