Since the problem was discovered in Windows ME, I'm putting the question here. It may apply to other Windows OS as well.

I am working on a Comapq Presario 1200 Notebook. Among other things, I came across several registry settings with an asterisk "*" in front of an variable name in the run branch (Example HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun Name=*CpqBootPerfDb). When I asked the notebook owner, he informed me this was to prevent that item from loading during startup. <img src=/S/yikes.gif border=0 alt=yikes width=15 height=15>

After I proved to him this was NOT the case, I asked if he wanted these applications temporarily removed or permanently removed and why. Answer, temporarily because the system was booting so slowly and he was advised by a Compaq Tech "... a few years ago", they were not really needed and could be started manually. He just never went back into the registry to "Re-Activate" the programs because he thought they were bypassed on startup.

I fixed the problems, cleaned out the registry bloat, and the notebook booted and runs much faster.

Here is the question, OTHER than a third party software program (msconfig.exe comes with Windows), is there really a way to bypass registry startup programs during a NORMAL boot ?

The only way I know is using the trick msconfig.exe uses, creates a "HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun<big>-</big>" branch and put the named variables with their data in there.