Remove things from startup -- Can't use defender

I have been a happy user of Mike Lin's StartupCPL program on Windows XP
for years.

His Web site, and many others, tell you that Vista now has its own way
to control what starts up.

I don't like programs like the Intel graphics hot-key monitor to run in
the background, and even though you can supposedly turn on and off the
hot-key things from the Display Properties, the hkcmd exe still runs all
the time in the background. I also don't think Acrobat speed launch is
necessary, since I read PDFs about once a month... and Acrobat Reader
doesn't give you any way to turn that off.

SO, I really want control over this. Having said that:

1) The usual recommended way to block startup programs is to let Windows
Defender block them from starting. (Control Panel > Performance
Information and Tools, then click on Manage Startup Programs on the
left.) This doesn't actually work in the real world, since two of the
big commercial anti-virus programs (McAfee Virus Scan and Symantec
whatever-it's-called) turn off Windows Defender when they are installed.

Turning off Windows Defender is normal, and I expected it, since these
programs perform that function. But now I can't use the documented
method of blocking programs from starting up.

2) The other method, msconfig, puts you into Selective Startup. I want
to turn off Adobe Reader Speed Launch, and the crap that QuickTime and
Real Player install in the background, from NOW ON, permanently. So I
don't want selective startup -- since you get a selective startup prompt
every time you boot, telling you that you are using selective startup.
I want the "edited" startup to be the normal startup.

3) It's not an issue of uninstalling the programs that are running in
the background, from Add/Remove Programs: I don't want to uninstall
Adobe Reader; I just want to kill its "Speed Launch" thing. I don't
want to uninstall my Intel Graphics driver; I just want its hot-key
monitor program to go away.

SO, I am back to hacking the registry manually, and I don't think that's
the right answer.

How do other software professionals handle unwanted startup programs
like those I mentioned, given that selective startup has usability
issues (the pop-up dialog), and Windows Defender is dead after
commercial anti-virus software is installed?


David Walker