<<I have been using computers for over 20 years and have always thought that the way to not use unwanted programs is uncheck them in the Startup list. What am I missing here? There seem to be loads of underlying programs that I don't know how to touch.>>
<<I went to msconfig and observed what was left checked in the Startup applications.>>
Well...msconfig is not a startup manager...and does not list all startup items...so those who attempt to use it to manage startups are kind of fooling themselves.
To manage startups, a user needs a program designed to reflect all startup items...and which is designed to be a startup control of some sort. Msconfig is a troubleshooting tool, designed to be used in certain situations where the user has boot problems.
There are tons of startup managers which do what msconfig does not do...provide users with a detailed listing of all startup items and locations. Among them:
Starter (for Startups) - http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/System-...k/Starter.shtml
Startup Control Panel - http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml
Startup Inspector - http://www.windowsstartup.com/startupinspector.php
There is also a program called Autoruns, which I consider the best tool. I hesitate to mention it to some users, particularly those who don't bother to read instructions before they start playing with programs. This program lists every item that begins at startup, including Windows files, drivers, etc. The items typically considered as "startups" are on the Logon tab of this program.
AutoRuns for Windows - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb963902.aspx
You also seem to have a misunderstanding about how to prevent a program from running.
Eliminating/disabling a startup entry...does nothing more than prevent that program from running automatically at boot. It will still run when manually started in the normal fashion...using shortcuts, the All Programs list, etc. It's still installed on the system.
To remove worthless or unwanted programs...they must be uninstalled via Add/Remove Programs.
Also...there is no real correlation between what is seen in Task Manager...and what startup items are seen as enabled. Task Manager includes any number of valid Windows processes (e.g., iexplore.exe, system idle process, etc.) which users generally need to just leave alone.
If you want to delve into what's running in Task Manager, you will need a tool like that mentioned in the following: How to determine what services are running under a SVCHOST.EXE process - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/list-services-running-under-svchost.exe-process/
...and you will have to use Google to look up what unknown listed items...might be.