Here's our Windows XP Tip for.. June 28, 2004
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Start This First
Would you like to control the sequence in which programs in the StartUp folder start. The problem is that there is no native way to arrange the starting sequence in the StartUp folder. However, you can write a batch file to do the job for you.

Let's say you want to run Notepad and Solitaire (both minimized) when the computer starts. To write such a batch file, run Notepad (or your favorite text editor) and enter

start /min notepad.exe start /min sol.exe

Choose File, Save As and give it a name using the BAT extension. We named ours StartEm.bat. Locate a nice, safe folder for the new file and click Save. Right-click Start and choose Open. When the Start window opens, double-click Programs to open it. You should now see the StartUp folder. Now, run Windows NT Explorer and locate your new file. Use the right-mouse button to drag its icon to your StartUp folder and choose Create Shortcut(s) Here from the menu that appears when you release the mouse button.

In the StartUp folder, right-click the new shortcut and choose Properties. When the Properties dialog box opens, click the Shortcut tab. Click the arrow at the right side of the Run list box to expand the list and then select Minimized from the list. Click OK to close the dialog box and save your changes.

When you restart the computer, Notepad will start first and then Solitaire. You won't see the batch file run because you told it to run minimized.