The scheduled tasks isn't the primary thing I would be concerned with...it would be startup programs and services.
First, press Windows + R, type in msconfig, and press enter. Select the Startup tab and uncheck any programs you don't want to launch automatically at boot, then click OK. Opt to reboot later and, after you do, check the box not to remind you again.
Second, press Windows + R, type in services.msc, and press enter. Many of the services provided by Windows and enabled by default are not necessary. For instance, Portable Device Enumerator Service is unnecessary if you don't have an MP3 player that utilizes it, ReadyBoost may help performance a tad, but only if you have a spare flash drive connected, and Indexing Service is perhaps one of the greatest offenders Microsoft has included. (It is designed to index the contents of your hard drive to make file searches faster, but tends to decrease day-to-day performance.) You can use this guide to help determine what processes should be enabled and which should not.
The cold hard fact, though, is that your new computer will never run Vista well with what HP provided you with. 512MB is the bare minimum recommended amount of RAM for Vista, but you don't even have that since 128MB has been reserved for the integrated graphics. Thus, simply booting up Vista utilizes just about all of your RAM, leaving little room for additional software. Your hard drive is then utilized for temporary storage, but its limited speed in comparison to RAM simply exacerbates the problem.
In short, you should consider upgrading to 1GB of RAM if you want to receive decent performance from that machine. Disabling various processes and tweaking will only get you so far, which isn't much given what HP gave you to work with.
Hi: I hope I'm posting to the right board, because I really am a newbie to Vista. I've checked all the tips and guides, etc., and I've seen other posts about specific scheduled tasks, but none that answer my question. My new HP Compaq computer, that came with Vista Basic, does not run that quickly. It's not super slow, it's just a little slow, and I'm wondering if it's because of all the scheduled tasks running in the background. I looked into the task status for the last 24 hours and it shows me a total of 73 tasks! It has 10 running and 37 succeeded. Is this really necessary? I understand Vista brags about extra security, etc., but at what price? Can someone tell me if I really need all these tasks running and if it would be advisable to disable some? Wouldn't that help speed up the computer a little? Thanks so much.
My computer is a HP Compaq Intel Celeron 356, 120GB H.D., 512 RAM, 3.3 GHz. I hope this is enough info.