In your list of steps, I noticed you did not put msconfig down. Though you did put down "etc." So if you already did an msconfig, you can skip this post.
Start > run > msconfig > startup tab.
Here you will see a list of things that start with windows. Everything in this list is not required for windows to boot. However, many items enable certain pieces of hardware to do their job, or for your antivirus or firewall to be functional.
If you're unfamiliar with what one of the items in the list is, you can check this site:
Compare the item to what's on the site. It'll tell you what the item is used for.