i've seen a few ways to emulate a classic start menu on the forum, and i found another, so i thought i'd share.
it involves a little bit of freeware called MenuApp that will create a menu wherever it is executed containing links to everything in its folder, recursively. desktopApps - menuApp
it also takes a few command line switches, and one of those, -s, actually turns it into a start menu.
usage is simple - download the app, unzip MenuApp.exe wherever you like. then create a shortcut to it with the -s switch, change the icon to whatever you want, pin it to the taskbar, and viola! an emulated classic start menu.
the icons in the menu even have their regular context menus enabled, but it tends to crash on me if i do too much right clicking. best organize things manually rather than via the menu.
of course, you can use it other ways too. drop an instance of the app into a folder full of documents for an instant menu. drop it into a folder of hand-picked shortcuts for a tighter version of the start menu. or put it in root for a really big menu! it actually caches the menu the first time you run it, so it's very fast and efficient.
here are the rest of the switches it can take. it also supports global hotkeys for launching menus, and with a little INI editing, you can even filter results, say, to only show .doc files or only show .exe and .cpl files. it's an amazing little tool!
A Admin Tools
I My Pictures
L My Profile
O My Documents