System sounds in any OS are a great way of notification but can be pretty annoying and embarrassing if you are at a public place. Imagine starting your laptop in a crowded airport with all the loud sounds and beeps. Now you can turn these off with a simple freeware utility called AutoMute.
Once installed, AutoMute turn off the sounds during startup, log-off and even shutdown. Simply check the option to run it when Windows starts. You can also use it to control the annoying sounds when a screen saver starts. If for some reason you want to manually turn the sound on or off, just press Ctrl + F10. When the software is active, it will just give you a small beep before turning on the system sounds but you can change that in the preferences. So no more waking up your kids when you start your computer for work in the middle of the night.
Overall, it is a very simple but handy utility that can save you in a lot of awkward and inconvenient social incidents.