I have a Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop. So, I've had this issue for a LONG time, and am really sick and tired of it. Here goes. I often reinstall Windows XP (like every 6 months) to get rid of all the program baggage and registry overhead that is accumulated during normal use. I found this to be the only way to get the computer back in tip-top shape. Anyway, sometimes after following my fairly systematic install checklist, I encounter a sudden delay in the startup. And once I encounter the delay (by up to a minute), I can never remove it without completely restarting the XP install. So let me explain the delay. The system will boot through the Dell Intro screen, and then then Windows will quickly run through the autologin, display the background image, the intro sound clip will play, and then the system will just sit there. The only thing shown is the background image - no bottom toolbar. The hard disk is barely being used. It basically appears like the computer is doing nothing. And then, after 30-60 seconds, it suddenly starts hitting the hard drive and the menus and desktop items appear. So, I've tried to narrow down the problem. So far, I've reinstalled XP again, only installing some basic apps like Norton, Adobe Reader, Itunes, and MS Office. I disabled all non-Microsoft services, and have disabled all secondary startup Items. Now, with this minimal installation, the delay which I've described is much lower than normal, but it is still there (maybe 5-10 seconds). I have run the utility BootLog XP to try to identify which program - but the results are not conclusive. There are relatively few services running at startup, so the list of possible culprits is getting small. Anyone have any insight on this issue?