21 second pause during startup

following my 2nd HD crash in as many months (sigh) i have once again reinstalled windows, but this time i noticed that after i had started reinstalling software this pause has started during bootup.  the pause starts straight after autoexec finishes - it stops DEAD (black screen with little flashing cursor) for 17 seconds then there is a little HD activity and at 21 seconds the GUI pops up.  

If i had to guess at what point this started i would have to say it was pretty close to when i installed TCP/IP (forgot it during setup) and as an added clue, after the GUI popped up after the first time it paused there was a message saying something about DHCP messages "Yes or No" and i (stupidly) jammed on "No" so i could start trying to find the problem.  i have searched for DHCP options everywhere, but the only one is in TCP/IP and its greyed out...

i can feel myself aging waiting for this pause to finish...

thanks for your time.
ando.
ando052597Asked:
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scorchCommented:
try looking in the c:\bootlog.txt (need to do a -h on it) and see if you can see where it is hanging.
does it hang in safe mode? safe mode with network support?
try unloading TCP/IP and reloading it.
Are you on a network? if so check for correct network protocol and binding configuration.
try temp. rem out all devices in autoexec/config. This will tell you if it is a real mode(dos) driver causing the hang up.
 
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