Win XP takes too long after logging on for desktop to appear

Just built a new computer for a friend and installed Win XP pro.. Everything seemed to be working good until i took it home to her  and now after logging on, it takes up to 2 min for desktop to show up. I have gone into msconfig and shut down all startup items to see if I could find what was hanging it up, I tried to see if it was a virus, spyware, and did a repair, nothing helps...What I am I missing.. She installed yahoo and web bar and some other stuff, but nothing that I can see that would make it do this. Thanks
Who is Participating?
Try disabling unneeded services:

You might also try running the System File Checker (read more here:
 To do so,
   Click Start->Run->SFC /Purgecache
   Start->Run->SFC /Scannow

   *You may need your installation source (CD) as this process will replace missing/corrupted drivers on your system.

Failing that, you can try the following method to eliminate items from startup:
  Click Start->Run->MSCONFIG

  In the Startup tab, start out by disabling everything you're unfamiliar with (or everything if you're unsure).
  Optionally, you can also disable non-Microsoft services from the Services tab.
  If the problem no longer exists after a reboot, then you can narrow it down as one of the items in your
  startup.  To permanently remove these item(s), proceed as follows...

  Click Start->Run->Regedit
  *Be careful when editing the registry as an accidental deletion can render your system inoperable.
  First navigate to the following key in the registry:
   *You might also find RunOnce, RunOnceEx, RunServices, RunServiceOnce or any of these with a trailing dash (-)

  Once found, click File, Export to save a copy of the key before you delete any items (if necessary).
  After the file has been saved, delete items as needed from the right pane.
  Now find the next startup key:
   *You might also find RunOnce, RunServices, RunServiceOnce or any of these with a trailing dash (-)
  Follow the previous procedures to export a copy before deleting items from the right pane.

Do you have the XP firewall enabled?
What are you using for virus protection?
Hi Gail,

have you tried deleting that user profile? I had a problem like that, after selecting my profile it would take a really long time to show up the desktop.
gail_thaggardAuthor Commented:
Thank you, I will try that and see what I can find. I do not have the firewall enabled and I am using Norton anti-virus 2003 with all updates up to date.
Cloud Class® Course: Python 3 Fundamentals

This course will teach participants about installing and configuring Python, syntax, importing, statements, types, strings, booleans, files, lists, tuples, comprehensions, functions, and classes.


also try run a RAM memory test or

Paul SDesktop Support Manager / Network AdministratorCommented:
How fast is the computer and how much RAM does it have? you can disable un-needed windows xp services using my program. get it here

also do a spyware scan with spybot
Norton has been known to cause some quirkiness.  Try disabling autoprotect for testing purposes (start/run/services.msc - should find it in this list)
I bet I know where the problem lies... its to do with the software she has installed!!!

Download spybot search & destroy... update the software and then run a simple check...

Problem should be resolved!!!!
gail_thaggardAuthor Commented:
All new hardware, 2 Ghz celeron on ASUS MB, 256 SDRAM , PC133. Everything on board except modem,I ran Ad-Aware and I did disable the anti-virus..But I am going to try spybot and deleting the profiles and re-doing those and see if that works, and I un-installed some software she had loaded, but it is getting slower, not faster with everything I do, Hardware failure? It changes between apps just fine, there isn't any latency except at logon. I want to thank everybody for your help, I will let you know which solution works. I am going back over there today to do some more work on the PC.
Here's a crazy thought - was the machine on a network at all when you set it up, and now it's not?  Might it be searching for some network resources (mapped drives, printers) that existed before and are now absent?

Just wondering...
e_sanders may have a point.  if there are DNS settings from a network that would slow it down considerably.
Create a new user and try using that user next time you reboot.

Good luck

Have you tried checking the hard drive? Most vendors have a utility on their web site that will do a scan and check for problems. You didn't mention whether the hardware was all new or not, but especially if your search for spyware and virus has failed, this is a good step to take.

Good luck,
Don't forget, if your account has any Network Drives Mapped, yet the connection is no longer there, it will take a while while the OS retries to make those connections.

Open Windows Explorer, select Tools, and Disconnect Network Drive.  Remove any drives that are no longer accessible.

Good Luck,
  - Tom
gail_thaggardAuthor Commented:
Tried everything everybody offered, but is still real slow after logon before desktop appears, BUT when the desktop does appear, everything is loaded and it is ready to go. It is XP pro and I have XP pro on my PC and it does not logon that way. Outside of that it runs good after it gets there.. I want to thank everybody for all the comments and good advice. The board is an ASUS short board that takes either sdram or DDR,  She already had the ram and that is the only thing that wasn't new, but it tested out ok. the ram is SDRAM PC 133,
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.