I've done a little research on this and i found a couple of walk-throughs that did not work.
I have a dell Inspiron 9300 running Windows xp media edition 2002 sp2. When i shut it down it hangs on 'Saving your personal settings'. It also hangs on 'Loading your personal settings' when i start it up.(takes about 10 mins for each, so a restart takes 20 mins.) I have had the pc for about 8 months and it has been doing this every since the second week that i had the pc. Another weird thing that i have noticed is that sometimes when you restart, some of the files that i know that i have deleted come back. This makes me think that when i shut the machine down it is doing a system restore, and it is hung in this so it keeps doing it. Most of the time i just hibernate so that i don't have to wait 10 mins for the computer to shut down. If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.