Okay, so I don't usually restart my system. It's not because I don't install software, it's just that I don't always believe the developers that I need to :o . So anyways, this isn't good for finding reasons why windows is having a hard time restarting. Mostly because I've installed and unintalled probably 5-10 programs/games/utilities and updated about the same amount.
So I tried windows backup and that was a complete waste of time. It didn't work and gave me an error (not suprised) so I started uninstalling programs. Nothing helped. Keep in mind that I had installed sp2 and it went seamlessly with no problems. I really never heard of anybody having issues with sp2 slow startups, only virii and spyware being the cause. So my last ditch effort was to uninstall sp2, yup, that did it. Windows restarts in a jiffy instead of 4 minutes without being able to use the start menu (but icons on desktop worked).
Here's what happened; svchost was having difficulties starting a service. I don't know which one but it was having problems. My startups would be sped up by ending the svchost with the most handles. That didn't always work and then my systray would have like 3 of the 5 icons, the network and volume wouldn't show up. So get this, when windows WOULD load, it still didn't have the network icon and volume services loaded!!! It seems as if Windows couldn't even open it's own services :rolleyes: . I'm pretty disapointed with microsoft's sp2 release. I was expecting some issues that would be third party related or maybe drivers... not the windows programs and dlls.
So after uninstalling I've come to the conclusion that microsoft sucks... oh wait, I already knew this except I thought we were past the whole blue screen of death. To be even more honest, I love windows and if they want there software to be secure they need to stop installing so many POINTLESS services on DEFAULT installations!!!! That's there main problem. Let any software that wants to use a port service send a verification to microsoft that registers the IP, software license, and alerts the user of program access. The sp2 was a good start but I find it to be full of bugs even on clean systems like mine. Good luck next time, I'm waiting for more updates for SP2 before I try it again.

Try a refresh install of Windows to fix up the obvious problems on your system, THEN update to SP2.

The Service Pack does NOT create a slowdown. It might be highlighting problems which are already in existence, but it won't be creating them. The Service Pack works just fine for everybody I've come acroos. Everybody who has had their system in good shape before installing it, that is.

There's absolutely no point in pointing blame at Microsoft, when you've yourself pointed at shoddy procedures you've used and the general disdain which you've held toward your system.

A refresh install, or even a format and clean install if necessary, will have SP2 working for you as it should, not waiting for yet another update to 'fix' something that isn't even 'broken'!

You're right, but none of the programs on this Dell are on the blacklist. Which makes me wonder why it's logging delay errors. I've reviews the logs and they all are having troubles opening WINDOWS programs, not anti-virus or my cam2pc software. The only other thing installed on this system is games, Paint Shop Pro, Steam (Valve's online game interface), Spybot, Adaware, Firefox, and Microsoft Office XP. There is VPN software also installed from Symantec but whatever the case is this is a dell system with popular software installed. It has always had the automatic updates and never any virii. No DivX or the like. And the only thing that's ever popped up on hijackthis, adaware, and spybot are cookies!
I for one thing that a service pack should be better at updating "systems in need of repair because the first service pack was so shaudy".
I've talked to some friends that don't even that the internet (got the CD) and said SP2 gave them some headaches with the install.
Obviously it should work on a clean install but then it shouldn't be called a service pack ;) , it should be called a new OS version :D .