If your computer takes a ..looooooong.. time to start it might be because of all the programs set to start with XP. The following advice is from the New York Times Technology Section:
One way to sneak a peek at what programs start up when you turn on your computer is to use the System Configuration Utility that comes with Windows XP. To get to it, go to the Start menu and select Run. In the Run box, type “msconfig” (without the quotation marks) to start the utility.
Click the Startup tab in the System Configuration box to see the list of programs that open when Windows starts up, along with check boxes to turn each program off or on during the next start-up.
If you aren’t sure what some of the listed programs actually do for your PC, you can look them up at the Windows Startup Online Search page (www.windowsstartup.com/wso/search.php) before deciding if you want a program to start up automatically.
Microsoft has a page of information about using the System Configuration Utility to troubleshoot start-up problems with your PC at support.microsoft.com/kb/310560/EN-US.
Other Web pages offering help for using the utility to sort out your start-up woes include www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig and vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/startup.htm.