It takes a few minutes to boot my laptop to the desktop. I have to wait for a long time before I can run programs or open windows.
1. Not enough memory installed.
2. Lots of software applications loading on startup.
3. Hard drive is failing.
Possible troubleshooting steps and repair solution:
First of all, take a look at the amount of memory installed into the laptop. It will take a long time to boot the laptop if it doesn’t have enough memory. For running Windows XP I would suggest at least 512MB and for Windows Vista or Windows 7 at least 1GB in order to operate smoothly.
More applications you have loading on startup, more time it will take. If you not sure which application is causing the problem, you can back up all personal files and reinstall Windows from scratch. Most likely the laptop will run faster after a fresh install.
If the laptop is still slow, test the hard drive. It’s possible the hard drive is failing and has to be replaced. You can use hard drive diagnostic utilities found on Ultimate Boot CD (google UBCD). If the hard drive fails test, replace it with a new one and reinstall the operating system from the recovery disc or installation CD.