I am going crazy over here. My sister has an HP laptop with Vista home prem 32. Her user profile is under the administrator. After logging in there is a minute maybe more delay on the green welcome screen. Then the screen turns black with the mouse cursor that is moveable for another minute or more. The laptop it self runs fine. I added another user just to see if the login would have the same delay and it does not. Also while in safe mode, there is no delay. I found that if I hit ctrl+alt+del I can over ride the delay but it is still driving me crazy on why it is doing this. Any information would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!
Try clearing the start menu. Click Start>Search enter run . Type in msconfig . Click the Startup tab and uncheck all entries and reboot the system. In addition, be sure to update the system drivers to latest version including the video driver. Also run Ccleaner cleanup and registry program.
Has that account been being used for awhile ? -- sounds like it is loading some things that are taking awhile to load or perhaps there are some programs that have been deleted that are still trying to load (if they were not properly removed completely) -- Also VISTA has Superfetch which will try to prioritize the memory based on usage habits which can also cause it to take longer to load as it loads all of the most used programs into memory before you actually use them based on the past usage.
Superfetch is a new improved feature in Vista that monitors which applications you use the most and preloads these into your system memory (RAM) so they'll be ready when you need them. It treats system memory like a cache much more aggressively and effectively than any other version of Windows. Superfetch will help Vista prioritize background programs, (EX: Disk Defrag and Windows Defender), at a low priority so that they can do their job while your work always comes first. The folder Superfetch uses is located at: C:\Windows\Prefetch
Sometimes Superfetch may cause a bit of a longer startup as it loads everything into memory and your hard drive is running more to preload this data for Superfetch into system memory. This should improve over time as Superfetch learns by building a profile of your usage habbits and applies this information to it's prefetching decisions.
This will vary from person to person and with how and what type of system you have set up. Try turning OFF Superfetch and see for yourself if your computer runs faster with or without it. You can always turn it back ON. In most cases your computer will run faster with Superfetch on after the initial loading into memory at startup. Superfetch may not be helpful for a server since it is always being ramdomly accessed.