Read an example at http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2010/01/13/3305263.aspx
You didn't reveal much about the machine. XP has this bad habit of reducing DMA levels and never turning it back up to full speed. That CD drive issue is TELLING ME I'd unplug those CD/DVD drives to see if they are failing and dogging the machine.
Just ideas but sounds like the usual.
Is there a way to enable some system logging that would show step-by-step what XP is doing during boot and login? Hopefully the log would include time-stamping that might lend a clue as to which boot and/or login activity my system is waiting on.
In the last 48 hours something horrid has happened to my Windows XP pro system. I came in the other day and the screen was mysteriously black and the system was non-responsive. I had to use the power button to restart. Since that event, system shutdowns sometimes hang indefinitely. During boot, there's a new 45 second lag between the time of the Windows logo screen and the time the login screen finally appears. Logins used to be very fast, but now take well over a minute. I can't seem to use my CD/DVD drive either -- it starts to read things and then hangs.
I've removed all recently installed software. My Norton Security Suite seems to be happy. I don't see any suspicious looking processes in the Task Manager. And the processor is 99% idle even during those times when the system takes a trip to la-la land.
I just rebuilt this system in February and it's screwed up again. I don't know they are the source of the problem, but I think I'm going to have to remove my kids accounts -- I just can't afford all the time this Windows system is costing me.
Thanks for any suggestions,