You can see the same effect with Zone Alarm. The little graphic interface appears much later in the boot but the nic driver is loaded quite early in the boot. I know that most think the little icon in the task bar is the driver but that is untrue.
I am helping a fellow photographer friend with his computer. He has a 6-mo old PowerSpec from Micro Center. It has a Q9550 CPU. Motherboard is an MSI N6 with nVidia chipset. XP-Pro.
Software loaded: MS Office Suit. Kaspersky IS 2010. Quickbook. Photoshop CS3. Blackberry Desktop Manager.
During boot...upon arrival to the desktop, all the icons finished loading within 15-seconds. HDD stops scratching. Everything is idle under processes. 2-minutes later, NIC will load.
Both onboard NIC and any PCI NIC I put in later suffers from the same fate. What gives?
I tried giving IRQ to PIC slot. No improvement.
I tried holding Kaspersky back. No improvement.
This PC used to have Linksys Wireless-G PCI card. Because of this late-loading behavior, it had been replaced with a Netgear-N PCI card. Same old delay.
I thank you very much for your inputs.