..eliminating the unnecessary startup programs and services.. The few such unnecessary programs that are running in the background, the fewer that have to shut down when turning the computer off. So, please follow the steps in the link below:
For Windows 2000/XP, ignore the first couple of sentences about checking "resources" and the "Performance tab" in the link below but follow the rest of the procedures including the "Services" links at the bottom.
How To Shut Down Unnecessary Start Up Programs
Hope this helps.
This has happened to two of my three systems. One system is a Dell 8200 desktop and the other a Dell Inspiron. Initiating a shut down by clicking on Start and Turn off Computer starts a wait that lasts for over three minutes. Then when given the three options including shut down or restart, that selection generates another 2 minute wait.
I once heard (can't remember where) that the culprit might be in a USB driver. This is a major annoyance and if anyone can help I sure would appreciate it. ...Tom