There is a great resource on making the ever-slowing Windows XP boot up go faster next time. Noteworthy is the Prefetch option which allows you to control how XP prefetch an application.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters]

Under this key you should see a value named: EnablePrefetcher

It has 4 possible values:

0 – Disabled : The prefetch system is turned off.

1 – Application : The prefetch only caches applications.

2 – Boot : The prefetch only caches boot system files.

3 – All : The prefetch caches boot, and application files.

More on:
http://www.intelliadmin.com/blog/2006/09/why-windows-takes-so-long-to-start-up.html

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