I haven't installed SP2 yet, but I'm guessing it added some junk to your startup. Here are two things that should speed up your boot times.
1) download Bootvis from here
2) find your "prefetch" folder in the windows directory and delete everything in it.
That should speed things up
Hope this helps
I've been down that road before. First, the SP2 install clears the prefetch folder for you.
I was considering using Bootvis until I did a lot of research on it. If you have XP SP1, the functionality of Bootvis is already built in to the system.
But, to get that functionality to work there are two pre-requisites - the Scheduler service has to be turned on, and the Scheduler has to be enabled.
It monitors all of the programs that are run and updates the list in the Prefetch folder with entries for them. And, once every 3 days when the system is idle, the Scheduler fires off a hidden (invisible is more like it) task:
What ProcessIdleTasks does is update the Layout.ini in the prefetch folder with the .pf entries that are in the folder, then runs the command line Defrag command with the -b switch set. This is a subset of the full defrag and repositions only the boottime modules so they're more efficiently read at boot time. It reads the Layout.ini file to determine the correct disk placements.
Now here's the catch: if your like me, your PC is never truely idle, so the ProcessIdleTasks never gets run. My home PC is never idle. The PC has to be idle for about 30 minutes before that task gets run by the Scheduler. I've confirmed this on my PC at work - the task gets run while I'm at lunch.
The workaround for that is simple: Once every three days, I manually run the "rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks" from Start\Run. Then I follow that up with a full defrag because moving all those files around fragments a bunch of other files. Make sure you use Microsofts defrag, most of the 3rd party Defragmenters don't honor the placements in the Layout.ini file. There is one or two, but they're expensive - unless you have the $s and know which utilities I'm talking about, then use those. Nortons SpeedDisk is not one of them.
When I installed XP SP2, I initially had the same slowdown problem. Doing the little trick above restored the startup speed to pre-SP2 startup times.