OK. My wife's Dell Inspriron (2 years old) takes about 6 minutes from hitting the button until functional. The weird thing is that the desktop appears in short order with the a movable mouse pointer but no icons or task bar. Latest Zone Alarm installed. All possible on-line anti-virus and spyware programs has been run. Safe startup makes no difference. I ran a start up log from the boot up menu - zilch.
Event viewer showed continuous errors that would correspond in time to when the problem started (about a week ago).
Error message: "The KLIF service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the file specified."
I understand KLIF is related to Kaspersky/Zone alam. There are 2 instances of KLIF both in system32.
I'm guessing some corruption happened at some point. Can't find an answer on the Zone alarm site.