I fixed this problem by simply removing invalid entries from my system path. When Windows Explorer starts, it traverses the PATH variable, and invalid entries can extend the time necessary for Windows Explorer to initiate. To solve the problem, you need to ensure that each item in your PATH variable exists. To do so, open the Control Panel System applet, and access the Advanced settings (on the Advanced tab). Click the Environment Variables button. Under System Variables, view the PATH variable and check each entry that makes up the path. (Entries are separated by a semicolon.) Remove any incorrect entries, and click OK. Click OK on the main Environment Variables dialog box.