During the boot process, Windows normally displays that monolithic "Logging on.." screen. There's a way to switch it to show what's going on behind the scenes, (e.g., connecting to network, running this program, arbitrary delay, etc.). How do I enable this mode?
The option is called enabling verbose status messages. You can use the methods mentioned in the following links to turn it on.
A word of caution - the MS link only mentions XP Pro, not Home, so I don't know if any of the methods referred to would work with XP Home. Also, it will affect shutdown, login and logoff too.
From the first link :
I can't attest to Windows XP (sorry I don't have a machine to try it on) but in 7,
Run -> msconfig -> Boot and check the box "Boot Log"
Hope that helps!