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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?

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The option is called enabling verbose status messages. You can use the methods mentioned in the following links to turn it on.

http://www.techyard.net/how-to-verbose-startup-for-xp/

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325376

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 :

To enable verbose status message in Windows, just follow the few simple steps below.

  1. Go to Start > Run, type regedit and click OK.

  2. Navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\System

  1. Right click at an empty area on the right pane, select New > DWORD Value and type VerboseStatus.

  2. Now double click on the new verbosestatus key that you just created and enter the value data as 1.

  3. Again, right click at an empty area on the right pane, select NEW > DWORD Value and type DisableStatusMessages. By default, the value data should be

  4. Leave it as it is.
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  • Aha, "verbose". That's what I was looking for. Could you quote the entire answer from the 1st link into your post?
    – hyperslug
    Oct 9 '09 at 18:21
  • That's a little lengthy, so I've just posted the first of the three methods, minus the graphics.
    – MartW
    Oct 11 '09 at 0:31
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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!

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