here is one of the suggestions. I have no option of clear page file at shutdown so this one was a no go. Found at this website:
Some points to improve the shutdown times
Start Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:
[HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
Set ClearPageFileAtShutdown value to 0
Or, using Group Policy Editor [for Windows XP Professional]
Click Start, Run and type Secpol.msc
Click Local Policies | Security Options
In the right-pane, set Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile to Disabled
However, this setting is not the only cause for slow shutdowns. Non-responsive programs and Services also contribute to slow shutdowns. If the problem is seen recently after installing a third-party driver or software, try a System Restore rollback to see if that resolves the slow shutdown problem.
The other suggestions on this page were for problems I am not having.
And at this site:
Probably the second most common shut down problem for Windows XP is that the shut down takes an excessive amount of time to complete. To understand why this happens, you must remember that the Windows operating system is not a single program, but rather a collection of individual services. Each of these services must be stopped during shut down. Therefore, a glitch related to any one of the services may prolong the shut down process or cause the shut down process to fail completely.
Many people have claimed that the Nvidia Driver Helper Service (used with Nvidia video cards) causes extremely slow shut downs. However, this is one of those cases in which an updated video driver usually solves the problem. Other people have mentioned that disabling the terminal services greatly expedites the shut down process. The Terminal Services are used for remote assistance, remote desktop, and fast user switching. If you do not use any of these features, then the Terminal Services can be safely disabled. You can access the services console by entering the SERVICES.MSC command at the Run prompt.
Another potential cause of slow system shut downs is that Windows contains an option to erase the systemâs virtual memory and system hibernation cache at shut down. These security features are disabled by default because they take a long time to complete, and cause the system shutdown to look like it has frozen. Although these features are disabled by default, some privacy software will enable it.
To determine whether or not these features are enabled on your PC, enter the GPEDIT.MSC command at the Run prompt to load the Group Policy Editor. Now, navigate through the console tree to Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | Security Options. At this point, locate the Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile option in the column to the right and verify that it is disabled, as shown in Figure C. If this option is enabled, you can disable it by double clicking on the setting and choosing the Disabled option.
For all the info - click the link. It will take up too much space here.
I just googled slow shutdown and got a bunch of possibilities but most list problems I am not having like lingering on closing a particular program or error messages of some sort.