I am running Panther 10.3.9 (recently installed, after erasing HD previously using running Jaguar) on a PowerMac G4 867 MHZ with 512 MB RAM and QuickTime 6.5.2
I did some online system updates (not all, some are still in the works) and now, when I turn on the computer or restart, the desktop takes several minutes to fully compose itself. First I get the background (desktop) image, then some of the menu items above (time/date, country...) are shown with transparency, but the complete Finder white menu bar takes another 2-3 minutes to appear, making for a real slow startup... Any ideas? Should I just keep making the system updates and hope this goes away?
In your System Preferences, is your Startup Disk actually set to your boot drive?
Are you connected to the internet or other network, and have startup items that are looking for network services that it can't find? For example, if you have Date & Time set to use a network time server, and you are not connected to the internet, startup will be delayed until the OS figures out it can't connect to an external time server. Same for other services, servers or network drives.