For about 3 weeks now my MacBook is taking about 20-30 secs more to startup. After all the finder loads and all the icons are visible except those in the top right of the finder bar (airport etc), the machine just stops doing anything you can see, then eventually (30s later) loads the final applications (airport etc) and proceeds as normal. I assume this is due to Spotlight, as if I move the mouse over the spotlight icon, I get the spinning beachball of death (this goes when I move the mouse away, but I can't click on anything while the machine is doing whatever it's doing). I have reduced the number of folders Spotlight is indexing to the bare minimum, (ie those with documents in), but this has made no difference. I only have stickies loading on startup, so it's not some unknown programme hogging stuff. I did the upgrade to 10.4.10, but have also done this on my iMac, which does not suffer from the same irritating problem. Those 30s are precious! And yes, I turn my Macs off rather than putting them to sleep. Part of a general campaign to lower those carbon emissions... Any suggestions for how to fix this?