Why does my laptop take so long to boot up and shut down now that I have Vista?

I recently got Windows Vista Home Premium on my laptop (Dell Inspiron E1405). Since then, it has been booting up pretty slowly, but it takes even longer to restart/shutdown. When I click the shutdown button, it doesn't register right away, until I move the mouse around a few times or click on shutdown/restart again. It's really annoying, and I would like to know if there is a way to speed the process up. Thanks so much! Also, I am not very technically inclined, so if possible, please answer in the most straight-forward, simple way. :)

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