"Please Wait" Can Mean "Wait Forever..."
According to MS KB Article 983551 (6/10/2010; Rev: 2.0) some computers running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 can freeze at the “Please wait” display that precedes appearance of the desktop on your screen. Alas, because of a deadlock that occurs between Windows Error Reporting (WER) and AppLocker, “Please wait” never gives way to the desktop, nor does is there ever any opportunity to log in. The only cure is to cycle the power on the affected PC, and to hope that the problem does not recur during the next boot-up cycle.
As the preceding header snip from KB article 983551 illustrates, this code fix is currently available from Microsoft as a hotfix. This generally means several things, including Microsoft’s intentions to test the code further in the future, the need to proceed (and test) this hotfix with caution, and finally, that the hotfix is only worth applying to machines that actually manifest the problem that this hotfix addresses — namely, hanging indefinitely after the “Please wait” prompt appears on the affected machine(s).
In a related report from Softpedia this morning, however, there is apparently some good news about this problem and its fix in the offing. According to an unnamed source within Microsoft, this hotfix will be incorporated into the upcoming SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, due to go into beta in July, and slated for public release some time later this year (exact release date is still TBD).
If any of your machines have this problem, the hotfix may help. And it seems certain that Microsoft will further test (and if necessary, elaborate upon) the hotfix for later inclusion in the forthcoming SP1 code base.