A common issue in older versions of Windows, including Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Server, is the sluggishness while browsing the local network or Workgroup.
The reason is in many cases that Windows is searching for scheduled tasks and printers. To prevent this, there is a tweak available which prevents the long delay:
Note that this tweak presumes you have some experience in modifying the Windows registry
Open up the Windows Registry editor by selecting Start > Run (or simply hit Win-R) and type 'regedit' (without quotes).
Now, navigate to the following key:
Delete the following two values:
Thats it! Network browsing should now be a lot faster. If you wish to restore the keys in the future, download and run this file: Restore Network Task Scheduler keys
Note that this tweak only applies to Windows versions prior to Windows Vista.