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Here's the situation -- let's say, for the sake of this tip, that you have a single home PC with a NIC. Your internet connection uses a cable-modem and an ISP, and you're also using something like PPPoE. You have a "connect" shortcut that connects you to your ISP using a username and password.
When you startup the PC, and your cable-modem is turned on, the NIC will see a signal. Next, Windows issues a DHCP request to get an IP address, but you still have no connection. After a minute or so, Windows will decide: 'no DHCP today, I must use one of the MS built-in addresses'.
Enter 'Ipconfig /all' to see what IP address is being used, and then configure your "LAN" connection to use this as a fixed address. During your next startup, there will be no DHCP request, and therefore no need to wait for the request to time-out.