It was last Monday when I first encountered this problem:
After entering my Windows 7 user account password, I am stuck with a blue swirl and the Welcome screen on my laptop. I waited for a while, and when it seems that nothing is happening to my computer, I forcibly removed the battery from my laptop and rebooted. Then, it was back to normal.
Just this morning, I encountered the same problem again! The MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) in me prompted a visit to the Microsoft Support website and I stumble upon Article 2578159 (The logon process stops responding in Windows Server 2008 R2 or in Windows 7). It matches the symptoms my laptop encounters:
When you log on to a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, the logon process stops responding and a blue swirl is shown on the Welcome screen indefinitely. After some time, the computer stops responding to any network-related commands. You must forcibly restart the computer to recover from this issue.
With its cause described as:
This issue occurs because of a race condition between the Windows Event Log service and the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) tracing functions. When the race condition occurs, it causes a deadlock situation. This deadlock situation then causes the Winlogon.exe process to become unresponsive.
Good thing, a Hotfix file was able for download and my problem is now resolved!