I find it quiet amusing to see you are about the GUI part of the assignment, but you are doing a whole lot extras in the GUI which are not intended, giving you a lot more trouble than you would have had if you kept it as simple as possible.
My GUI does not have a progressbar, cursor is not switching,... So my advice simply would be: if it does not work or you have to spend too much time, just do NOT do it If you want to go through with fancing your GUI, I think you should ask your questions in the dedicated Swing forum instead of this one, because chances to get a useful answer are a whole lot higher, certainly if you try to do things which are not required at all.
I've decided not to use the waiting cursor at all - the shutdown operation is not so time consuming to be honored with waiting cursor :-) (I will document it in choices)
Yeah Roel - the GUI part is taking me definitely too much time. DB, Data class, BLL was a pleasure to solve. GUI is a horror... I guess I'll just cut what I have to the minimum in the sake of simplicity.