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Might be a bit of a long shot but I'm stumped, along with the ICT Manager for the school I'm working it.

In one of the IT rooms when you switch a computer on it will boot through BIOS fine, but when it gets to "applying computer settings" it can hang for a long time (~15 minutes). If you unplug the computer from the network it starts up fine, gets to the login screen, then you can plug the network cable in and it will work fine.

I don't think it's anything to do with the fact we've been coming close to running out of IP addresses or a problem with our DHCP. Microsoft KB says apply the latest service pack, which we've done, and check a service.

Servers and domian controllers are S2003, Computers and Desktops are XP.

Does anybody have any thoughts on what to try?

EDIT: The logs have shown a problem with folder re-direction for mapping My Documents to the "U" drive.

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Check the event log on the client. It will show you whats wrong. – pauska May 19 '10 at 11:22
Check event logs on domain controller as well. – Saif Khan May 20 '10 at 1:41
r u doing client side caching by chance! – tony roth May 20 '10 at 2:30
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This happened to us once, all we needed to do was remove the affected machine from the domain, and then add it back.

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well, I've done that and it starts up as quick as you like and gets to the login box no it just takes ages to log in >_< – tombull89 May 19 '10 at 9:44
For you to log in, or everyone? Could be profile issues. Or it could be a network communication issue; test the network pathway to see that there isn't a problem with the line. Check the logs to see if anything suspicious is logged. Test the hard disk to rule out any issues with files, although that probably isn't it...check on the domain controller's logs to see if anything is there. How big are the profiles, if they're roaming? – Bart Silverstrim May 19 '10 at 9:47
everybody had problem, not just me - the profiles arn't roaming (don't ask why, decision was made before I got here) - I'm doubtful its the the line as I've moved it from the room to the systems office and it's not happy. I'm checking the logs at the moment. – tombull89 May 19 '10 at 10:37

Its usually a misconfiguratied DNS address in your TCP/IP settings. Check that the PC hasn't been configured to use a static IP address and that that the DNS address is correct.

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Back in my early days of playing with AD when I didn't understand DNS, this was ALWAYS the issue – Mark Henderson May 20 '10 at 0:56

I've seen this happen a bunch of times and it can be a real pain to diagnose at times. Just today I had the problem with one of the managers' laptops. In this instance the problem was caused by drive mappings to targets that no longer exist. After deleting the offending shortcuts and relevant registry entries the startup time went from 10+ minutes to about 1 minute.

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I think it may be something to do with drive mapping as shown in the logs, but as it's mapping My Document folders I'm surprised It would have a problem. I'll check. – tombull89 May 19 '10 at 11:49

At a high level, this is almost always called by trying to contact a server/service that's not answering. Even in 2010, Windows' networking timeouts are insanely long and likes to retry.

The trick is finding what's causing the failed lookup. DNS is an obvious one, but would tend to affect > 1 client. GPOs are also suspect, so enabling the debug log is a good start. Look for suspicously large time stamps between lines.

When all else fails, a sniffer will show you the failed connections. You still have to figure out why it's trying to connect there (or why there isn't accessible).

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Windows 2010??? – Chris S May 20 '10 at 0:53
I think he means in the year 2010; i.e. he's surpised ms hasn't reduced it. Thanks for th kb article, I'll have a read of that. – tombull89 May 20 '10 at 5:40

it was 50 min applying computer setting...Mcafee was the issue at my side, booted to safe mode, disabled Mcafee, and server booted up fine then, will work with mcafee on issue

Hope this will help to someone

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