What's happening in windows when you boot it and it gets to the portion that displays the message:
Applying Computer Settings?
I seem to get hung up there for a long time. Is there anything I can do to streamline that portion of the boot?
I've made some progress on this.
I found there was some stuff you can do in the Group Policy editor (run gpedit.msc) to see what's going on.
If you got to Console Root->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->System, you can update Verbose vs normal status messages to Enabled. You can also go to Console Root->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->System->Scripts and Enable run startup scripts visible. This will show you what's going on during the boot.
In my case, I seem to have some sort of install trying to run (and failing). I end up getting a "Windows Installer" help window popping up a window with the Command-Line Options. When I click on the Okay button, the rest of the startup continues. I'm thinking that someone added an install to my workstation's AD group, and its parameters are broken.
I'm thinking about changing the Maximum wait time for Group Policy scripts (also in Console Root->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->System->Scripts) from the default (which is 600 seconds) to something much smaller like 180 seconds.