We are having a few problems with our user logon. Many users complained about login times of 10 to 20 minutes. When doublechecking some users did indeed take that many minutes to log in.

First thought was that these users had a large roaming profile wich caused the delay. But the users had only a 200 MB profile (which is acceptable imho) so even if the client had to get the entire profile it should only take a minute or two (we have gigabit switches).

When looking into the C:\Users\%username% folder the bigest folder was C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local. Now I do think that that folder should be part of the "Local" profile and does not need to be synced, so the size of this folder should have no impact on the login time. Or does it?

I would like to know what the steps are that Windows does when it says "Welcome" on the screen (after entering credentials and starting the login process). Because that is the part that takes so long for some users.

If you need more information please ask I will gladly provide you with extra info. Thanks for any tips, ideas or suggestions.

  • @dan Both myself and my PFY think that %username%\appdata\local and LocalLow doesn't roam, too. At least not by default. And a quick check of some user profiles on my workstation vs. the server tends to back that up. – Rob Moir Oct 22 '13 at 11:58
  • @joeqwerty When we compare the C:\Users\%username% folder to the %username% folder on our profile share on the dataserver (the share where all profiles are writen to) it is clear that the files and folders under C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local are not synced. – Tomas Oct 22 '13 at 12:06
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    All: my apologies. I'm wrong on the roaming profiles. I'll delete my comment. – joeqwerty Oct 22 '13 at 12:14
  • @joeqwerty No worries, it's good to sit and think about these things once in a while :) – Dan Oct 22 '13 at 12:23
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    Yes. and it goods to be humbled by being wrong once in awhile. :) – joeqwerty Oct 22 '13 at 12:24

You need to begin a process of elimination - Windows does lots of things while the "Welcome" screen is spinning, but the good news is that most problems will be logged in the event log.

Here's the kind of things I'd be doing:

  1. Does it still do it if the user has no roaming profile configured?
  2. Does it still do it if NO group policies are applied to the user and station?
  3. Does it take a long time for a local user to logon? How about local administrator?
  4. Does it take a long time to logon using a cached profile (I.e., with the network cable unplugged?)

Hopefully, by doing the above, you can start to eliminate certain causes and narrow down your investigation. Here is an excellent article by Mark Russinovich on getting into some really low level diagnostics:


  • 4. It takes as long if I logon using a cached profile (cable unplugged) 3. Login in with a local user goes verry fast – Tomas Oct 22 '13 at 12:15
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    In that case, time to look through the event logs, both the general application logs and the specific ones for things like Group Policy and so-on under Applications and Services Logs -> Microsoft -> Windows. – Rob Moir Oct 22 '13 at 12:33

Thank you all for the responses.

Using the process of elimination I started analyzing the event-logs and several records indicated the fact that the user profiles of the users having trouble logging in were corrupt.

Due to the complexity of the user profiles we decided to take a backup (to restore files if nessery) and delete both the server copy and the local copy of the profile. The fresh profile has acceptable login times.

For people that would have similar problems, the most common error ID's I found in the eventlog (under Application-Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service): 1530, 6005, 6006, 1542


@Dan offers a methodical approach. It will help.

I have some quick things to check that have impacted users on our network.

I would look for printers that are not available for whatever reason and also mapped drives that are unavailable.

I have seen this where a user visits a branch office and adds local printers and file shares and then sees a very long logon when back at main office. Also applied to printers on a home network.

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