I'm having a hard time diagnosing intermittent slow logins on domain PCs.
A bit of information about the network that has this problem:
- My domain spans 5 sites, all with VPN connections.
- DCs are a mixture of 2003, 2008 and 2012. Domain functional level is 2003.
- Clients are mostly Windows 7 x64.
- We use group policies, including ones that use WMI, group preference item level targeting, and GPP printer deployment.
- We do not use roaming profiles.
For the most part, logins work fine and quickly for people who have used the machine before. The first login to a new computer is always slow, but that's expected.
The problem seems to be mostly with laptops. If they are used at home with a non-domain network connection, or moved to a different location (still on a domain network, but different AD site, and doesn't seem to matter wired or wireless) logins can take as long as 3 minutes from the time the user enters their password, until the time it actually starts showing the desktop. Our terminal server also intermittently experiences slow logins.
Unfortunately, its an intermittent issue, and I haven't found any reliable way to reproduce it. My suspicion is that it has to do with the group policy preferences, but I don't really have any proof of that. I have seen a microsoft KB article blaming certain types of item level targeting for slow logins, but it doesn't give any guidance to determining if that is actually the cause.
What logs and tools can I use to figure out what is causing the slow logins?
What group policy settings should I use or avoid if possible to speed up logins?