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Slow logon to domain

By mickmcmanus ·
We have two XP pro and two Win2K PC's that take on average 10mins to log in to the server. The win98 pc's are fine. I have edited the group policy setting for "always wait for the network at startup" to enable as recommended by various websites. I have also tried adding our servers IP address to the Hosts file. Neither of which has speeded up the login.
Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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by house In reply to Slow logon to domain

Check the proxy settings in the LAN configuration on your clients. It could be that they are looking for a proxy. I've seen that before.

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by house In reply to

Did I actually say that? Disregard my answer, it has nothing to do with your issue. I've seen this in 2k - as stated in the other posts, the slow logon is a recognised issue that should've been sorrected with a hotfix.

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by BFilmFan In reply to Slow logon to domain

The speed of login to the domain can be limited by several factors.

Is the domain controller in the same site as the workstations? Domain controller authentication across a slow WAN link can take an extremely long time to complete.

There is a known and documented issue with Windows 2000 slow login that was corrected in SP 3. See here for details on the hotfix:

In addition, is DNS functioning correctly on the systems? Incorrect DNS settings can cause issues with domain login.

XP differs from previous versions of Windows in that it uses DNS as it's primary name resolution method for finding domain controllers. Be sure that the Windows 2000 and XP systems point to the local DNS-name space server and not to an external DNS server.

Are there any errors showing in the event logs of either the local workstations or the domain controller?

How many GPO's are being processed by these systems having the issue?

You may experience extremely long delays (up to 5 minutes) when logging into domains using Windows XP Pro. This is caused by the asyncronous loading of networking during the boot up process. This speeds up the login process in a stand-alone workstation by allowing the user to log in with cached logon credentials before the network is fully ready.

To disable this "feature" and restore your domain logons to their normal speed, open the MMC and add the group policy snap-in. Under Computer Configuration-->Administrative Templates-->System-->Logon, change "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" to ENABLED.

This can be fed to clients via a group policy from a Windows 2000 server by upgrading the standard policy template with the XP policy template. Since this is an XP only command, non-XP systems will ignore it in a domain distributed group policy.

Windows 98 systems do not process Group Policy Objects; thus, they are seldom affected by issues with GPOs.

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by admin In reply to Slow logon to domain

Here is a solution that has successfully reduced network logons from 10 minutes to less than 1 minute:

Network comprises 1 Domain Controller with Active Directory, 1 ADSL Internet Gateway (provides DHCP services) and a number of WINXP workstations and laptops.

Firstly, give the Domain Controller a STATIC IP ADDRESS and in the DNS Server boxes insert the ISP DNS Server addresses (Server configuration completed).

Next on each workstation/laptop at the run command type: gpedit.msc which will open a management console. Under the "Computer Configuration" select "System" then the Logon directory.

Open the Logon directory and ENABLE the following entry: "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon".

Finally, open the TCP/IP configuration for each workstation/laptop and in the DNS Server address box insert the IP address of the Domain Controller. (Note you can insert the ISP DNS server addresses, but as your PCs are logging onto the Domain Controller that should be the first preference.)

Reboot enverything for good measure and I will be very surprised if you do not notice a massive difference in your logon times for your users.

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by whitesideconsulting In reply to Slow logon to domain

I too had beaten my head against the wall with this XP slow logon issue. I tried all of the fixes I could find online....from the asynchronous loading of networking fixes ( ) to all of the DNS forwarding tricks I could find ( ). I was CONVINCED that it was a DNS issue, but I think most LAN IT techs get a little weak when it comes to DNS (I know I do). Anyway, I'd be curious to know what your server's fully qualified domain name is. Here is what I've found. is what my server names were. Without DNS tweaking that I haven't successfully found/done, I finally got brave and ran dcpromo to "demote" my active directory server to a stand alone server. Once this was done I ran dcpromo again to recreate the active directory server only THIS TIME NAMING IT SERVER.COMPANYNAME.LOCAL The .local part is THE difference. I don't know of any other way of renaming a Windows 2000 active directory server name. Now keep in mind that this is a drastic change and all of your users accounts/passwords etc will be lost and have to be recreated. But all of my XP machines logon on in an instant now. If there is an easier way to "fix" this I'm all ears, but I haven't found a "fix" anywhere else online. Let me know if this helps.


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by theroyala In reply to Slow logon to domain

gpedit.msc make me spit and cuss. i left slax
over night with a windows 2000. now theres only
one left and its me. go figure. i remember that
when it would not start and sp3 did little for
it. id just pimp slap start it and ride it down
to bsod.

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