Windows Server 2003 - very long boot time (+3 hours)

By mr.sweetchuck ·
I appear to be having some problems with my Windows SBS 2003 server.

When I boot up the server it, takes several hours to get to the log-in screen. Furthermore, when I log in, the server continues to display the 'Applying Computer Settings' messages box ofr +1 hour, (during this time the server is responsive to cursor movements and pings from other machines.)

One final note, the MS Exchange System Attendant services stalls when i manually attempt to start it.

Does anyone have any suggestions re how to resolve this?


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Lok for and run

by Dumphrey In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

BootVis, or something similar, it may be able to show you the offending processes. There are to many possibilities off the top of my head to narrow it down any further.

Does Exchange run properly? Any errors in application or system logs? Failed Raid drive?

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Also check your DNS settings

by Jacky Howe In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

Frequently asked questions about Windows 2000 DNS and Windows Server 2003 DNS

< Typo >

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If you have a backup..... wipe and restore from the backup

by CG IT In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

to a time when it didn't take 3 hours to load...if it's always taken 3 have a major problem... if sys attendant won't start it probably would be best is you reinstalled the Exchange component from the DVD and then reinstall SP 2&3.

if SBS takes 5 minutes to get to the logon screen, and you aren't running SQL it's to long....

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by cj_mcnix In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

I had a similar problem when MS had me reboot both of my servers during a service call. Problem was that each server was pointing to the other for primary DNS and itself for secondary. Took a few hours before they came back up and I was able to change the primary DNS to themselves. Part of my problem was also a top level domain name issue that messed with DNS as well. (domainname instead of or domainname.local). I needed a special MS VB script to fix that one....

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Re;Windows Server 2003 - very long boot time (+3 hours)

by khoffenkamp In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

Hey Chuck,
Had the same prob on Win2k3 SBS. Exchange Services was the cause. The server had Exchange installed but it was not functioning as an Exchange server. Since it was not configured properly it would not start. I assume you have the same situation, since Exchange will not work without the Attendant service. If this is the case, just disable all your Exchange services. I had to do some through the registry since the services were partially started. Mine went from 2.5 hours down to 5-7 minutes.

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Slow boot?

by J.C.Alexandres In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

Try upgrading the BIOS and firmware for RAID controllers, along with updated disk drivers

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Check Registry

by k_magz In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

We had the same issue. Finally found

had grown HUGE do to some automated drive mapping we were doing. If that's your case remove that hive and re-add an emtpy value(back up yrou registry first if you can -- ours was so large we could not back it up.)

Good Luck

- Ken

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Had the exact same problem on SBS2003

by davidt In reply to Check Registry

Problem was, I installed a service pack that was intended for 2003 standard, not SBS (and it ALLOWED it, thank you very much MS). I was on the phone with India for hours.....

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Issue Solved

by mr.sweetchuck In reply to Windows Server 2003 - ver ...

As one of the guys above pointed out, this was an Exchange problem.

Server was build with an aim of adding to the domain before replacing the current DC.

Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the build and built is as a DC for its own domain. To resolve this, I used dcpromo to downgrade the new server to a stand alone server. I was then able to add the server to the domain and promote it again, (using dcpromo.) During this time Exchange was uninstalled.

Resolution: The resolution was to reinstall Exchange.

Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions,

Much appreciated,

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Same Problem

by cbhildre In reply to Issue Solved

I have had the same issue with my SBS box since day 1. It was installed in a brand new network so Mr. Sweetchuck's solution won't work for me. If anyone else has any ideas that would be great.


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