Slow Windows 2000 workstation bootup and login on Windows 2000 network

Posted on 2003-03-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Windows 2000 workstations on my Windows 2000-based network take 15-20 minutes to boot up: 15 minutes to Ctrl-Alt-Del signon and 15 minutes to desktop. Problem does not effect Windows 98 and Windows XP Home Edition workstations. Both boot normally and run smoothly.

Installing Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2 on an HP Brio and Compaq Deskpro with latest BIOS update. System ran well before addition of Linksys Router and modifications to domain controller. Have tested installed Windows 2000 workstation, Windows 2000 server, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server with same results on both machines.

Key issues:

(1) Recently installed a Linksys Cable Router onto the network.
(2) DHCP is provided by Linksys router (service disabled on domain controller server)
(3) Followed advice of a friend and made some modifications to domain controller server services but did NOT write down the changes.
Question by:xgrove
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Accepted Solution

asamaras earned 1500 total points
ID: 8141848
Hi there,
I had the same problem with my network, but due to other reasons. It seems that TCP/IP DNS tab sould have some probs:
I use a DNS server belonging to an other subnet. Unfortunately in the routing table I added to the external interface a mask of, that led all Win2K workstations to be unable to connect to DNS server. It seems that during the boot up sequence, Win2K try to verify the TCP/IP settings and they transmit a query to DNS also, so in case that any settings are incorrect, you may have a long delay on boot sequence.
Try to verify the settings, check if there are any IP conflicts, from your Win2K box ping the DNS and then do a nslookup on a server they supposed to know, try reverce lookup on your workstation (if you use internal dns). Check all the masks on Win2K workstations (DHCP settings on your server if you use DHCP), and make sure that all the internal network is in good condition. A responce delay may occure due to network traffic, so the ns queries may delay a lot, causing OS to report failure, wait and retry.

(1) Recently installed a Linksys Cable Router onto the network.
Make shure that all the interfaces are configured properly and the masks correspond to your network.
(2) DHCP is provided by Linksys router (service disabled on domain controller server)
Make sure that DHCP settings are pointing to the correct DNS server(s)
(3) Followed advice of a friend and made some modifications to domain controller server services but did NOT write down the changes.
This is too bad, any how if you are using another DHCP server than your domain controler, no DHCP services supposed to be running. Also make sure that you disable the routing services to make sure that there is no packet collisions or invalid redirections.

Hope it helps.

Expert Comment

ID: 8141974
xgrove, what sakis has laid out for you is all very good information.

some other things to consider are checking the event viewer for information. there may be error messages in there that will tell you if/what services and drivers are having a hard time loading. look for warnings, too - not just errors.

also, you can enable verbise status messages for startup and shutdown in wondows 2000.


In situations where you are troubleshooting slow boot, shutdown, logon, and/or logoff behavior, enabling verbose messaging may be helpful.

You can use Group Policy (Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System) to toggle verbos versus normal status messages, or you can edit the registry, as long as the policy remains Not configured.

Use Regedt32 to navigate to:


On the Edit menu, Add Value name VerboseStatus, as a REG_DWORD data type. A data value of 0, the default, causes the system to display normal status messages. A data value of 1 enables verbose status messages in each step of the process of starting, shutting down, logging on, and logging off.

NOTE: If HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DisableStatusMessages is set to 1, no status messages are displayed.


Expert Comment

ID: 8141977
you also might want to update to the latest service pack for 2000, which is now service pack 3.


Author Comment

ID: 8149566
Great starting point. I've still got work to do but I've got an idea about what to do. Thanks.

Author Comment

ID: 8157330
Found at http://www.albany.edu/computing/documentation/local/win2k_dns_dhcp.html

Windows 2000 Server DNS Settings: DHCP and Netlogon
Windows 2000 Server enables dynamic DNS (Domain Name Server) updates by default.  This can cause problems when the Windows 2000 Server coexists with a UNIX DNS.  The DHCP Client and Netlogon services in Windows 2000 attempt to register certain information with the DNS, even if that information is already correctly registered.

The current configuration of the U. Albany DNS does not support this dynamic updating of DNS information.  Therefore, all attempts by Windows 2000 machines to perform these updates will fail.  Furthermore, a large number of these dynamic update requests may cause performance degradation on the DNS servers.  Hence, computers pointed to the U. Albany DNS servers should have this dynamic update feature disabled.

The following instructions involve editing the Windows 2000 Registry. If done incorrectly, modifying the registry can do serious harm to your system. If you are uncomfortable with performing these instructions, seek assistance from an advanced computer user.

To edit the Windows registry, go to the Windows Start Menu, click "Run" and type "regedit" in the text box. (See the Windows Help for more information on the Registry Editor.)


DHCP Client Service
The DHCP Client Service performs dynamic DNS updates -- whether the network adapter is set to DHCP or uses static IP information.  To disable these updates, the following Windows 2000 registry key needs to be modified:


Add the value

     Data type: REG_DWORD
     Value: 1

The machine must be rebooted in order for this change to take effect.


Netlogon Service (Domain Controllers)
To disable the dynamic DNS update for this service, the following Windows 2000 registry key needs to be modified:


Add the value

     Data type:  REG_DWORD
     Value:  0

The machine must be rebooted in order for this change to take effect.


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