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Windows 2003 Server hangs at "Applying Computer Settings" during startup

Posted on 2004-03-26
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a server that was upgraded to Server 2003 yesterday. After upgrading, it is taking forever for the system to get past the "Applying Computer Settings" stage. Note that this is during startup, not after logging in. I left it yesterday after 20 minutes, and when I came in today I looked at the Event Viewer to check on the services that didn't start. I wasn't focusing on the time, but it appeared that it took over an hour to complete... maybe even closer to two hours.

Now some additional info. The services that didn't start were Exchange Services (ie, MTA stacks). They didn't start because there was not network present. This is because the built-in network card wasn't compatible (When I checked the system compatibility prior to upgrading it warned me this might happen, but I figured if it didn't work I would replace it afterwards- which I did first thing this morning).

Also, I have been having problems when shutting down. The system hangs at the "Shutting Down Computer" stage. It was taking 15 mins. or so to get through that stage. I found by stopping the Exchange services I could prevent this issue. This seemed to start after I upgraded to Exchange 2003.

This is a single server domain running Exchange 2003 and SQL 2000 SP3a (rarely used, but I SP'd it prior to upgrade instead of trying to uninstall it). It has been about an hour and I am still waiting for it to get past the "Applying Computer Settings" page. This server is a critical server for one of my clients. I can't have this happen every time I reboot. Please help.
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Question by:ctgengineer
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by:karel_jespers
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this link wil only explain you how configure your server to receive more information from the server to find the problem on your server. i would first start with it
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;325376
This article describes how to configure Windows so that you receive verbose startup, shutdown, logon, and logoff status messages. Verbose status messages may be helpful when you are troubleshooting slow startup, shutdown, logon, or logoff behavior

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by:JamesDS
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During the "Applying Computer Settings" stage the machine is applying local or group policies that are set to apply to the machine node. However, this sounds like it's linked to your NIC. Have you replaced it yet?

If not then you might find umplugging the NIC from the LAN will at least get you rebooted quicker while you sort the problem out.

Cheers

JamesDS
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by:ctgengineer
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I figured out the problem. After I installed the new NIC, I did not change the IP settings. The old NIC has static IP settings. Once I applied those settings to the new NIC, there were no problems. Thank you everyone for your advice.
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by:netforceie
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I am having the same problem with a new server migrated to Windows 2003 Server with Exchange 2003 from NT 4 / Ex5.5 - during the upgrade I used an address 192.0.0.240 and after I decommisioned the NT box, I changed the IP address on the server NIC to 192.0.0.123 (the old nt server ip address) - now when I reboot the server it takes 1 - 2hrs to reboot, although users can still login and access their mailbox through outlook.  I updated the DNS settings with the new server IP.

I need to install AV software & powerchute.

If I put in 192.0.0.240 as an alternate address would that sort the problem or would putting 192.0.0.240 on the 2nd unused NIC do it?

Larry
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by:bayviewbc
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I am having the same problem. I used TS to update windows server 2003 with service pack 1. After it installed it shut down the server. When the server came back up, hung on "Applying Compter Settings" for the entire weekend. When I came in on Monday morning I shut down the server again and this time it took 4 hours (give or take an hour) for it to allow login. At that point it hung at applying computer settings again. I did control alt delete to shut down and it stayed at logging off for the rest of the night. I called a professional tech and he restarted the server in safe mode and uninstalled service pack 1, then restarted the server.

It still will not start properly. I logged onto our exchanger server 2003 and onto our terminal server 2003 and notice that I can access everything on the primary server even though it is hung at "Applying Computer Settings"

This server is domain controller, I am currently in the process of downloading service pack 1 from my terminal server and saving it to the primary server. Then attempt to install it again in safe mode. iI have already tried Last Good configuration with no success.


DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY INSIGHT TO WHAT MY PROBLEM REALLY IS AND IS IT SAFE TO REINSTALL SERVICE PACK 1 WHILE IN SAFE MODE?

Charlene
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by:skiptdouglas
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Hey there

We had an issue with one of clients servers doing the same thing.
It turned out to be the APC service which wasnt starting up and was causing the issue

Frank

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by:emtownsend
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With Windows Server 2003 w/SP1, we too had trouble with APC not starting.  After disabling the service, we start up as normal.
-Eric
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by:vppsit
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APC software v 6 expired on july 27th. They send out an email to upgrade to power chute to 7.x .
Uninstalling powerchute 6.x and reinstalling 7.x will fix this problem as I have had the some one.
I was working on storage exec at the time so i thought that is what was breaking it. Then i noticed in
computer magament if i connected to server having trouble getting past appling settings that the apc
agent was starting after any period of time.

Nice to know im not the only that got bit on this one. misury loves company. i lost about 4 hours troubleshooting time
john p
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by:otaluke
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I know this quetsion is closed.  Just to let people know I am having the exact same problem.  Apparently started Friday night 8-12-2005.  Appears to be very related with the posts and the time line above.  I will start troubleshooting with the above info and advise here as well with the outcome.

Even though questions are closed, it is still a good source of help and knowing the time line of people having similar problems.

Brent
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by:angeljr-datacorps
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have any of you applied patches or updates recently?  I just started having this problem on 8-11-2005 with one of my servers.  The only change I've made was applying some patches.
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by:kiedas28
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I am having the exact same problem with my sql server.  I installed updates last night at 6pm and I am still working on troubleshooting the issue.  
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by:vppsit
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If Powerchute 6.x is installed that is what is causing the problems. you can patch all day long and wont fix the problem.
I was to connect the server remotely and saw the apc power chute agent showing as starting hours later.

john p
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by:angeljr-datacorps
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Yup, that was it!
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by:karel_jespers
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great tks a lot
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by:bayviewbc
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Hello All,
If you go to APC's site and download 7.x and install it, it will fix the problem. I apologize for not responding here. I went to the proper area and asked the question and got the answer from Sir Bounty within 60 seconds.  As John P stated here, 6.x expired on July 27th and apparently there was an email that went out from APC to registered owners of the software. HOWEVER, our UPS and APC software was registered by my ex-LAN with his email adderss, so we never recieved the notice.

NOTE: if you purchase primium service for this site, you get unlimited points for questions. It is well worth the money. Note that each quesiton on this site is a custom question, that may or may not fit your circumstances. The site and the Experts herein, are A #1 in my book. They ARE THE BEST.

LESSON LEARNED(Best Practice): It is a good ideal to create a general email account for the IT department (or what ever department handling software and hardware registration) and register all software and hardware to the name of the compay and use that account as teh email address. That way, if the employee responisible for handling it leaves, you simple redirect that account to another employee.

Charlene
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by:emtownsend
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In answer to some folks asking about patches causing the issue, it is not the patch but the reboot.  The system seems to be OK until rebooting and trying to start up the now defunct APC 6.x service.
Thanks for the advice on the email account creation bayviewbc.  I will.
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by:delboytrigger
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Hi guys thanks for this was having major problems on different customers servers and it turned out to be the APC software.

For anybody looking not upgrading this software also stopped me receiving emails, browsing any Web pages and stopped any incoming connections, i.e. Telnet and Remote Desktop

Thanks again!!

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by:impactuser
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Hello,
We recently fitted a new server which failed to shutdown even after leaving it for an hour...  Startup was fine...

After reading this - we removed the APC software (Agent, server, monitor...) and just used the Windows built in battery monitoring software and it works fine.  Still takes a while to shutdown but it eventualy does!

Oh - i dont remember the version - however this was with a brand new Smart-Ups 1500 with USB data cable
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by:Anthony Maw
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As an I.T. consultant, I see this "Applying Computer Settings..." hangup problem *all the time* on Microsoft SBS Server 2003 as well as Windows Server 2003 Domain Controllers across different service pack levels and on different hardware.  I see this often after applying the monthly Microsoft Updates for my clients.  I have waited an hour in some cases and other systems administrators report waiting even longer.  During that time there doesn't appear to be much disk drive activity (once the automatic Services like Exchange and SQL Server have started).  I believe in some cases it is due to DNS failures (Blackberry Controller has a known port conflict that causes MS DNS to fail to start sometimes).  Active Directory critically depends on DNS and services like Exchange rely on DNS to find the Global Catalog server.   As a pre-emptive measure it is a good idea to run DCDIAG and NETDIAG utilities occasionally to ensure there aren't DNS problems.  Group Policy application problems/failures also seem to be a pseudo-random cause of the problem.  I do not run APC PowerChute so the expired 2005 Java certificate issue is not the problem.  I find the solution is often to PULL THE PLUG AND HARD REBOOT if it is stuck for more than 10 minutes.  In many cases it reboots in normal times including no more than about one minute at the "Applying Computer Settings" screen, even though of course nothing was changed.  Anthony Maw, B.Sc., MCSE, anthony@maw.bc.ca, Vancouver, Canada, +1 604 318 9994
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by:maxxmyer
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I am with anthonymaw. I too have seen hung problems, a lot and am experiencing it right now. Pull the plug and try again is often the solution. If not, reboot into safe and disable services.  W.Maxx       http://www.maxxSound.com
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