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2003 SBS delayed startup

Posted on 2004-04-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I have just setup an sbs 2003 server, things were going OK but now the server has decided to pause for an extended period during startup at the point where the dialog says "Applying Computer Settings" - by extended period I mean 2-3 hours. File shares etc are avaliable during this period.  When the logon finially appears it also to 2-3 hours "Applying Settings" to logon. Once logged in everything appears to be working OK except I cannot view network connection properties.  The event logs don't show anything remarakable.  Any ideas?
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Question by:matthewmacalister
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What90 earned 252 total points
ID: 10763468
This could well be due to you DNS not correctly configured.


Check your DNS server settings and see if all the pointers are directed to the server's ip address and FQDN.

Run the basic tests to see if you can do NSlookups and try a netdiag /fix against the server too.
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by:wrsinclair
wrsinclair earned 248 total points
ID: 10943867
Check the timestamps in the Application Event Log and see what's taking so long to start.
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Expert Comment

by:katznet
ID: 13811272
I recently responded to and emergency call at a client running Windows 2003 Server where the logon was slowing down at "applying settings". In this situation, I had enabled verbose login in the local policy to see if I could pinpoint where the process was bogging down. Turns out that there was a problem with Active Directory - it would not load properly. Given enough time, perhaps an hour, the server would arrive at the login prompt. Logging in would then take another hour. Connecting using the remote desktop yielded the same results.

Finding only limited information on the Internet, I called the best "road warrior" I know who has tons of Windows 2000 and 2003 experience. His solution was to log in using "Active Directory Services Restore Mode: Hiit F8 repeatedly on Startup and arrive at the "safe mode" selection screen. One of the options  to choose is "Active Directory Services Restore Mode". Choose that one. Warning: You will need the first "local" administrator password (often the same as the current Domain Admin password OR often a blank password), and later on, possibly the Active Directory Services restore password, and which is created when AD is installed. Simply booting to AD Services Restore mode seemed to fix the problem. I then rebooted to normal mode, the server logged in without a hitch, however, upon subsequent reboots, I had to repeat the process, which indicates a problem with Active Directory. I may have to restore AD from backup in AD Restore mode, and understand that you have to change your backup services (in this case Veritas Backup Exec) to use the System account AND perform an authoritative restore. Don't try this unless your really comfortable doing it, otherwise call a more experienced tech.
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