Windows XP Laptops hanging on login when away from domain controller

I have searched through some of the results that come up for the hanging on boot issue and most deal with hardware issues before the windows splash screen from what I have come across so far.  I have a bit of a different twist however.  Two users  who travel the globe frequently are complaining of their Dell Latitude Laptops (one is  600 and the others is a 610) hanging on login.  The normal bootup screens show, the users are always prompted for the username and password.  The computer will start the login process and go as far as showing the users background.  However, no start-up music, icons never appear on the screen, and ctrl+alt+del yields no reposnse.  The users have allowed this to sit attempting to login for up to half hour with no response still.  The only solution is to force the computer off by holding the power button and then going in through safe mode.  Occasionally doing this and then the machine returns to working fine after a reboot, and then will go into another freezing episode maybe two or three boot-ups later.

This is a hit or miss problem.  Never happens when they are in the office.  Always when they are traveling it seems.  I am having a hard time with it because I have been unable to re-create the problem thus far.  That and the computers are in the office probably 5 days out of every three months.  Problems just seemed to start in the last two months.  Have several users who travel but the two this is occurring with are two of my heaviest travelers.

Any ideas, troublshooting tips?

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Try recreating their profiles.  First rename their profile and have them login to the network, this will recreate their profile.  Copy any documents over to the new profile and have them test it out.  This can fix many odd issues that users expeirence after login.  
I remember this....

There was a piece of spyware that once removed I think with an older version of Lavasoft Adaware (sometimes other means) would freeze the login halfway through.  I don't remember the exact fix, but one of these should do it:

1) Boot Into safemode (hit F8 prior the the windows boot screen) and login as the local Administrator.  Run a quick spyware scan with the latest version of Adaware or Spybot SD.  Click Start>Run and run SFC /purgecache and after that is done run SFC /scannow to fix any system files.

2) If that Does not work, boot into recovery Console with your XP CD and run chkdisk /r

3) If none of the above works, boot into safemode and login as administrator.  Check the system event logs and I guarantee you'll see a nice error there.  You can do a google search on it, report it here, or check it at

Also, I would apply the latest XP updates while you have it.
esennAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments thus far.  Unfortunately, both users are out of the coutry at this point and are calling me with frustration and guidance since they will be on the road for another week or two.  I will try the above as best I can talking them  through over email/phone and potentially accessing machine remotely.  I will report back my findings.

Thanks again,
if it gets desperate enough, you may want to create local accounts on those PCs for them to use whle you are taking them thru the steps of troubleshooting.  Assuming that there is nothing associated with their present profile that needs to be recreated... It'll at least bypass that 1/2 hr login time...


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