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Do multiple conflicting Group Policies slow down a domain PC?

Hi, I have inherited a Windows 2003 domain to manage with approx 80 XP Pro workstations. Lately, after having added some Group Policies to enhance network performance: WSUS Policy, Desktop shortcuts etc.. and some PC's now have dramatically slower log-in times. In some cases it can take users 20 minutes to log in. Others log in instantly.
There are loads of old Group Policies that people have applied over the years to this Domain, and I have noticed that some do conflict.
Is the Group Policy conflict enough to slow down the Log in process THAT badly?
i have checked some event logs on some of the slow PC's and there is nothing too bad  - a couple of USERNV references to a logon script that has gone missing and cannot be processed. Any idea?

Active DirectoryWindows Server 2003

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Applying a large number of policies to the client will delay logon, but the policies generally become cached.

Can you clear down any conflicting policies and "Block Inheritance" where you can and then run "gpupdate /force" on all the client machines prior to a reboot to attempt to rectify the issue?
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Multiple Group Policies at startup and login time are known to have some sort of detriment to login times. I can't find the Technet article I read this on at the moment, but it is recommended by Microsoft that the fewer policies you can use, the better.

Generally, I would recommend you create policies based on their scope and what they apply to - rather than the settings they contain. I never create a separate policy for everything - WSUS, login scripts, workstation configurations will all go into one GPO which I have linked to my Workstations OU. The same goes for the Servers and System Users OUs.

Although caching and other features do help, this is the best method I have found for reducing the processing time of the policies.

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Hi, after much experimentg and examing the EventViewers on affected machines, we decided to disable offline files as standard and increase the standard RAM from 512 to 1GB. Now the boot times have increased dramatically. They are still not amazing, but down from about 5 mins to 2 mins. I think the Group Policy still conflicts in certain areas but that's is another project for antoher day. Thanks.
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Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 was based on Windows XP and was released in four editions: Web, Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter. It also had derivative versions for clusters, storage and Microsoft’s Small Business Server. Important upgrades included integrating Internet Information Services (IIS), improvements to Active Directory (AD) and Group Policy (GP), and the migration to Automated System Recovery (ASR).

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