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Laptops hang at "loading profile" after login w/ domain account when not on the domain

Posted on 2008-10-15
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Last Modified: 2011-10-19
Issue: Laptops hang at "loading profile" after login w/ domain account when not on the domain.
Laptop OS: Windows XP SP3
Domain Controller OS: Windows 2003 x64 SP2
Details: Laptops login fine when connected to the domain.
Recent Changes to Group Policy: none
Recent Software Installations: none
Other Recent Changes: I think DHCP and DNS was recently turned off on one of our servers.  Possibly also the server role was changed so it is no longer a domain controller.  We still have another domain controller running DHCP and DNS.  I will try to confirm these changes with the techs and get more details. Also there have been many Windows patches lately.
Possibly Related Event log messages:
- Event ID 1054, Source Userenv, User NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM, Windows Cannot obtain the domain controller name for your computer network  (The specified domain either does not exist or could  not be contacted). Group Policy processing aborted.
- Event ID 1003, Source: Dhcp, User N/A, Your computer was not able to renew its address from the network (from the DHCP Server) for the Network Card with network address 0007E96DA6FE.  The following error occurred: The semaphore timeout period has expired.  Your computer will continue to try and obtain an address on it own from the network address (DHCP) server.
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Question by:BuildingGreen
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Expert Comment

by:tchamtieh
ID: 22723589
I would suggest removing it from the domain and adding it again.
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Author Comment

by:BuildingGreen
ID: 22724645
I removed one of the laptops from the domain and rebooted. When logging on locally with the local administrator account, it got stuck at "loading browser customizations" for 11 minutes before completing the login.  
I rejoined the laptop to the domain and rebooted.  I successfully logged in with several domain accounts and local accounts.  I shut down, removed the network cable and tried logging in with several domain accounts and local accounts, but each time the login got stuck at "loading your personal settings for 8-15 minutes" before completing the login.
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Author Comment

by:BuildingGreen
ID: 22727240
On advice on someone on the Microsoft Forums, they suggested I turn on logging in the registry for the userenv.log file, which can be used to troubleshoot logon problems. I did so.  I renamed the old userenv.log file.  I booted up and the login took 15 minutes as usual. I have attached the userenv.log and also included the text of the file below...
USERENV(340.344) 17:04:33:629 CUserProfile::GetRefCountAndFlags: RegQueryValueEx failed, key = S-1-5-21-1899891192-439553545-622671684-4446, error = 00000002
USERENV(340.344) 17:04:33:659 CUserProfile::CleanupUserProfile: Can not get ref count and flags
USERENV(340.344) 17:04:33:659 CUserProfile::CleanupUserProfile: Ref Count is not 0
USERENV(340.344) 17:04:33:659 CUserProfile::CleanupUserProfile: Ref Count is not 0
USERENV(340.344) 17:04:33:659 CUserProfile::CleanupUserProfile: Ref Count is not 0
USERENV(340.57c) 17:04:35:832 ProcessGPOs: The DC for domain SERA-NT is not available at startup. retrying
USERENV(340.57c) 17:04:35:832 RetryDCContactAtMachineStartup:  Failed to query GpNetworkStartTimeoutPolicyValue with 2, exit.
USERENV(340.57c) 17:04:35:832 ProcessGPOs: The DC for domain SERA-NT is not available after retries.
USERENV(340.57c) 17:04:35:832 ProcessGPOs: The DC for domain SERA-NT is not available. aborting
USERENV(36c.644) 17:06:37:156 UnloadUserProfile: received a NULL hProfile.
USERENV(340.344) 17:16:00:997 ReportError: Impersonating user.
USERENV(340.224) 17:16:32:452 ProcessGPOs: The DC for domain SERA-NT is not available. aborting

userenv.log
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Expert Comment

by:tchamtieh
ID: 22733623
Do you have a lot of mapped drives onlogon? Is the userprofile too large? Try adding the domain user to the Administrators group on the local machine and see if that helps at all.
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Author Comment

by:BuildingGreen
ID: 22734122
The number of mapped drives has not changed.  The issue is not userprofile specific as it happens with both large and small profiles, with domain profiles, local profiles, adminsitrator level profiles and power user level profiles.  It is happening with the local administrator account.
I moved one of the computers in question to a container with blocked inheritance and no group policy objects.  I restarted Windows and logged in with ethernet cable connected.  Then I shut down, removed the ethernet cable and tried logging in, but had the same problem.  So I have confirmed this is not group policy related.
I turned up the detail level for the userenv.log and attached the new file.

verbose-userenv.log
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Author Comment

by:BuildingGreen
ID: 22736265

It looks like I have narrowed the problem down to a system service.   Eliminating half of the services at a time I should be able to find the problematic service after 7 tests (assuming it is only one particular service).  I can export the services to a CSV file and probably use that list to put everything back when I am done.  I wish I had a hunch on which service it was.   We can make sure the service is set the same way as working computers,  we can check that the account the service uses is the same, and if needed replace the executable for the service with one from a working computer.
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Expert Comment

by:tchamtieh
ID: 22736325
When you look at the properties of the service and go to dependencies tab, it should give you a list of dependent services!! Try that.
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Accepted Solution

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BuildingGreen earned 0 total points
ID: 22788247
It turns out the web client service was responsible for the long login issue.  I have disabled the web client service company-wide and the problem is resolved.  I'm not sure, however, what suddenly caused the web client service to be such a trouble-maker.
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