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How to Troubleshoot long login times

Posted on 2008-11-11
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I'm in a Windows environment, we have 20 servers ranging from application  servers, print servers domain controllers , sql servers, and citrix servers.

At this time when i log into a citrix terminal server using microsoft remote desktop, it takes about 45 seconds to get the  desktop I sit with a blank grey screen for 40 seconds, then the login script runs for a split second then i start to see the icons which takes maybe another 5 seconds.

How can i find out what is going on from the time i hit enter after entering my password and the login scripot starts ? I put a pause at the beginning of the login script so i new exactly when it got to that point.

I really just want to know some troubleshooting steps to find out what the citrix server is doing from the time i enter my password till the login script begins ?

Any help is appreciated
Thank you
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Question by:Ekuskowski
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by:Herrmannator
ID: 22931834
Are you using Roaming profiles for these TS sessions?  If so, then most likely you are waiting for these roaming profiles to load.  You will see longer load times as the roaming profiles get larger, such as if people store large files on their TS desktop.
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by:Ekuskowski
ID: 22932003
Yes we are using roaming profiles, but login times have increased by about 20 seconds , basically overnight. Profile sizes have not changed drastically, and this happens to everyone across the board. So i understand that the roaming profiles could cause this but it seems unlikely as it has effected everyone all of a sudden.
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by:Carl Webster
ID: 22932007
I have also seen this when the server's backgroup is a 24-bit color BMP file (like Dell PE servers).  I find and delete those files.  Amazing the speedup in displaying the desktop when you do that.
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mgcIT earned 2000 total points
ID: 22932038
Here's a great resource to troubleshoot:  http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/terminal_services_for_microsoft_windows_server_2003_advanced_technical_design_guide/pages/troubleshooting-slow-logons.aspx


To see exactly what is happening when you login you can enable a log file that shows every step of the way, and how long (down to the millisecond) each step takes.  This is extremely useful in troubleshooting where the slowness is occurring.  The link above discusses this but here's the basics:

--- text from article ---

This log file can help you pinpoint slow logon issues related to things you might not have thought of otherwise. For example, one environment was experiencing slow logons due to the domain controller. The IT staff had been focusing their attention on the path between the Terminal Server and the file server hosting the master copies of the user profiles. However, when they looked at the userenv.dll logs, they discovered that the domain controller was so busy that it was taking 3045 seconds to respond when the Terminal Server queried it to see where the user's roaming profile was stored. A $3,000 hardware upgrade to the domain controller saved this company 45 seconds on every user logon across 20 Terminal Servers.

You can enable userenv.dll logging by adding the following registry entry to a Terminal Server:

Key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Value: UserEnvDebugLevel

Type: REG_DWORD

Data: 10002 (Hex)

The data value of 10002 will enable verbose logging to a file on the server. Once you set this value, reboot your server and check for a "userenv.log" file in the %SystemRoot%\Debug\UserMode\ folder. Remember to turn this off when you're done troubleshooting it, since each user logon can easily add 100KB to the size of this log file.
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by:Ekuskowski
ID: 22932051
Servers background is set to none.
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by:mgcIT
ID: 22932073
if its exactly 20 seconds longer see here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941158


or here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/899409


again, the userenv.dll log file will help you find this
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by:Carl Webster
ID: 22932075
Then follow mgcIT's advice.
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by:Herrmannator
ID: 22932105
I would try mgcIT's advice on the logging -- looks very promising.  
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Author Comment

by:Ekuskowski
ID: 22932111
I'm going to follow mgcIT's advice and see what i come up with by tomorrow morning when most of my users login.

I'll report back tomorrow around 11:00 EST

Thank you for all of your quick responses so far
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by:mgcIT
ID: 22932144
just one word of caution... if multiple people are logging in at once it can be very overwhelming to sort through the log file.  I would recommend setting up a test user (that has the login delay problem) so you can troubleshoot.  Best way to do it is to delete the log file, log in as a test user, and then view the log.  This way you'll make sure to only be looking at a single login and you can determine where the delay is occurring.
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Author Comment

by:Ekuskowski
ID: 22932172
Thank you for the word of caution, I'll heed your warning and only use a test user

I'll see if I can do this during the day today, if so I'll report back and hopefully close out the ticket
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by:mgcIT
ID: 22932209
it requires a reboot to enable logging so you may have to wait until tonight... good luck.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 22935252
usually long logins are a result of DNS resolution:

What does DCdiag /v and netdiag cough up for us to fix.
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Author Comment

by:Ekuskowski
ID: 22951159
This was very helpful in troubleshooting our issue, we found the problem came down to a program was attempting to run and failing, which was gotoassist, i have since uninstalled this and seems to have resolved the issue
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