What happens during the "Loading Your Personal Settings" and "Applying Your Personal Settings"?

Posted on 2009-04-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Does anybody know exactly what's happening during the "Loading Your Personal Settings" and "Applying Your Personal Settings" stages? This applies to Windows XP Pro. Any idea where I can find technical reading material on the log on process?

Guess I'll start here:
Question by:KJS69
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    It's when your ntuser.dat / profile are loaded and applied respectively.  If any files are missing they are recreated / first run processes are checked via reg keys stored under user profiles.  Is there anything specific your looking for in this question?  It is quite broad, and I don;t want to link you back to the same article you posted in the question as that seems to be the answer you are looking for.

    Author Comment

    After reading forums and many tech articles, still trying to figure out why "Applying your personal settings" takes two minutes per user, per workstation, so... I thought I should find out specifically what happens during these two stages.

    Author Comment

    According to this website,

    "Loading your personal settings..." load the user's profile.

    "Applying your personal settings..." processes and applies any Group Policies specific to this user.

    I think I'll try enabling verbose logging on a test workstation to see if it provides any helpful info.

    How to enable verbose startup, shutdown, logon, and logoff status Messages in the Windows Server 2003 family:
    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution

    this should help you with slow logon
    Under Computer Configuration-->Administrative Templates-->System-->Logon, change "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" to ENABLED.

    Author Closing Comment

    Turns out the slow log on issue had to do with three poorly ordered DNS entries on client's TCP/IP Properties. Our inside DNS server's entry ( was at the bottom of the DNS entries list when it should have been wither first or simply by itself.

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