Why Windows 2003 DC takes long time 'Preparing network connections....'?

Environment: 2 Windows 2003 domain controller + DNS. (dc1, dc2). dc1 is also a file server.
Whenever I reboot dc1, it takes long time (5-10 minutes) to complete reboot. The most time seems to be spent on 'Preparing network connections...' stage. dc2 seems to be normal (2-3 minutes).
Q#1. What is really going at this stage (of startup)?
Q#2. Is there any way to speed up the startup process?
Q#3. Any thing wrong with the dc1 system?
Thanks.
richtreeAsked:
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
Hey,

How many NIC's do you have on DC1?
Have you configured static IP's etc?

Cheers

Michael
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richtreeAuthor Commented:
1 NIC,
static IP.
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
Hmm, ok, are your machines virtual?
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richtreeAuthor Commented:
yes, in ESX 3.5
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
AH! cool, are you using a virtual switch? (VMnet) or is your connectivity bridged, NAT etc?
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richtreeAuthor Commented:
yes, virtual switch, but no NAT.
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
Is it bridged? does the VMnet adaper have internet and network access prior to booting the server?
Can you normally get web pages via DC1 and connect to DC2?

Cheers

Michael
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
If you could try connecting to dc01 via dc02 and vice versa as these issues do normally point to DNS, try to connect to the said servers via the FQDN and let me know how you get on.
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richtreeAuthor Commented:
I am able to RDP to dc01 and dc02 by FQDN.
What do you mean by connecting to dc01 via dc02?
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
Sorry buddy, been at the hospital. Well i had an issue like yours before and is was due to the DNS config. If you try to ping dc1 from dc2 and the same from dc2. Try pinging with the names dc1 and 2 just to make sure they resolve. I'll assume you've configured your DNS on dc1?
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richtreeAuthor Commented:
right now both dc01, dc02 are up and can ping each other.
but I do notice one thing (might be the issue).
on dc02:
preferred dns: itself
alt dns: dc01

on dc01:
preferred dns: ip of a retired dns
alt dns: itself

will the aobe wrong preferred dns info on dc01 cause the extra long startup process? (I will not be able to verify it right now).
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
Yep, if dc1 was my DNS too, i'd normally set the prefered DNS to 127 0 0 1, and then the secondary DNS to that of the static ip. On dc2 have the primary DNS then also set to the ip of dc1.
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richtreeAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I will reboot tomorrow and see.
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Member_2_4839798Commented:
No worries buddy, hope it works out for you :)
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richtreeAuthor Commented:
Yes, now dc01 reboots in 4 minutes. The incorrect DNS info is the cause.
Thanks.
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Windows Server 2003

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