Windows 2008 Server takes a long time to log in

When starting up and logging in to a Windows 2008 server, the login comes up quickly enough but once I enter username and password, it takes a long time before the desktop is available.  First the welcome message shows for a couple of minutes, then "applying user settings" displays for minutes.

This server is only being used for SQL Server.  It has no other applications, is not a domain controller, etc.  The machine is a quad-core with 8G RAM, plenty of disk space.

By comparison, I use a W2003 server for the Primary Domain Controller.  This machine is an old workstation, not much power, but it's much faster to get the desktop up and running.
RBECKMNAsked:
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
I have seen this happen on servers with incorrect DNS settings. DNS should point to your internal DNS server only. Also check the event logs and see if there are any errors or warnings, particularly relating to timeouts.

Bear in mind that SQL server has a lot more to start than a domain controller. So this behaviour may be expected to some degree.
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georgekhalilCommented:
Hi RBECKMN,

"Applying user settings" may indicate GPO "user settings" are being applied.  Can you confirm that no GPO's are applied against a user logging onto that server.

I would also try logging in as another admin user to ensure there isn't a profile issue.
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RBECKMNAuthor Commented:
there are no GPO user settings that I can see.  i use two accounts on this server, and it happens with both of them.  DNS appears to be set up correctly, but the DNS server is a bit flaky.  i'm going to rebuild it and see if that changes anything.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Thanks, please let us know how this went.
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RBECKMNAuthor Commented:
the OS was Windows Server 2008.  i updated it to windows Server 2008 R2, and the problem seems to be gone.  everything else in the network is the same.  still plan to rebuild the DNS server, but it's not so urgent now.
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RBECKMNAuthor Commented:
thanks for the help.  
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Windows Server 2008

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