Windows XP Pro takes forever on "Loading Your Personal Settings" message on a network login

On some Windows XP Pro machines in this office it takes up to 5 minutes during a Windows XP login to the network.  After one puts in their password, the "Loading Your Personal Settings" screen comes up takes a HELL OF A LONG TIME to clear.  It is unacceptable.  Does anybody know what is causing the crapola?  We are validating against a Windows 2003 Small Business Server R2 on the back end.  Help!
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B HCommented:
you have the wrong DNS settings on this workstation

start > control panel > network
right-click your connection (local area connection probably)
tcp/ip > properties
for the DNS servers at the bottom, the one and only thing in there needs to be your sbs server, and nothing else

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B HCommented:
as an added bonus, you should go adjust your dhcp server so it ONLY hands out the sbs server's ip address for DNS settings
Mike KlineCommented:
DNS can certainly be an issue like Bryon said

It could be other things, start with this blog from the AD troubleshooting team and the ad team

Did this just recently start happening?  

another good tool that they didn't mention is gptime by GP MVP Darren Mar-Elia

Take a look at your event logs too


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Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
Are you using a roaming profile ?
If so then consider using folder redirection to reduce the profile size
I agree with Kcts!
If you using roaming profile, check the user profile size, it might be an PST file that has a large size and taking time to load on the machine. If that is the case take the offended file off the profile and ask the user to log on, if it went fine for him, you need to consider folder redirection.
syd_rabinAuthor Commented:
...stations on this network aregetting to the 'Net via cable modem / router combo...shouldn't that be where the client station is getting the DNS server info from?
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Static network drive mappings to computers which are unavailable can cause crazy long log on times.
"Loading your personal settings"

These are user GPO settings being applied.

Does the computer also take a long time before you see the CTRL-ALT-DEL option for logon.

Perhaps have a look at RSoP in GPMC for a particular user and computer.  Is this for all users or only specific computers.

I recall a situation once where a logon script as part of the user settings would run the Microsoft Malicious software Removal Tool at a customer synchronously.  This resulted in 15 mins before the desktop appeared...

Look at RSoP and then the settings to see what user settings are being applied.

Hope this helps,

B HCommented:
"...stations on this network aregetting to the 'Net via cable modem / router combo...shouldn't that be where the client station is getting the DNS server info from?"

no, absolutely not... if they are members of a domain, their dns setting must be the domain controller.

when they log in, they try to resolve "MYDOMAIN" (whatever it is) by asking the dns server.  if they ask the dns server of the internet provider or the outside world, it will hang forever while the outside dns server tries to figure out what the heck "mydomain" means, and argues with your workstation "i dont know what mydomain is, try again" and your workstation is like "but it's my domain you must know or i cant live with myself"... endlessly until your workstation gives up and logs on cached.

your internal dns server knows exactly what "mydomain" means, and thus can authenticate your workstations
Here's an artical on exactly what Bryon is expressing: 

Hope this helps,

Enabling verbose logging is an excellent way to trioubleshoot slow startup issues like this. During the "Applying Personal Settings" sequence, a window will display all the apps, dll's, or anything else that is being applied/executed. Watch for the one that sits there for a long time. This should then point you in the right direction. Post back the offending item pls. Perform the test on one of the problem pc's.

Simply follow the steps in the kb. It is very easy and fast. Reboot to see results. You may turn it off after if you like.
syd_rabinAuthor Commented:
DNS was the answer.  Thanks!
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