Extremely Slow Logon/Logoff When Remoting to Win Server 2003

We have been battling with a Windows Server 2003 R2 machine that works fine at the console, but has lag issues when remoting to the machine.

When remoting to the server we can wait from 30 seconds to five minutes before the logon screen appears and/or we get to the Desktop. It is very random on how long we have to wait, sometimes it will get to the logon screen quickly but then we sit at a blue background screen for awhile until the Desktop loads. Other times it is the reverse. It also takes very long to logoff the machine when remoted on.

There is also a noticeable lag right after the connection is made and the screen is being drawn. The screen is drawn in horizontal blocks and can take sometimes 20/30 seconds just for the entire screen to appear.

From the tests that we have run, logon time is perfect when sitting at the console, we only see the lag when remoting on to the server. The lag only occurs pre-login or when we are at a login screen (ie: screen is locked). After login there is no noticeable slowdown. I also tried to watch the processes on the machine as users login and nothing seems strange.

No other server at that location has a similar problem, I've tried comparing RDP settings between the laggy machine and another and they were identical.

Is there anything else we can try?
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B HCommented:
hi there

when you see those blocks draw in horizontally, that means the internet connection is extremely slow at one of the two places (your place or the servers place)

do a speed test and find out which, and upgrade the service.  a DECENT internet connection would be at least 1.5MB/sec download and 512KB/sec upload

before you click connect on the remote desktop client, go to options, display, and drop the color down as low as you can.  in the 'experience' area, uncheck everything except bitmap caching.  this limits what has to traverse the wire
B HCommented:
also, if when those blocks draw in, you're looking at the custom OEM background image - for example dell poweredge - you can really help that out by deleting all the dell*.jpg and dell*.bmp files from windows and system32

(could be called oem*.jpg and oem*.bmp depending, too)

MNBTechAuthor Commented:
Other servers at this location connect fine when using remote desktop, it's just that specific server that has the lag. I would assume if it was the network connection then all servers would be laggy, not just one.
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
Network connectivity is not often the case for slow logins if you can actually initiate a remote connection.  How are you connecting remotely to your server?  RDP?  Some third party application?  What function does the server run? How high are its CPU cycles and network utilization?
MNBTechAuthor Commented:
We connect to the server using Remote Desktop Connection Manager mostly, but the problem occurs when using standard RDP as well.

The server is used as file and print server as well as running WSUS and an event logging tool.

CPU usage hovers around 15/20% while network usage varies. We have a 1 Gbps ethernet team adapter and at times it stays up around 1% while others it is stuck down at 0%.

While monitoring the network usage, we did have a very long logon occur. What was odd is that before remoting on the network usage was jumping up and down. Then when the logon began, usage went down to 0% and stayed there until logging off. We still remained connected and once we were finally logged on (after about 3/4 minutes) the session was normal without any lag.
Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
Have someone logged on at the console running SysInternals Process Monitor or Process Explorer.  You should be able to tell if your remote login is causing extra overhead pretty easily that way.

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