slow login process on dell pcs with XP

Posted on 2011-09-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have some older dell pc desktops that are taking a long time to load windows xp, sp3.  To be specific, the long time is after the desktop appears, but before any icons or the taskbar populates it.  Was looking for some troubleshooting steps.  I have looked at msconfig, and run ccleaner to clean temporary files.  There is a fairly new domain controller server, on our lan which they are connecting to.  It is a dell poweredge t310.  The problem with the slow login time, is NOT accross the board for all PCs on the lan.  Thank you for your help!
Question by:PPIHXM
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

flubbster earned 668 total points
ID: 36600493
Activating Verbose Startup, Shutdown, and Loggin in and out is a good way to troubleshoot this kind of issue.

Follw the steps here for either all the systems on the domain or just one affected PC to see what you get. It has the steps for either condition.


Once enabled, you will get a small message window during the boot/strtup process showing each action that the PC is taking. It adds very little time to the actual boot process. Watch the window to see where it is taking a long time. It will remain on the screen as long as it takes to complete that particular process. Onc3e you identify what it is trying to do, please post it here or fix it yourself if it provides the info you need to take care of the problem.
LVL 66

Assisted Solution

johnb6767 earned 1332 total points
ID: 36601844
Excellent comment above, certainly pinpoints everything that the PC is doing. Since you are specifying that the speed issues are where the desktop is loading, I would look here as well.

Once the Desktop appears, the Shell has already started signaling being close to the end of the logon process. From this point, HKLM/HKCU start-ups are kicking in. Most services should be started (or in the end of starting up....). I would start looking at the Task Manager for a hint of whats going on.

Excessive CPU Usage?
Commit Charge too High?
Excessive Disk IO?

BTW, Task Manager can be invoked via CTRL+SHIFT+DEL instantly....

Also, at this point I would look at eliminating bloat at start up, as you are past policy application/logon script deployments etc......

Perform a clean startup to determine whether background programs are interfering with your game or program


Author Comment

ID: 36950832
The PC is hanging after all the verbose startup messages have completed.  I can see the wallpaper. But not the icons when it hangs. Please help!  Also task manager is not loading until the icons load.
LVL 66

Assisted Solution

johnb6767 earned 1332 total points
ID: 36953323
"BTW, Task Manager can be invoked via CTRL+SHIFT+DEL instantly...."

Should have been CTRL+SHIFT+ESC

Cleanboot showed no difference?

What verbose message is on screen?

See my first comment in the below for 2 addiiotnal troubleshooting steps...

Applying computer settings takes over 10 to 15 minutes

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37032733
It turned out to be the mcafee antivirus client that was slowing everything down.  We switched to vipre an the PC is quick again.

Thank you!

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