[gptalk] Re: Applying Computer Settings... delay

  • From: "Cruz, Jerome L" <jerome.l.cruz@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 17:24:55 -0800


I'm going to agree with the others here (and add other tidbits of information). 
Our experience is that what gets displayed on the screen at boot up time 
doesn't quite jibe with what's happening under the hood. Microsoft has 
programmed a limited set of display information into that status message dialog 
box. What we have observed over the years is that the last item displayed will 
stick until the next 'programmed to display item' appears. To the average user, 
this apparently means that the system being displayed is taking a very long 
time. SO that's the system that gets 'blamed' for the delay.

As the others have stated, in almost all cases, that is very far from the 
truth. In most cases, the displayed sub-system has started, processed, and 
completed its activities and the status display dialog just sticks with its 
last message until the next programmed 'display' item is told to replace the 
message. I the meantime, the system is doing all kinds of other things. Follow 
the advice noted in previous messages to get the logs. Only an analysis of 
those logs will tell you what's 'really' happening.

[If your GPOs configure a lot of permissions that have to be inherited down 
(Registry hives / File system trees), then these 'can' be the cause of the 
delays. However, once applied, they won't necessarily re-apply for various time 
periods. For example, by default, the security system will mandatorily re-apply 
all security settings every sixteen hours (that's the default time and the time 
interval between re-applications can be changed with a registry hack). Unless 
you understand 'how' and 'when' GPOs apply and refresh, then you can't estimate 
how repeatable the problem might be.]

That said, there is a way to get the initial boot up dialog window to display a 
bit more verbosely (though nowhere near what I'd like to see).

Activate the setting as follows:

   Computer Configuration | [Policies] | Administrative Templates | System

   Verbose vs normal status messages

   Explanation: Directs the system to display highly detailed status messages.  
<== "highly' detailed... hmmmm
   If you enable this setting, the system displays status messages that reflect
   each step in the process of starting, shutting down, logging on, or logging
   off the system. This setting is designed for sophisticated users that require
   this information.

   Note: This setting is ignored if the "Remove Boot / Shutdown / Logon / Logoff
         status messages" setting is enabled.

We have noticed similar delays and behaviors for wireless 
laptops/notebooks/etc. We have the "Wait for the network" setting engaged on 
all out devices, so they 'do wait' for a network. You might take a look at the 
system types that are having problems and see if they are similar.

Jerry Cruz | Group Policies Product Manager | Windows Infrastructure 
Architecture | Boeing IT

-----Original Message-----
From: gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of rpo
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 3:54 PM
To: gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gptalk] Re: Applying Computer Settings... delay


darren is right when he makes mention of drivers possibly being the
cause of start times.

'applying computer settings' takes minutes here also. when i analysed
the userenv.log, i noticed there was a 2-3 min delay between
establishing the link speed and actually processing gpos. further
analysis revealed that during this 2min period windows is loading
essential processes like svchost.exe and spoolsv.exe. it also loads
the profiles for system and localservice. now while this kind of stuff
is unavoidable, i also noticed that 3rd party apps like to load their
processes at this time also. in our case, mcafee and sms2003.

i did a test of removing those two products and observed startup times
reduce by a couple mins. what i would suggest is use a product like
policy reporter from sysprosoft to help you analyse the userenv.log
and idenitfy where your slowness ocurrs.

unfortunately if you see the same problem as me, it's likely there's
little you can do. as removing antivirus software and sms clients just
cannot be done.


On 14/11/2008, Darren Mar-Elia <darren@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Ryan-
> I don't have a great answer for you here. It could be something that is
> trying to run at least once and until it does, it causes issues, but what
> that could be, I'm not sure. I have seen the Windows Update client process
> to hang a workstation and this phase of GP processing so that is a
> possibility worth investigating, but outside of that, it could also be some
> hardware\network interface driver issue that manifests itself this way.
> Darren
> From: gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Doyle,
> Ryan W.
> Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 7:06 AM
> To: gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [gptalk] Applying Computer Settings... delay
> Greetings,
> We have been battling a very frustrating problem where some (not all) of our
> PCs in the corporate offices are experiencing a 120 second delay at the
> "Applying Computer Settings..." portion of the boot-up process.  This portion
> of boot-up is prior to the user logging on, so it is not related to user
> policies.  However, I do believe this is where the PC (Windows XP SP2) is
> attempting to locate a DC and apply machine GPOs.
> This problem is especially frustrating because we can take a troublesome PC
> and reproduce the problem over and over.  However, various troubleshooting
> techniques will seemingly fix the problem and then we can never reproduce it
> on that PC.  For instance, if we set all 3rd party services to "disabled"
> and reboot, the problem goes away.  Re-enable the services and the problem
> does NOT come back.
> Similarly, we've found that if we reorganize the "Network Provider Order" in
> the advanced network configuration the problem will go away.  However, after
> restoring the provider order to the original order, the problem does NOT
> come back.
> We've engaged Microsoft for help, but they seem stumped, as well.  So, I'm
> reaching out to this forum to see if anyone has seen an issue like this or
> may have any idea which may lead us toward a root cause.
> Many thanks for any thoughts!
> Ryan Doyle
> Marathon Oil Corporation
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