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Windows 7 Thread, Long 'Preparing your Desktop' delay in Technical; We are starting to roll out new desktops with Windows 7 Enterprise SP1. For the initial troubleshooting, I have turned ...
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    Long 'Preparing your Desktop' delay

    We are starting to roll out new desktops with Windows 7 Enterprise SP1. For the initial troubleshooting, I have turned the verbose logon option on. The problem we are having is that each time a user logs into a workstation for the first time, there is a 30-45 second delay at 'Preparing your Desktop.' (The rest of the logon process only takes about 10-15 seconds). We do have an image set as the user background, so the issue with the solid color background images causing a delay should not be the cause of this problem.

    Any ideas on how to possibly reduce this delay at 'Preparing your Desktop'?
    Thanks.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    What network speed do you have? Sounds rather like just a delay when the profile is being copied - we get that when people have ludicrous amounts of data on their desktop.

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    We have 1GB connectivity to the desktops from the switch (this test computer is currently connected to the same switch that the servers are). I am currently testing with a few test user accounts that have no files saved on the desktop, my documents, etc. Deep Freeze is installed and clears the local user profiles on each reboot.

    Something interesting I noticed: regardless of which user account I use, the first login after the computer has been restarted always has this 30-45 second delay. However, any logins after that by other user accounts have a minimal 5-10 second delay.
    Last edited by netadmin; 3rd July 2011 at 08:44 PM.

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    morganw's Avatar
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    I have this same problem (listed in this thread) when using an exported default profile as a mandatory one. Mine also hangs a little on whilst applying folder redirection and applying printers via Group Policy Preferences. Other than a reference to this on technet (with no solution) I've found nothing.

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    First logins will take a while. If possible get all users to log in one machine, even if you have to do it yourself, and take that image after as your master.

    Login times will be considerably quicker. It may take a while to do, but to some its worth the effort.

    Otherwise I would store the picture on the machines locally and have it look for it thtere rather than a network share...also how many scripts and policies are running?

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    Sorry, we don't have a picture and still have huge issues with log on times - both 'preparing your desktop' and applying printer policies via GP.
    We have tried everything but can't get the times down at all.

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    I've gone back to a vbs script for printers just to get around the delay, we don't have any desktop background set or anything like that either. Since nearly all businesses will either use roaming profiles or persistent local profiles I don't think enough people have encountered these problems to get it properly acknowledged and fixed by Microsoft. It's more frustrating that I'm doing it the 'Microsoft way' and it doesn't work properly, but if you take the 'unsupported' route of exporting profile of someone who has logged in and then use that as the new default then there is no login delay (although you'll have broken AppData references in the registry so some manual tweaks may be required).

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    sdc
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    We had this issue until just recently. I was looking through the event logs, trying to find some clue as to what was going on. Eventually found an error that looking intriguingly relevant, only to discover that there was "no further help" available on this error from Microsoft's website. Great! Anyway, some searching later turned up the following article: An update to turn off default SNP features is available for Windows Server 2003-based and Small Business Server 2003-based computers

    Applying the downloadable fix to each of our Windows 2003 servers has dramatically reduced all Windows 7 logon times. Hope this helps!

  9. Thanks to sdc from:

    witch (12th September 2011)

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    We did a lot of work this summer to try and optimise logon times with Windows 7 and roaming profiles. First thing to say is use Group Policy Preferences sparingly. Back in the XP days we had everything in a kixtart script. When GPP came along we moved over to that and had loads of registry and file preferences set up. As these process synchronously at logon it can add a long delay. Removing the preferences and putting them back into the kixtart script knocked a good 15 seconds (at least) off logon time on a Core 2 desktop system. GPP is very convenient, but if it gets too busy it just kills logon times. I would suggest you only use it for preferences that require "SYSTEM" user privileges.

    As for "Preparing your desktop", this can be cut down drastically by deleting the Active Setup "StubPath" registry values located under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components. For a quick explanation of Active Setup see here. However, I would only recommend doing this if you configure IE, Themes etc with Group Policy and test thoroughly before doing this in your production environment.

    At the very least, if you do not use Windows Mail in your environment I would suggest you definitely remove its stubpath value at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}. Also set the "IsInstalled" value under this key to 0. We found that this was the cause of the longest delay at "Preparing your desktop", as everytime a user logged into the system Windows Mail created a new 25MB database! Deleting the stubpath and setting IsInstalled to 0 stopped this and really helped speed up logon times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winner View Post
    At the very least, if you do not use Windows Mail in your environment I would suggest you definitely remove its stubpath value at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}. Also set the "IsInstalled" value under this key to 0. We found that this was the cause of the longest delay at "Preparing your desktop", as everytime a user logged into the system Windows Mail created a new 25MB database! Deleting the stubpath and setting IsInstalled to 0 stopped this and really helped speed up logon times.
    Many thanks will change this in our man profile, always want to disable this, never knew how to!

    Dont even know why they call it that, should just call it Windows Contact, as it only deals with that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by netadmin View Post
    We are starting to roll out new desktops with Windows 7 Enterprise SP1. For the initial troubleshooting, I have turned the verbose logon option on. The problem we are having is that each time a user logs into a workstation for the first time, there is a 30-45 second delay at 'Preparing your Desktop.' (The rest of the logon process only takes about 10-15 seconds). We do have an image set as the user background, so the issue with the solid color background images causing a delay should not be the cause of this problem.

    Any ideas on how to possibly reduce this delay at 'Preparing your Desktop'?
    Thanks.
    did you manage to fix this?

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    I was able to reduce the first logon total time for a new user to about 25-35 seconds (on i3 4GB desktops, standard HDD) and the second logon for an existing user to about 5 seconds by doing a few things:
    >Cleaned up the default profile to include the minimum items (clear temporary files, delete Google/Adobe/Java cache folders, etc). The default profile was initially over 350MB. Once I reduced that to less than 50MB, it sped up the logon process extensively.
    >Cleaned up ActiveSetup keys in the registry

    I would have liked to have gotten the first logon time a bit faster than 25-35 seconds still, but I changed jobs before I had a chance to finish that up.

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    That Windows Mail key is a good one... it stumbles me that MS chooses to create an x MB mail database everytime someone logs in even if you don't use it.



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