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Windows 7 Thread, W7 and Ruckus - login times in Technical; I'm at loss now at what to do next with our Windows 7 laptops - they use wireless to connect ...
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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    W7 and Ruckus - login times

    I'm at loss now at what to do next with our Windows 7 laptops - they use wireless to connect (Ruckus) and are in an area of the school that is well covered by APs.

    Problem is logins can take forever, 5 minutes or longer. Once logged in they show a full wireless signal strength. Some seem to start logging in and then after 15 minutes of 'Please wait' the user gives up and switches it off.

    No roaming profiles, just group policy for the user and the computer and fully up to date with drivers etc. We apply a locally stored .bmp as the desktop image so its not the 'flat colour desktop' issue I've seen mentioned.

    The Windows XP equivalents aren't exactly rocket fast to login but they're consistent - apart from the occasional ('domain not available') issue.

    Anyone got any ideas as to what I can look for next? Ideally I'd flatten these and put ubuntu on but they need access to home folders/Office etc.

    Over the years I've come to the conclusion Windows+Wireless+domain login just don't work together.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Have you played about with DHCP Media sense \ wait for network at logon settings in case it's iffy NIC drivers not starting in time?

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    I used to disable media sense in XP but I didn't think it was an issue with 7?

    NIC drivers are as up to date as I can get them.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Do you have redirects at all?? That will slow down log ins.

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    Desktop and Start Menu are redirected to a server share. 'Preparing your desktop' or 'Please wait' are the stages that seem to grind away for ages.

    Looking in the application log I see things like:

    'The winlogon notification subscriber <GPClient> is taking long time to handle the notification event (logon)'

    and

    ' The winlogon notification subscriber <GPClient> too 76 seconds to handle the notification event (logon')

    Apart from the fact the error message is syntactically incorrect (should be 'taking a long time'!) I'm not sure what that tells me! I expect the wireless to be slower than a desktop but not to this degree.

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    I've done some timings on this.

    Once booted up the user logs in (no profiles are stored on the laptops) - these timings are for one that worked as expected:

    The 'Welcome' screen sits there for approx 1 minute (presumably applying group policy objects)
    'Preparing your desktop' takes approx 30-35 seconds (uses local profile with GPOs as above)

    So a cold boot to logged in could be 3 minutes plus which I think isn't very good. Plus this is on one that decides to cooperate, we often have one sitting at 'Welcome' or 'preparing your desktop' for 5 minutes or more!

    XP on the same hardware doesn't seem much faster but it does seem more consistent. i.e If you don't get 'domain not available' it will login normally. Our ruckus system and RADIUS server show them as attaching/authenticating very soon after boot with no errors so it seems the wireless connection is established ok.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    those redirects could be whats doing it. I had a similar issue when I had my setup, nothing to do with the quality of the wifi, just how the wireless device handles the traffic and it doesn't seem to like redirects much (regardless of wifi)

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    Do you do print mapping on logon? May be worth disabling bits of GPOs until you find out which is slowing the logon down.

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    Do you have 802.11an wireless cards in them. We have ruckus that supports a and g (so 2.4 and 5.? frequencies) It makes a massive difference to performance, they aren't teribly expensive cards to buy. All our new equipment has them already but our older Dell D500/505/520 only had 802.11g cards in and performance was terrible.

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    We don't map printers on login, and the built in cards are b/g/n and seem to connect at a steady 65mbps. We do redirect desktop/startmenu items so I'm not sure how we'd work around that one.

    I wouldn't mind if they took a consistent 5 minutes from boot to desktop but its the handful that randomly grind to a halt that difficult to manage in a classroom.

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    I'd suggest disabling the redirection GPO to see if that is the cause. If it is, then there's a basis to start searching for solutions on.

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    (the 802.11a runs on a separate antennae so by having a/b/g/n cards the access point has 2 antennae it can make use of and load balance, if you bought the zf7962 access points that is)

    I imagine your access points are connected up with 1Gbps links too.

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    Sheridan's Avatar
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    We've got a mixture of 7942 and 7343 AP's - generally working fine with XP

    The bulk of the clients are netbooks so and additional wireless NIC is not really possible.

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    zag
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    We use mandatory profiles here for students which are about 2mb big.

    Redirect start menu and desktop to a profiles server that has an ssd in it.

    Use Aruba wireless on G signal and doesn't take more than 45 seconds to log on.

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    In my experience, wireless logons are typically around the 90 second mark with Windows 7 SP1. I would highly recommend SP1 as it does fix a lot of problems. This includes mapping network drives, printers, desktop Folder Redirection and just a few other standard GPOs.

    A lot of netbooks out there use the Atheros AR9285 adapter which only supports the 2.4GHz frequency and not the 5GHz frequency. In English, it means you'll only use a fraction of what 'N' is capable of - 300Mbps vs 65Mbps.

    The Intel Centrino Advanced N 6200 for example, supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies and B/G/N standards.

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