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Windows Thread, Laptop usage when not connected to Domain in Technical; Hi Everyone I have a question for you regarding Laptops and their use by staff @ home. Our laptops are ...
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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    Laptop usage when not connected to Domain

    Hi Everyone

    I have a question for you regarding Laptops and their use by staff @ home.

    Our laptops are joined to the domain and their active directory accounts are added to the administrators group on their machines.
    This gives them full access to whatever they want to do on the local machine (any issues, I just re-ghost).
    Everything works fine while they're connected (bar a few issues with wireless/wired connectivity clashes or them not connecting the cable BEFORE switching it on)
    However, they are all complaining that when they go home and turn their laptops on, it takes a few mins to get the the logon screen (i.e. the "Preparing Network Connections", "Applying Settings" etc etc...)
    and then another few minutes to log on etc before they are able to work.
    While I know this is due to the machine looking for the domain, is there anyway I can improve this? Perhaps change the amount of time it spends looking for the domain?
    Something? Anything!

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    I assume the laptops use the cached domain profile when the staff use them at home. Are you using mandatory or roaming profiles?

    Since each member of staff have their own laptops, why don't you make a seperate local account and add it to the power users group? That should allow them to do their work and prevent them from messing about with the system. You can even use Windows SteadyState, lock it down and make it mandatory if you wish.

    When comes to the delay, are you enforcing any policies under the local group policy?
    Check to see if there are any settings configured under computer config->admin templ->system. Normally if you enable the setting "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" it's taking ages for the logon screen to appear...

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    From my experience this stage will go by much faster/almost instantly if the machine has no ip conectivity while it is booting away from the network. If they turn off the wireless and make sure that it is not plugged into ethernet as they are starting it at home this delay should be mitigated. Just get them to run the wireless back on after they have logged in for them to get home net access etc.

    Other than that switching off always wait for network should make it go faster but it will probably cause problems if you deploy software through group policy or need you group policies to apply quickly to laptop users.

    The local profiles are possibly the easiest way around this, you may even be able to use local policies on the laptop to perform folder redirection and set offline files so that the local profile accesses the network documents folders while offline. As XP attempts to sync for all users it should also be able to properly sync this when connected to the school network and logged in to using domain credentials.

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    We give them a local account for use off the network because we had very similar issues. They all seem happy enough with that.

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