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Windows 7: desktop takes minutes to load after login

26 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 64-bit enterprise
desktop takes minutes to load after login

I have a relatively new win7 enterprise 64-bit install. This is a domain account, so I have to do ctrl+alt+del to login. After entering my password, the welcome notice comes up (with the spinning circle), and it takes quite a while for the desktop to appear. It can be as long as a couple of minutes. This is a pretty fast rig (i5 2500K/GA-Z68X-UD3H/F312800CL8D-8GBXM) and when I first set it up it, my desktop appeared about 10 seconds after hitting the power button, including login.

Is the use of the domain account the likely cause of the delay, or could this be something else like automatic update? I'm not sure how I would go about finding out.

Thanks for the advice,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

The problem is the way domain accounts are handled. They aren't exactly meant for speed of use, but more for open accessibility. I'm guessing this is a work related device?

Short of a solid state disk drive, you probably aren't going to get it to speed up noticeably.

That being said as with any slow boot up process the first thing I would look at is what is loading at startup.
Sadly you are going to need pretty much all of the services running for the domain and com+ to communicate right.

You should be able to prune startup items without too much trouble though.
Domain is slower than normal user log on, but it shouldn't be extreme.

First thing I would check is start up items.

Oh yeah, and it getting slower over time is also a side effect of the domain system.
I'm going to guess a startup app is a large part of your problem though.
90% of the stuff that insists on loading at startup is generally completely useless.

So I guess all that blabbering is headed to
Are you familiar with msconfig and pruning startup items?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP


Try Startup without connecting to server to see if that is the problem.

If so make sure your drivers are up to date. Check optional WIndows Update first.

Next work through these troubleshooting steps to check the logs for clues, tap System Resources, test hardware, etc.

As a last resort use the tool which experts use to trace slow startup:
Gathering a Startup, Shutdown, Sleep, Hibernate, or Reboot Trace - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 64-bit enterprise

Thanks for the suggestions. I won't be able to work on this again until tomorrow, so I will post back then.

The start-up should be pretty light, but still likely has 50 processes. On my own computers, I do all updates manually, so I don't have any of the update processes or services running at boot. I also try to keep my start-up as lean as possible. Since this is not my rig, I am a bit reluctant to not let windows and java update automatically and tend to leave more things running because I don't want to burden the user with trying to figure out why something isn't working.

I have used the CCleaner start menu tool to configure start permissions for a while. It shows you a list of everything that is set to go at startup and you can enable/disable each entry. I prefer that to msconfig where it seems to be difficult to change the start menu without getting all kinds of prompts when you boot. Maybe I just don't know how to use msconfig properly. CCleaner also lets me leave the entries in place in case I want to re-activate them. Someone let me know if there is a better way to be doing this.

I will toggle auto update for windows and then try loging into a non-domain account to see what the issue is. Thanks for the tip on the boot tool, that could be a useful thing to learn to use.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #5
The Unofficial

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

I have a similar problem with just a plain 'ol Windows x64 Pro startup. So I'll try some of this stuff and see if I can solve it. The only difference with mine is that the lag seems to happen at random.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Your best option would be to enabled the hidden admin account in cmd after you have gotten it to work.

to do so open CMD as an administrator and when you get to this screan type in;
net user administrator /active:yes
you should then get a message confirming that you have done this

try logging onto that account from the log in screen (you will need to log out of your current account or have it running it the background but i would strongly advise logging out compleatly, you'll see another account just called administrator
see what your log in time with this is, it may be that your personal (or in your case the persons account) is slow for some reason, at least by doing this you will know if it is affecting all users or just that + new ones

secondly (this is more text book but hay ho) run the command msconfig, go into the setup tab and click some of the items you do not need to run on start up, e.g. windows live messenger, skype, some audio software etc .... if this alone speeds up your computers boot time to way less then i currently is that it may be worth clicking one or two objects back on, at least if it suddently starts to make a long time again you will be able to identify which program (if it is a program) that is slowing your machine down

hope this helps
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 desktop takes minutes to load after login

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