We have a Server stuck a boot with the 'prepearing network connections message'. We have tried last known good ect. Anyone any ideas how we can get past this point? We have left it for around 12 hours with with no change. Of course it just happens to be a FSMO Server grrr :(
Sometimes DC's can get into a chicken before the egg scenario whereby they want to start NETLOGON, but they need DNS to do so, but because DNS in AD integrated, it needs to wait for NETLOGON, etc...
Try pulling the network cable or disabling the NIC in the BIOS. Maybe if you can get it to realize that it doesn't have a working network connection, it will fail the service and move on vs looping forever.
thanks for the recode this is what fixed the server
The "Applying Computer Settings" is normally associated with Active Directory Domain Controller GPO's trying to be applied, mostly to ensure server security. If those GPO's cannot get applied then the server security is compromised. To resolve it, disconnect all hardware peripherals and network cables and boot the SBS 2003 server in F8 Safe Mode. Use either the Services.msc Console or run msconfig.exe and turn OFF all non-Microsoft services. Make a note of the services that had their automatic start disabled. Make sure the server has a static IP address and the server's DNS settings points to it only and there are no other DNS entries. Run dcdiag.exe and netdiag.exe at the Command Prompt and check for and fix any Active Directory or DNS problems. Reboot the server and it should boot normally, usually in under 5 minutes you should see the "Press CTRL+ALT+DEL" login prompt again. Then login and manually start all the previously disabled services. If your computer does not boot in Safe Mode then you may have have underlying OS problems.
While this is a little off topic we experienced similar issues on Windows Server 2003 R2 domain controllers as well (usually after applying windows updates) where we would have long delays with messages like 'preparing network connections' and 'applying computer settings' dialogs. Sometimes we would have to wait up to 15 minutes before being able to logon. We found consitently by making the following changes boot time and logon time to the domain controllers spead up considerably:
Add the registry key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server] IgnoreRegUserConfigErrors = DWORD:1
This should fix the problem of not being able to terminal session into a domain controller computer immediately after a reboot.
Add the netlogon service dependency to the DHCP and DNS servers. This is so the netlogon service has to start before either the DHCP or DNS service loads.
Set the DHCP and DNS services to manual instead of the default which is automatic.
Create a scheduled task that runs at startup on the server (Runs as: NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) with the following script: