In this article we will discuss how to troubleshoot Windows slow logon using Windows Performance Recorder (WPR) and Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA).

The case:

Windows logon takes about 1 minute to display the desktop, on a DELL Latitude Laptop, with a I7 CPU and SSD hard disk.

To deal with this issue, I first started Windows Performance Recorder to create a boot trace.

You can find in this article how to install and use Windows Performance Recorder

Analyzing the trace

After the system reboot, and the trace created I opened it in Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA).

First, lets take a look to the system configuration. Go to tab trace, then system and then General.


Next click storage


As we can see, this Laptop is an I7 3Ghz CPU, 8 Gb of RAM, and SSD hard drive. it becomes obvious that with these specs, 1 min is too long to logon.

So now lets go deeper in our analyzis. first, Add Boot phases graph in the analysis Window.


We can see that the major delay in the boot trace comes from the winlogon phase (59 s).

Many operations can occur during the WinlogonInit phase; PnP services, Network subsystem, Group policies processing, credentials input can all lead to a delay.

Before we dig in the analysis, lets take a look to the computation and storage graph to find out where to look first. Disk and CPU performance are the must popular causes of slow logon.

According to the two graphics, there is no issue in the cpu or disk usage. So we have to look elsewhere.



Now we are going to add the Generic events graph and expand the “Microsoft-Windows-Winlogon”


The “DisplayWelcomScreen” aka CTRL+ALT+DEL was available at 6,84 sec of the trace and the user entered the combination in the keyboard at 7,46 sec of the trace (less than 1 sec for the whole operation).

Next in the “RequestCredentials” task, the user entered his username and password in 4,22 sec (11,68 – 7,46).

all other tasks doesn’t took a lot of time except the “RestoringNetCoonections” that took more than 66 sec. I think we caught our culprit.

So the OS tries to reconnect the network drives during the winlogon process.

After the desktop shows up, I opened the windows explorer and we can see for network drives with a red cross which means that windows was unable to reconnect them. Those drives are mapped on a remote shares.So when the VPN connection is disturbed due to a bad Internet connection, then user experience this delay when logging in.

Lecteurs réseau 02_modif

To be certain that this is the root cause of our logon’s delay, I disconnected all the network drives and made a new boot trace and here is the result:


Now that the root cause of the delay was found, the question was, how to make the network drives available to the user without causing major delay in the winlogon process?

There are two options:

  1. Create a batch script ( NET USE N: \\UNC PATH ) that runs after the user has opened his session.
  2. Play with the registry keys; by creating a Dword key under [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NetworkProvider] name it “RestoreConnection” and give it the value of “0”. this will tell windows to not restore the network drives at logon unless the user click on them.


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