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2003 server hangs at Applying Computer Settings - Can't login

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Old 08-10-2004
Posts: n/a
2003 server hangs at Applying Computer Settings - Can't login

I have a Windows 2003 server that looks to have locked up last night.
After reboot, it just hangs at the Applying Computer Settings and won't give
a login. Been sitting for 45 minutes with no progress.
Was able to restart and log onto box in safe mode. Logs show nothing out of
the ordinary.

Server is DC, running Exchange 2003, Symantec NAV and Spam filtering.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-10-2004
Miha Pihler
Posts: n/a
Re: 2003 server hangs at Applying Computer Settings - Can't login

Try these steps:
* boot into safe mode
* disable NAV
* make sure that in DNS IP under TCP/IP settings for preferred DNS server is
set to

Make sure you follow there recommendations for antivirus on your domain

Virus scanning recommendations on a Windows 2000 or on a Windows Server 2003
domain controller
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Old 08-10-2004
Posts: n/a
Re: 2003 server hangs at Applying Computer Settings - Can't login

Thanks for the quick reply Mike.
Here is what I have learned thus far (now that I'm on site).
The server apparently had a problem this AM, and the administrator account
(which it was logged in as) never logged off properly. I can see the
Administrator account still logged in at the console in TSAdmin, and
attempts to force the log off process have been unsuccessful. I found an
error stating --Windows cannot unload your classes registry file - it is in
use by other applications or services. The file will be unloaded when it is
no long in use.--
I found a utility UPHClean that is supposed to fix the apparent leak, but
since I'm unable to access control of the desktop, i'm unable to install it.
Enabling the Telnet service to remotely install the app, has proven
It looks like the server still has the administrator and other system
accounts still loaded in memory, and therefore Exchange and other services
are unable to start.
Rebooting has not helped. After sitting at the "applying settings" screen
for about 2 hours, I was able to finally see that the system was locked by
the administrator. When I unlocked it, it showed logging off.
2003 must keep profiles loaded accross reboots? Or remembers what it was
doing last before the problem?
This is getting bit long winded, but the additional info may help in a
specific corrective action.
Thanks for your assistance.
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Old 08-10-2004
Posts: n/a
Re: 2003 server hangs at Applying Computer Settings - Can't login

I disabled all NAV services and installed the UPHClean service. I'm at least
able to log into the console now.
However, the IIS Admin service won't start. Many services depend on that
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Here's the error: The IIS Admin Service service terminated with
service-specific error 2148073478 (0x80090006)

Nothing real specific on this error out there.
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Old 09-10-2004
David Wang [Msft]
Posts: n/a
Re: 2003 server hangs at Applying Computer Settings - Can't login

Or maybe the server was configured to auto-login the administrator -- and
since the screensaver defaults to locking, it could explain why you keep
seeing the system locked by the administrator, even across reboots.

Regarding 0x80090006 returned by IIS -- the times I've seen that error, it
has always been catestrophic and requires reinstalling IIS. What happens is
that IIS is not able to use the machine's crypto key to decrypt parts of the
IIS configuration file, rendering it unable to start.

For example, one way to get into this state is if you install IIS, back up
the metabase.xml (IIS configuration file), then run DCPROMO -- a process
which eventually changes the machine's crypto key -- and then you later
restore the old metabase.xml for whatever reason. At this point, the old
file cannot be decrypted with the new key, and IIS returns 0x80090006.
Normally, it is a good idea to keep backup copies of metabase.xml for
restoration purposes... except this instance. You need a new backup after

I don't know if it applies in your situation, but it's something to keep in
mind since you have a DC, IIS6, 0x80090006, and a recent reboot/hang.
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Old 20-05-2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Hi Thread,

I had exactly the same problem. Normal boot activity, IP stack comes up OK, server making all the right noises but hangs at the "Applying Computer Settings". By 'hangs' I mean, the system was obviously still responsive, but would not complete this process, hence no CTRL + ALT + DEL screen.

The server was running Windows 2003 SBS server SP2 on a HP ML350 G5 which has known issues with the NIC (HP NC373i). I updated the driver to the latest edition, latest BIOS and latest NIC BIOS firstly and then opened a command prompt and did...

OK. Reboot to complete etc..

C:\>NETDIAG /fix

Loads of blah....


And then rebooted. Winner! IT worked!
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Old 17-11-2010
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Re: 2003 server hangs at Applying Computer Settings - Can't login

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.
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