XP machine - Loading Network Settings

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by only1brian, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. only1brian

    only1brian Limp Gawd

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    Can anyone tell me or point me into a direction of what is actually loading during "Loading Network Settings" after you logon onto a Laptop (connected/not connected) with Windows XP? I heard there was a difference in what is loaded or authenticated if the laptop is connected to the network as opposed to not connected.

    *I posted this several days ago, many views, but no responses in the OS section. I post here hoping for a reply. :)
     
  2. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    that's usually when Windows goes out to try and get an IP address from a DHCP server.
    If it's wireless, it will try to connect to the wireless and get an IP if any stored SSID's are around.

    if the wireless adapter is disabled and you're not connected to a network, it obviously doesn't try to get an IP.

    if it's on a domain, I believe it also refreshes any group policy that's related to network settings.
     
  3. Wodz

    Wodz n00b

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    Laptops, or any PC's cache the last logged token of a user account.

    During the "Loading Network Settings" time the activity varies if connect to or not connected to any network.

    Your question is vague since there are numerous scenarios this system could be in

    Being disconnected entirely (no WiFi, LAN) but joined to a domain - the laptop will have already used D.O.R.A from its DHCP client service to fail looking for an IP address, associate its netbios name with any DHCP server and register its DNS A records.. so if you log onto that laptop as the last user successfully logged on (when it was connected to the LAN), the boot process will be quick since DORA fell on its face before you even attempt to log on. In this instance the "Loading Network Settings" would go by quickly after quickly failing communication for DHCP, DNS, PDC and Netbios.. then the system continues to boot the profile...

    If you disconnect a domain system and attempt to log on as an uncached user (no token), the system will fail since it cannot communicate with AD

    ....if you clarify a bit more, I can zero in a bit more for you.

    The primary answer you might be looking for has to do with Group Policy and Local Security.. the primary background process during "Loading Network Settings" is polling either Group Policy settings or Local Security settings of the DOMAIN or COMPUTER profile, depending on the state of the laptop. This information controls all levels of account security, network security and dictates what you can and cannot do after your profile is loaded.

    Does this help?
     
  4. Wodz

    Wodz n00b

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    The system boots its services before logging on and therefore would have established a DHCP connection (if available) before the user attempts to log on, otherwise (if connected to a switch or router) when attempting to log on to a domain before receiving any DHCP information, the system would not be able to contact the domain.. e.g. trying to put your key into your car engine before opening the locked car door..impossible (unless logging on as a local user or the last cached domain user)

    If the laptop had previously been connected to a wireless network, it will renew its DHCP lease upon startup once the DHCP Client service starts, which again is before the client logon. Group policy is correct, you are awarded 1 lollypop, please let me know which color you want!!! But.. im not made of lollypops :\
     
  5. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    loading network settings pops up before the login prompt ;)
     
  6. Wodz

    Wodz n00b

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  7. only1brian

    only1brian Limp Gawd

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    Yes, this laptop is connected to a domain.

    Thanks for the information so far.