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I have a Dell Latitude E6410 laptop running Windows XP SP3 for work. It is a PITA to reboot due to increased security (card scanner and other physical security on each boot) and I am required to take it home every day, so normally I just put it in sleep mode and awaken it at home.

At work, while it is on the dock, I have no issues.

At home, I have long pauses when loading Internet explorer or explorer-related processes. These include:

  • Explorer
  • IE(using v7)
  • Remote Desktop
  • Control Panel
  • Run prompt
  • System tray

The lockups are anywhere from 5 seconds to 5 minutes. I HAVE to use IE for certain work things, so not using it is not an option. I use Google Chrome for web browsing and it works fine as long as I launch it first. During the lockup I can't launch any new programs, (including task manager!) but non-explorer/MS programs work fine and the internet connection continues to function. The task bar is frozen and I can't use the desktop, however.

Through testing I have found that this is ONLY an issue when I have an active internet connection. The laptop uses WiFi in my house, and I have no connection issues at all. I don't have any other peripherals attached at home, it just has the power cord and I use it on the couch.

This is making me INSANE. Any assistance is appreciated.-

share|improve this question
IETab in Chrome ? – Sathya Sep 9 '10 at 1:58
@Sathya - It won't fix my issues with RDP, Control Panel, etc. – JNK Sep 9 '10 at 2:00
Can you confirm that the laptop is running off A/C power and not its internal battery? Can you try connecting directly to your home network to see if that makes any difference? – boot13 Sep 9 '10 at 12:52
I am certain it is connecting off the AC (I see the battery indicator go away when I unplug it). This also happens on both battery AND AC power when at home. I will try a cable connection tonight when I get home. – JNK Sep 9 '10 at 13:08
Is the laptop connected to a domain? – KronoS Sep 9 '10 at 13:55
up vote 1 down vote accepted

My initial gut is the fact that you are joined up with a domain that may be the issue here. The PC is looking for the domain and can't find it. Windows has a tendency to want to be connected to the domain it's setup on and when it's not, that little mini-me Bill Gates spends all his time looking for it and nothing else. Are you connecting to a VPN from home? That may help.

Also connecting to a local account on the laptop may speed things up as well, but that's if IT has enabled a local account to connect to.

I'll do more research and get back to you with more info.

share|improve this answer
A local account is not an option. Does it check for domain controls even when already booted and logged in? This would explain a delay if it is checking the server. I do use a VPN, but I need to launch IE to connect so it is challenging to test with this issue. – JNK Sep 9 '10 at 14:42
Yes I believe so, My work with corporate DNS is limited, but my understanding is that it does, especially since there are shared network files, programs, etc, that the PC pulls from the network. Is there any way to download the VPN software and have it run first thing when you boot? – KronoS Sep 9 '10 at 15:05
It's not downloadable - it is a web based app. We have VERY strict security on our systems due to health care data in my workplace, so the web-based app does a lot of reg scans etc. when you start it. It also auto-disconnects after a short time frame of inactivity. – JNK Sep 9 '10 at 18:27
Didn't get to test with CAT5 last night (too much work stuff!) but will check tonight or over the weekend. – JNK Sep 10 '10 at 13:46
Cat5 didn't fix it, but it's definitely the domain. When I flip my wifi off and back on, it works fine. Thanks for the tip! – JNK Sep 11 '10 at 18:34

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