2012 R2 servers hanging on welcome screen

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You find that your windows 2012 servers are hanging on the welcome screen for up to 5 minutes before finally logging on

1) Start with disabling the Smart Card Device Enumeration Service and reboot server. If all your 2012 servers are experiencing the issue, the cause will most likely be on the Domain Controller they contact for authentication so disable the Smart Card Device Enumeration Service on the DC.

2) If you wish to investigate whether this issue is due to one of your domain controller’s. Logon to a 2012 server and click start and click run, type %logonserver% and click ok to determine which DC the server authenticates against. Check other affected servers. A simple reboot of the DC which the affected servers are authenticating against may be the solution. It’s possible the issue may reoccur a few days after the reboot.

3) If the issue still exists after following the above, continue below:

If you have installed updates recently, this may be the cause so it’s worth uninstalling updates from one non-critical server. It’s also worth checking your event logs and check that no DNS issues are appearing. But if all servers are experiencing the issue and they authenticate to the same server, it’s most likely one of your Domain Controllers.

Another option is to build a new server on the same domain without the updates you installed recently and test.

4) An interesting article by Microsoft which includes a possible fix.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3132080/the-logon-process-hangs-at-the-welcome-screen-or-the-please-wait-for-t

5) If you’re receiving the below error within your event log, locate the PID number within processes by visiting task manager. Expand and check what services are attached to the PID. You may find that Smart Card Device Enumeration Service is causing the issue. Disabling the service and rebooting may resolve your issue. If the service is stuck on starting, you will not be able to stop the process until you have rebooted.

Event ID: 623 Source: esent
svchost (5643) The version store for this instance (0) has reached its maximum size of 2Mb. It is likely that a long-running transaction is preventing cleanup of the version store and causing it to build up in size. Updates will be rejected until the long-running transaction has been completely committed or rolled back.

If you have come across a different fix, please share by commenting below.

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