Richard Parmiter

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Troubleshooting the Windows logon process

Posted on August 19th, 2008

To troubleshoot the logon process, debug logging can be enabled. This is useful in a Citrix environment as the logon could be slow and the debug log file will show where the pauses occur during the logon.

Microsoft Technet article can be found here: Q221833

Use Registry Editor to add or to modify the following registry entry:

Subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Entry: UserEnvDebugLevel
Value data: 10002 (Hexadecimal)

UserEnvDebugLevel can have the following values:

NONE 0x00000000
NORMAL 0x00000001
VERBOSE 0x00000002
LOGFILE 0x00010000
DEBUGGER 0x00020000

The default value is NORMAL|LOGFILE (0x00010001).

Note To disable logging, select NONE (0x00000000).

You can combine these values. For example, you can combine VERBOSE 0x00000002 and LOGFILE 0x00010000 to get 0x00010002. Therefore, if UserEnvDebugLevel is given a value of 0x00010002, LOGFILE and VERBOSE are both turned on. Combining these values is the same as using an OR statement.

0x00010000 OR 0x00000002 = 0x00010002

Note If you set UserEnvDebugLevel to 0x00030002, the most verbose details are logged in the Userenv.log file.

The log file is written to the %Systemroot%\Debug\UserMode\Userenv.log file. If the Userenv.log file is larger than 300 KB, the file is renamed Userenv.bak, and a new Userenv.log file is created. This action occurs when a user logs on locally or by using Terminal Services, and the Winlogon process starts. However, because the size check only occurs when a user logs on, the Userenv.log file may grow beyond the 300 KB limit.

The 300 KB limit cannot be modified.


RegKey: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\UserEnvDebugLevel

For full debug logging set to: 30002

Log file: c:\windows\debug\UserMode\userenv.log

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Tags: , , , , ,
Filed under Windows 2003 |

2 Responses to “Troubleshooting the Windows logon process”

  1. RP Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Note – On a x64 version of Windows add the registry value as described above. It does not need to be in the WOW6432Node location.

  2. Slow logons at ‘applying registry policy’ stage on a Windows 2003 Citrix Server | Richard Parmiter Says:
    September 24th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    […] enabled User Environment Debug Logging (see here for details on how to enable this) with full debug logs. I spotted the following in these […]

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