Most of the time I put my work laptop into sleep mode overnight and so I don’t reboot my machine very often. However, every now and then a reboot is required, usually due to installing new software or system updates.
What would then happen is my laptop would shutdown and restart and then sit with Please Wait on the screen. If left for a while, the lock screen would appear, but when you clicked to get to the logon screen, it would still say Please Wait.
So being the obedient person I am I did wait…. for about an hour or so. Then I tried performing a hard reset (hold power button for 5 seconds) and when it restarted again, it went back to Please Wait.
Thinking that some device connected to my laptop’s docking station could be the problem, I hard reset again and this time let the machine boot up while not docked. Lo and behold, it got past Please Wait and allowed me to login.
So, I got into the habit of undocking my laptop when I rebooted and did not think much more about it.
But then one day, the same thing happened while I was undocked at home!!!
I work from home most of the time, but when I have had to visit a Microsoft office this issue never occurred.
Looking into the issue again, I worked out that the problem was not the docking station itself, but the network connection. The times it had failed at home were when the WiFi switch on the laptop was on.
In summary, while I was at home I had to make sure the laptop was undocked (or unplug the network cable) and that the WiFi switch was off. When I was at a Microsoft office it worked even when WiFi was active.
Based on this information, I decided that the issue was related to accessing something on the corporate network. If my machine was not on the corporate network, then all networking must be disabled to allow the laptop to boot.
So, I got into the habit of undocking my laptop and making sure the WiFi switch was off when I rebooted and did not think much more about it.
Move on a number of months and I got a new laptop (and matching docking station).
While building my machine and installing all the software, tools and applications I need, the machine was rebooted a number of times while docked and never got stuck at Please Wait. I was pleased that the issue had gone away.
All was well. There was no shouting and growling at my computer and the family home was at peace.
I had to reboot and my new laptop got stuck at Please Wait. While I knew how to get past the issue, I now had enough information to identify the cause. The last software installed on my machine was a standalone installation of the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client.
During the installation, you need to provide credentials for the GP Session Central Service and the GP Session Services web services. As my machine is domain added, these credentials need to be valid domain credentials.
When I previously had issues with these services not starting while I was at home, we realised that the services would only start when my laptop was VPN’d into the corporate network and that domain credentials cached on my machine where not enough and that the credentials needed to be validated live against Active Directory.
So putting all the bits together….
I changed the GP Session Central Service and GP Session Services web services to a Startup Type of Manual under Services (Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Services), and the problem disappeared. I could reboot my laptop without issues regardless of network settings.
I do have other services, such as the Microsoft Dynamics GP Service Host, which use domain credentials, but they work with the cached credentials on my machine.
The bottom line is that the services for the GP Web Client will currently cause a machine to hang during boot if all of the following conditions are met:
The Web Client services are installed.
The Web Client services are set to start up automatically.
The machine has been added to a domain.
The credentials for the services are domain credentials.
The machine has access to a network (wired or WiFi).
The network is not the corporate domain network.
The bottom line is that I now have the services set to manual and will only start them when I want to use the web client, at which time I will ensure that I am on the corporate network, either directly, by VPN or by DirectAccess.
I will be raising this issue with the Development team as the services should just timeout and fail to start when the domain credentials cannot be validated rather than causing the machine to hang when starting up.
I hope this find this information before you get too stressed by this issue.