Note: This posting only applies to Management Studio 2005. We have corrected the behavior for Management Studio 2008 thus there is no special configuration necessary.
One of my co-workers recently responded to a problem a user was having with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). The user was experiencing extremely slow startup of SSMS – a couple of minutes. The potential cause for the problem is not apparently obvious, but could impact tons of installations.
One issue that can cause this problem is that if the server does not have access to the internet, then the .NET framework can't access the crl.microsoft.com website to verify that the digital signatures used to sign the binaries for managed applications are valid. Each certificate check has a 15 second timeout in the .NET runtime implementation. Depending on what features are installed, this can add up to a minute of startup time for Management Studio.
There are a couple workarounds:
1) Configure a proxy server to allow access to http://crl.microsoft.com from your server
2) Configure your firewall to return a failure status quickly when it blocks access to the http://crl.microsoft.com website
3) Disable checks for certificate revocation. You can do this using Internet Explorer by opening the Internet Options dialog, going to the Advanced Page, and then un-checking the "Check for publisher's certificate revocation" checkbox. There are fraudulently signed binaries in the wild that can make virus-infected applications look like they were published by Microsoft. Disabling this check should probably not be done on machines with internet access.