Did you set the time out for one at 500 seconds to see if it made it worse?
Sorry for the slow reply; was away at comp. conference.
I changed the Server Remote Login Timeout to 100 and then 600 sec.s - no effect. Though it seemed it took effect immediately, I rebooted the server just to be sure - no difference.
The Linked Server Connection Timeout value does make a difference. Changing it from 5 sec.s to 100 changed the time I saw from around 20 seconds to around 2 minutes. However changing it to 1 sec. I'm still taking 20+ sec.s.
I even tried the Linked server Query Timeout value - no difference.
For servers that are there this test takes < 1 sec.
It seems that it is the server I need to change but I don't know how to make it take effect.
If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything!,