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Windows 7:  "The group policy service failed the logon."

Posted on 2010-08-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We've been testing Windows 7 for deployment in our domain and have been having random and sporadic problems with this error.  Randomly a user will attempt to login to their computer and after a long wait they will receive this error.  Clicking OK they will then have to sit for an extended time, 2 to 20 minutes, with the "Logging off" message, which will return them to the log-in screen.  Most times they can immediately re-key in their password and they will logon normally with no intervention.  There are no events logged to the event logs, and there does not seem to be any pattern to the user, computers, time of day, or any of the other usual suspects.

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Question by:jim_cook87
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authen-tech earned 500 total points
ID: 33451404
Seems to be a networking error.  I've seen this on Windows 7 laptops that are booting up and haven't had time to access the wireless network by the time you try to log in.  Also could be an Active Directory authentication error where the DNS is pointed to a machine that is unable to authenticate, or DNS is somehow otherwise incorrect.  Maybe staticly pointed to an outside server.

Hope this helps point you in the right direction!

Todd
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Author Comment

by:jim_cook87
ID: 33489307
We're not seeing any network errors.  The problem occurs on hardwired desktops as often as a laptop that is on the wireless.  And we have implemented the policy to always wait for the network at computer startup and logon.  And we've seen the problem occur on computers that have been sitting at the logon screen for 5, 10, even15 minutes after having been booted up as frequently as on computers that just reached the logon screen

And we find no issues with DNS entries or servers exhibiting issues providing authentication services.
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Expert Comment

by:authen-tech
ID: 33489364
Any chance you are using Norton?  Seems to be a common denominator for my brief search.  I hate Norton.  

One possible fix I found:

-Go to \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\

-Select the Profile that is having problem and rename the Guid to
GUID1

-Close out of Regedit

-Logoff

-Then login with the user that was having the problem


Another user identified it as a raming profile error and did this:
remove the users cached profiles from the local hard drive c:\users\%usernname%.

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Author Comment

by:jim_cook87
ID: 33505488
No Norton in the environment.

Everything I came across regarding the registry edit and/or deleting the cached profiles related to problems where the specific user was unable to log on at all.  In our situation, the user gets the error once, then in almost every case a second attempt at logging on suceeds.  In every case, without deleting the profile or registry keys they can eventually logon successfully.

But, despite it seemingly not applying to our circumstance, we have tried deleting local profiles and even gone so far as to delete the roaming profile from the network as well.  But the error inevitably returns...
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Author Closing Comment

by:jim_cook87
ID: 33583746
The NIC on one of our DNS servers failed late last week.  Since replacing the NIC all the problems have vanished, so we suspect that DNS server's NIC may have been causing some very sporadic problems for quite some time before finally outright failing.
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