Windows 8.1 - Windows Couldn't connect to the System Event Notification Service service

I have an issue that has been bothering me for a while on new 8.1 computers. Standard users are not able to log into the computer on the first try consistently. They receive the error message: Group Policy client service failed the sign-in access is denied. They are stuck at the logon screen.

If an administrator logs in (local or domain), they can log in but get a black desktop with two error messages. The first is Location is Not available - C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is unavailable. The second error message is a popup balloon. It states "Failed to Connect to a Windows service. Windows couldn't connect to the System Event Notification Service service." I attached a picture of that error message.


When a standard user attempts to log in, event viewer records three warnings. They are listed in order from oldest to newest

The winlogon notification subscriber <Profiles> was unavailable to handle a critical notification event. -Logged 9:14:44

The winlogon notification subscriber <GPClient> failed a critical notification event. - Logged 9:14:44

The winlogon notification subscriber <Profiles> was unavailable to handle a notification event. - Logged 9:14:49

After a reboot, users still have the issue. I noticed that the user profile services and system event notification service are not running though their startup type is automatic. They start after a minute or two.
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LVL 22
Joseph MoodyBlogger and wearer of all hats.Asked:
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Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Give this a try

1.  command prompt, right click - run as administrator
2. netsh
3. winsock reset
4. restarted my computer


Let us know if this helps
Joseph MoodyBlogger and wearer of all hats.Author Commented:
I still have the problem after following those steps. Thank you for the suggestion though.
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Have you tried this?

sfc /scannow

Lets see lf we have any corrupt files

Also what event messages appear?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Another repair that can be done for Windows 8 is DISM (if SFC does not solve the issue).

Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth (takes 15 - 20 minutes).
Restart the computer and test.
McKnifeCommented:
Is it with all win8.1 machines?
How are they setup, same image, clean install,...?
Roaming profiles?
Is it with local profiles, too, or with domain profiles, only?
If with local profs, too: Is it only after joining the domain or even before?

We have 8.1-only and I have never seen this.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Just a question. These computers are Windows 8.1 Pro, correct?  Windows 8.1 with no identifier is Windows 8.1 Home and won't work on a domain.
Joseph MoodyBlogger and wearer of all hats.Author Commented:
I think I found the solution. There was a video driver update for the Intel HD Graphics 4400 that addressed this problem. So far - we've been good.

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McKnifeCommented:
You write "that addressed this problem", which, in my ears, suggest you found an article or something saying it is a known problem of that intel driver version. If so, could you link that info?

I have to admit that I doubt very much that that's the solution...but you never know :)
Joseph MoodyBlogger and wearer of all hats.Author Commented:
Thank you for your help in resolving this.
McKnifeCommented:
Joseph, it was really the driver? Any references from intel?
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