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Software Installation changes do not apply after logon

Updated: March 2, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

When the Fast Logon Optimization feature is set on computers running Windows XP Professional (default), Group Policy software installation changes do not take effect after the user logs on.

Cause

In Windows XP Professional, the Fast Logon Optimization feature is set by default for both domain and workgroup members. As a result, Windows XP does not wait for the network to be fully initialized at startup and logon. Existing users are logged on using cached credentials. This results in shorter logon times. Group Policy is applied in the background after the network becomes available. Note that because this is a background refresh, extensions such as Software Installation and Folder Redirection take two logons to apply changes.

Software Installation processing occurs only during computer startup or when the user logs on. This is because processing periodically could cause undesirable results. For example, if an application is no longer assigned, it is removed. If a user were using the application while Group Policy tries to uninstall it or if an assigned application upgrade takes place while someone is using the application, errors would occur.

If the software installation settings are applied through computer configuration, they are applied at startup. If software installation settings are applied through user configuration, they are applied at logon.

Solution

If the computer is running Windows XP with logon optimization enabled, the user will need to log on after Group Policy refresh. This can entail logging on two or three times.

Administrators can turn off Fast Logon Optimization, by using the Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon policy setting in the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon node of Group Policy Object Editor.

For more information, see Description of the Windows XP Professional Fast Logon Optimization Feature on the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=43045).

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