Friday, October 23, 2009

Group policy assigned software not being installed

I wanted to setup Office 2007 to be deployed through group policy. However, I could get it to work on the machine I was using to test the policy on, even though the rest of the GPO settings set on that OU were being applied correctly. Well, it turned out that it was the gigabit NIC installed in the laptop (IBM Thinkpad T42). Apparently there are some known issues (that I didn't know about) that are more prevalent on gigabit interfaces which cause the policy processing to timeout. Luckily there's a registry hack to fix it.

1. Open the Registry Editor (Start->Run, then regedit and click OK)
2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->SOFTWARE->Microsoft->Windows NT->CurrentVersion->Winlogon
3. Add a new DWORD named "GpNetworkStartTimeoutPolicyValue" to the Winlogon folder
4. Change the "GpNetworkStartTimeoutPolicyValue" to decimal and give it a value of 60
5. Close the Registry Editor and restart the computer

What this does is extend the timeout for group policy processing from the default of 30 seconds to 60 seconds. As soon as I did this on my test machine the software installed on the reboot. One way you'll notice this may be needed is if you start seeing event 1054 in you Application event log.

I found the answer on, which just links to Microsoft KB 840669

Update: 11-19-09

Ran into this again on a Dell Dimension 4550 I was working on. The common denominator appears to be certain older Intel NICs, or at least it has been in all the machines I've had the problem with. Adding the registry key fixed it in this case as well. If you're running into event ID 1054 in your Application event log, try the registry key addition and see if it'll fix your problem. This can also be related to other items within group policy not being applied as well, not just software deployment to computers.

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