New SP3 Problem - Group Policy Client Failed to Start

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Bandito, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Bandito

    Bandito Active Member

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    I'm now having a new battle Royale with my SP3. On Monday, I went to check for Windows Updates to be sure that I would be current for Update Tuesday, but the system would just hang on the MUI Check for Updates screen with the little dots chasing each other around in a circle. After killing Check for Updates and retrying it a couple of times, I decided to reboot the system and try again.

    Even after rebooting, however, it still did the same thing. So, I rebooted the system again and then after I logged in I immediately started Control Panel which dropped me into the desktop. As the SP3 was still loading a few items, I gave it a few seconds to finish booting and that's when the error message popped up. It said that the Group Policy Client Failed to Start and that only administrators could log into the system. I tried to run Windows Update from the Control Panel, but it, too, just hung on start up. So, I went through the event logs to see what I could learn and eventually ended up Goodling the error message. I found that the cause of the problem is apparently when a crash occurs as the system is restarting for an update to install. Part of the registry gets corrupted and then GPC can no longer start.

    I checked my registry per the instructions that I found and sure enough, some of the required entries were missing. So, I recreated them and rebooted again and, voilĂ !, everything was back to normal. Or so I thought. Update Tuesday came and I installed all of the available updates. When everything was said and done, I checked the log and it showed that everything but the Office 2013 and IE updates had successfully installed on the first pass, but then it showed that all of the updates that had initially failed were reinstalled successfully. I then rebooted the SP3 one more time just to be sure all the updates were completed and put it to bed for the night. I ended up not using it yesterday, but today I downloaded a .PDF file and then went to move it out of the downloads directory to where I wanted it, but I when I right-clicked on the file, File Explorer would hang.

    Once again, I rebooted the system and went immediately into the desktop so that I could launch File Explorer to move the file. Then, the dreaded GPC error message popped up again. I thought to myself, "Well, some of the updates did fail to install, so that probably corrupted the registry again. At least I know how to fix it." So, I checked the registry, but all entries were intact. I rebooted several times to check for errors in the event logs, but there was nothing specific that came up. I searched for further info on the error message, but didn't really find anything but the solution I found on Monday. I figured that my only option at this point was to try to refresh Windows on the SP3, but when I tried to get in to do that, the Recovery app just hung, too! When the GPC doesn't start, the system has all kinds of strange issues and some things work just fine, like the registry editor, and some things just don't work anymore and cause the system to hang.

    I was feeling really desperate at this point, so just for the lack of having anything better to try, I went into the registry editor and deleted the key that I had fixed yesterday and then recreated it. I rebooted the SP3 and once again it came back to life and is now operating normally again, but for how long, I have no idea.

    I don't know if this is related to some sort of fundamental design flaw with the SP3 hardware or is some kind of software bug, but the SP3 sure seems to be sensitive to any little mishap causing corruption and further problems. Even though having all of the system settings in one huge registry file that could easily wreak havoc if it was ever inadvertently corrupted, I have only run into one other system that had ongoing problems with its registry and that was a Windows NT 4.0 system. When anything went wrong with its registry, it was completely dead in the water and had to be restored from a backup registry file that I soon learned to keep for the system. I hope that the SP3 isn't heading in this same direction.

    At any rate, I'm growing a bit tired of having to constantly troubleshoot and maintain the SP3 rather than just using it as I should be able to do. Is there any hope of this happening soon?
     
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    This probably won't make you feel any better but a customer of mine was telling me just today that he was having issues with pushing Group Policy out to some Windows 8.1 laptops along with 3 SP3s. He hasn't come up with a solution yet either.
     
  3. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    If it is any consolation Group Policy Objects are being deprecated in Windows 10....
     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In favor of???
     
  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Mobile Device Management through the Enterprise Mobility Suite.... at least that's the rumor.
     
  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, MDM is a means to an end... and the end is the group policy object. IDK I guess you could replace all that but if you want to replace something as to complex and convoluted ... replace the Registry. :)
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    The Enterprise Mobility Suite can manage all devices from all players....GPOs are only x86 Windows Clients
     
  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So taking that local we will use MDM objects for local policy?
    Some old people cannot remember what they should do or have done so they run on locked down machines. :)
     
  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    TBD....
     
  10. Bandito

    Bandito Active Member

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    Thanks for the info, leeshor! It's at least comforting to not be alone.

    As for your news, jnjroach, that'd be a very good thing to have happen.

    GreyFox7, I wholeheartedly agree with you, the registry hive needs to go!

    I really don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just rewrite Windows from the ground up to make it the best operating system that they can and fix all the weaknesses that have been exposed over the years. They could completely revise the UI and modernize literally everything. Then, for backwards compatibility they simply provide a virtual machine to run Windows 7 or 8 or even XP. All your old software would still work and all the new software could be optimized for all the new latest and greatest features without having to deal with a lot of legacy crap.

    I guess that I've been spoiled by my experience when I was able to use my MacBook Pro at work. I ran Windows 7 through Parallels Desktop and it was a joy to work with. I could copy and paste between the Mac and Windows VM and had every tool and application necessary to do my business work and IT administration all on one machine. I was able to choose the absolute best tool (application) for the job at hand. I even threw some very difficult and sometimes demanding software at the VM, like Rockwell's Allen-Bradley PLC programming platforms, and never ran into a hitch. Everything worked very ,very well.

    <Sigh> Ah, the good ol' days.
     

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